Canton Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday July 17, 1945 According to information received by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. R. J. French of Russell, their son, Second Lieutenant Harold Gregory French, a 1937 St. Lawrence graduate, is now presumed to be dead. Lieutenant French has been missing since July 2, 1944, when as an navigator of a B-17 he was shot down over Kamron, Hungary, in action. The date of his death is believed to be July 3, 1944. A year and a day following his last mission, the family received a letter from acting Adjutant General Edward F. Witsell.
The letter contained the following:
'The war department has entertained the hope that he survived and that information would be revealed dispelling the uncertainty surrounding his absence."
"However, as in many cases, the conditions of warfare deny us such information. The record concerning your son shows that he was the navigator of a B-17 bomber which was attacked by enemy fighter aircraft over the target area in enemy-controlled territory. The plane was last contacted over Komaron, Hungary.
"Full consideration has recently been given all available information (bearing on the absence of your son, including all records, reports and circumstances. These have been carefully reviewed and considered.n view of the fact that twelve months have now expired without the receipt of evidence to support a continued presumption or survival, the war department must terminate such absence by presumptive findings of death. Accordingly, an official finding of death has been recorded.
Lieutenant French enlisted in the army June 4, 1942, and received his wings and commission on Jan. 15, 1944, at Selman Field, Monroe La. He went overseas about the middle of May, 1944. He had made 36 missions prior to July 2, 1944, the date of his last.
Born in Fine, N. Y., Aug. 21, 1916, Harold Gregory French was a son of Raymond and Margie Barry French. He was graduated from Knox Memorial High school in the class of 1933 and from St. Lawrence University in 1937 with a B. S. degree. He received his M. A. in 1941. While attending St. Lawrence he received the gold key for honor marks in science.
For four years prior to his enlistment he was science teacher at Knox Memorial High School.
Mr. and Mrs. French also have another son, Leon J. French, in the army. He was wounded in the European theater of war. At the present time he is spending a furlough with his wife and family in Russell.
Lieutenant French's brother, Leon J. French, now in army service, was also a 1937 St. Lawrence graduate. He married Miss Olive White of the class of 1940 before he entered army service was at Remsen, N. Y.
Note: Killed in Hungary, buried in France; 1916-1944
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NARA records list this soldiers Home of Record as St. Lawrence County, New York...Killed In Action...340th Bomber Squadron, 97th Bomber Group, Heavy...Your service and sacrifice must never be forgotten. -
Eric Ackerman Added: Apr. 29, 2016
was a B-17 crew member, killed in action when flying aboard 42-5946 (97th BG 340th BS) mission to Brod -
patootie Added: Jul. 20, 2013