From a contemporary press report
William K. Harrison, Jr., a decorated World War II veteran and a senior negotiator in the Korean War cease-fire, died Monday, May 25, 1987. He was 91 and lived in Springfield, Delaware County. A direct descendant of President William Henry Harrison, General Harrison began his career as an officer in the horse cavalry and concluded it 40 years later in the era of nuclear missiles.
In those four decades Harrison had a distinguished career as a commander, staff officer, administrator and peacemaker.
Born in Washington, D.C., Harrison graduated from the United States Military Academy on April 20, 1917, and was assigned to the 1st Cavalry at Camp Lawrence J. Hearn in California. As a cavalry officer, his assignments through the 1920s and 1930s included posts in France, the Philippines and Spain, as well as assignments in the United States, including the Army War College in Washington, D.C. In 1944, while serving as Assistant Division Commander of the 30th Infantry Division, Harrison was wounded in action in France. It was common for Harrison, machine gun in hand, to tour the front lines amid the action. After the war, from 1946 to 1949, he served on the staff of General Douglas MacArthur during the occupation of Japan.
Harrison became familiar with the Philadelphia-South Jersey region when he was appointed commander of the 9th Infantry Training Division at Fort Dix, New Jersey. In December 1951, he was named Deputy Commander of the Eighth Army in Korea and in January 1952 was picked to serve on the Korean Armistice Delegation under the United Nations Command. His work culminated in July 1953 with his signing the armistice documents as chief delegate for the United Nations Command in a ceremony in Panmunjom, Korea.
A Baptist lay evangelist for many years, Harrison did not smoke or drink and was proud of his religious activities. In 1954, Harrison was visiting his daughter and her family in Springfield and spoke at the Delaware County Christian Day School in Havertown. Harrison, then Chief of the Far East Command, told the youngsters to put their trust in God and “follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. I still study not only military subjects but what I consider the most important subject, the Bible.”
A month after he retired in February 1957, he accepted the executive directorship of the Evangelical (Child) Welfare Agency in Chicago. He served three years in that post before moving to Largo, Florida, and later to Delaware County.
His medals included Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Silver Star, the Bronze Star with one Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Purple Heart.
Had been a member of the Lownes Free Church, the Officers Christian Fellowship and the Alumni Association of the United States Military Academy.
His first wife, the former Eva Toole, and his second wife, the former Forrest King, are deceased. Is survived by three sons, William K. III, W. Terry and Wayne King; a daughter, Evelyn H. Kent; 9 grandchildren; and 7 great-grandchildren.
Services will be held at 9 am tomorrow at the Fort Meyer Memorial Chapel. Burial will be in Arlington National Cemetery. ( 1895-1987).
General Harrison lies at rest in Section 2, along with his wives, Eva Toole Harrison (1896-1976) and Forrest King Harrison.
Combat Infantryman's Badge
NOTE: His Father, William Kelly Harrison, Commander, United States Navy, was a recipient of the Medal of Honor and is buried nearby in Section 2 of Arlington National Cemetery.
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard