39th Bomb Group (VH)


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William H. Harter, Jr.
Tail Gunner

William H. Harter, Jr., was born on 22 May 1925 in Greensboro, NC. While still in his infancy, his family moved to Salisbury, NC. This has been his life long residence. After attending public schools there, Harter went to college in Salisbury. He worked various jobs and prior to World War II, and at the age of eighteen he was inducted into the service at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. After basic training, he enrolled in the Aviation Cadet Program and was shipped to Knoxville, Tennessee and then on to Aerial Gunnery School at Tyndell Field, in Panama City, Florida. Upon completion, he received crew training at Alamogoro, New Mexico and Salina, Kansas. It was at the later situation that he became P-32's tail gunner.

At war's end, Harter didn't return home right away, instead he was assigned to the B-29 "Waltzing Matilda" to participate in the War Bond tour, a tour of whose itinerary included every major city in Australia as well as many smaller ones. At the end of this duty, William was sent back to Guam and then Saipan. From there he boarded a troop ship back to the United States, eventually arriving back at Fort Bragg. He was discharged from the service March 3,1946. Ironically, two months later, P-32, was removed from the USAF inventory at Davis-Monthan Air Base.

William married Marian Britton on July 2, 1949. For the past 35 years he has been working for Security Bank and Trust Company in Salisbury. At the time of this writing, he is Senior Auditor and Corporate Secretary for the bank. He and his wife reside in Salisbury.

William H. Harter, Jr. took his Final Flight Feb. 6, 1990 at 64 yrs old; His widow, Marian B. Harter passed away Feb. 13, 2012 at the age of 84 yrs.

Crew 32 Main Page
61st Squadron Crew Index
Source: Excerpted from a profile of Crew 32 entitled "Piledriver - P-32" written by Paul P and Billy Pratt, sons of co-pilot of P-32
for "History of the 39th Bomb Group"; Obit of Marian B. Harter