Albert Harris was a hometown hero in the small east Texas town of Greenville. He was captain and quarterback of the high school football team and married Mary Alice Norwood, the pretty daughter of the local county judge, in 1945. Trained as an artillery officer in the Marines, Lieutenant Harris joined the reserves shortly after his marriage.
When the Korean War broke out in the summer of 1950, Lieutenant Harris knew he would be leaving his wife and one-year-old son for the hills of North Korea. There was no more practice—it was going to be the real thing.
In 323 Days, we travel back in time to 1951-1952 and the early stages of the Cold War. The United States was battling international communism and there was the ever-present danger of World War III. The Marine Corps had already suffered significant losses in the first year of the Korean War and Lieutenant Harris knew his tour of duty would not be easy.
During the war, Albert Harris wrote over 50 letters to Mary Alice detailing a wide variety of subjects, most direct from the battlefield. The letters are packed with information and reveal both a love story and a brutal war story. They are an important and unique viewing window to a critical segment of the Korean War and are published here for the first time.
John Harris was born on July 29, 1949, one year before the start of the Korean War. He is the son of Albert and Mary Alice Harris and has many fond childhood memories growing up with them and his grandparents in the small east Texas town of Greenville.
John’s father was transferred to Corpus Christi, where John graduated from high school in 1967. He was an all-around athlete and president of his senior class. John then enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin, where he met his future wife, Joan.
John spent the majority of his business career in the computer numerically controlled (CNC) machinery industry. In 1993, he founded his own CNC machinery manufacturing company and later (2001) sold his interest in it.
John and Joan have one son, Ryan, who attended Vanderbilt University. Ryan met his wife, Tiffany, at the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry. They both completed their periodontal residencies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Currently, they have two periodontal practices in the Cincinnati, Ohio area. They are the parents of four children, the only grandchildren of John and Joan. After retirement, John and Joan moved near them in 2014.
John and Joan stay busy with their grandchildren’s activities. John especially likes to attend their many sporting events. He also enjoys fishing and reading. Transcribing and editing this book have been extremely rewarding for him. 323 Days will be a lasting tribute to his father’s service in the Korean War.
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