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William Harris - Passages

I would like to thank you very much for writing a very nice article about William Harris several years ago. I knew, at that time, that Bill was sick and I thought it would be great to recognize all that he had done for soaring and America. I remember how thrilled, surprised, proud and happy he was to see the article appear in soaring. So many times people pass on without knowing how well loved and appreciated they are. It is now with tremendous sadness that I must let you know that Bill passed away two weeks ago. We had a beautiful ceremony with many of his friends and family. We read his meticulous logbooks, watched videos of him flying and reminisced about the wonderful times we spent together. Bill, as you remember, was a true war hero. He won the Navy Air Medal as well as the Distinguished Flying Cross. His actions surely helped shorten the war and saved many lives on both sides. He will be interred at Arlington cemetery later this year with full military honors.

It is with further deep sadness and very heavy heart that I must further report to the soaring community that we have also lost another outstanding member of our family Harold Crowell. Pablo, as he was known to all of his friends, was an equally gifted hero. Pablo was a B-17 Captain at the very tender age of 21. Later in the war before his tour was finished, Pablo made Captain in the B-29 as well. He saw action in both the European and Pacific theater. His heroics also most certainly helped shorten the war and help turn the tide in favor of the Allies. Pablo too was also heavily decorated with medals.

Besides what these larger than life heroes did for our country, they gave so much to soaring. Teaching, towing and taking all the newbies under their wing for nothing more than a thank you. Both Bill and Pablo had earned every soaring badge there is and were also quite competitive competition pilots. For our small soaring community in Miami to lose such Icons has been very difficult. They will be sorely missed and impossible to replace.

-Jonathan Fox
Miami Glider Club

Posted: 10/1/2001


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