HARRIS, JAMES L.

Art Leatherwood

HARRIS, JAMES L. (1916–1944). James L. Harris, Medal of Honor recipient, was born to Albert Lee and Bessie Harris at Hillsboro, Texas, in 1916. He attended Bynum High School through the tenth grade and was drafted into military service at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, in late 1941. He was assigned to the 756th Tank Battalion and trained with it at Fort Knox, Kentucky, Fort Lewis, Washington, Fort Ord, California, and Camp Pickett, Virginia. After fighting through North Africa he earned a battlefield commission on March 26, 1944, as second lieutenant, at the battle of Cassino in southern Italy. On the night of October 7, 1944, near the village of Vagney, France, his tank command was attacked by a German tank and two platoons of infantry. While leading his tanks on foot, he was wounded. From the ground in front of his tank he ordered it to open fire on the Germans, whose progress was halted until more tanks arrived and forced them to withdraw. Subsequently, Harris's leg was shot off at the hip. He refused to be evacuated until other wounded members of his crew were removed. He died before he could be given medical attention. Harris was buried at Vagney, France, until 1951, when he was reinterred at Ridge Park Cemetery, Hillsboro.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 
Dallas Times Herald, June 11, 1976. Committee on Veterans' Affairs, United States Senate, Medal of Honor Recipients, 1863–1973 (Washington: GPO, 1973).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Art Leatherwood, "HARRIS, JAMES L.," accessed October 19, 2019, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fhawb.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...