Son a New York Firefighter, Harry grew up on Coney Island Blvd in Brooklyn. He enlisted in the United States Army in June 1940, 18 months before the U.S. entered the war, and served until June 1945, demobilized 2 1/2 months before the official end of the war.
He was stationed at Pearl Harbor as part of the 798th Field Artillery Battalion. In addition to the Battle of Pearl Harbor, he fought in the battle of New Guinea considered to be the most arduous battle in the Pacific, lasting over 3 1/2 years.
Harry didn't speak much of his time in the military during World War II serving in the Central Pacific. Although, I vividly recall a comment he made of his time in New Guinea. He said he could smell the Japanese troops before he ever saw them, referring to the strong-smelling mosquito repellent they used to prevent the spread of Malaria.
After the war Harry returned back to Brooklyn where he married his sweetheart, Hannah, the following year. After spending five years in the tropical climate of the Pacific islands, he longed to live amongst the palm trees and sand. So he set off to Florida, and once he found work in Fort Myers, he sent for her to join him. While Fort Myers back in the late 1940's was very rural compared to New York city, they made it their home and watched it grow up around them. He passed away at their home in 1992 at age 74.
- Gabe Jenkins, grandson
A witness to history, Harry was stationed at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked. He survived thanks to a very late night of R&R. At the morning's light, his buddies convinced him to go have some breakfast instead heading to sleep back to the barracks, which were soon bombed.
The love of his life was Hannah Cummings. They married in December 1946 and this picture is from their wedding day.
Harry held many jobs throughout his life, usually centered around vehicles. He spent many years as a delivery driver for Budweiser.
They left Brooklyn behind to start a new life in Ft Myers, Florida. They had a son, George, who spent his career in the Air Force.
Gabe Jenkins, resident of Fountain Inn, proudly stands below his grandfather's banner, November 2021.