Russell, Harold John, Sgt

 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
53 kb
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Last Rank
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
AAF 659-Instructor (Designated Subject)
Last MOS Group
Aviation (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1941-1944, AAF 659, 13th Airborne Division
Service Years
1941 - 1944


 Last Photo   Personal Details 

28 kb

Home Country
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by the Site Administrator to remember Russell, Harold John, Sgt.
Contact Info
Home Town
North Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
Last Address
Needham, Massachusetts
Buried at Lakeview Cemetery, Wayland, Massachusetts.

Date of Passing
Jan 29, 2002
Location of Interment
Lakeview Cemetery - Wayland, Massachusetts
Wall/Plot Coordinates

 Official Badges 

Honorably Discharged WW II

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
Post 1Famous People Who ServedPost -
  1944, American Veterans (AMVETS), Post 1 (Member) (Roslindale, Massachusetts) [Verified] - Chap. Page
  2015, Famous People Who Served [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2015, American Legion, Post - (North Easton, Massachusetts) - Chap. Page

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Born in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada, he moved to the United States and served as a Sergeant in the U.S. Army during WW II. He was an instructor in parachuting and explosives. On June 6, 1944, he was training troops at Camp MacKall North Carolina. A charge exploded in his hands, resulting in the loss of both hands. In 1946 he was in the movie "The Best Years of Our Lives", portraying a war veteran Homer Parrish, who had lost both hands in the Navy. For his role in the movie, he won TWO academy awards, one for best supporting actor, and a second special award for "bringing aid and comfort to disabled veterans through the medium of motion pictures". Harold Russell was the only person to ever receive two academy awards for the same role. After the war, Russell wrote two books, served three tours as national commander of AMVETS and worked as a major advocate for disabled veterans. The top annual award of the President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities is called The Harold Russell Medal. Mr. Russell became so adept with the hooks that replaced his hands, that he would often joke that he could do anything but pick up a dinner check with them.
Other Comments:
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 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
13th Airborne Division
  1941-1944, AAF 659, 13th Airborne Division
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1941-1945 WWII - American Theater
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