MM1c George Ellsworth Harris,

Unknown Sailor

MM1c George Ellsworth Harris

George Ellsworth Harris was born June 17, 1909 in Williamson County in southern Illinois. His mother, Nora McBride Harris, was a homemaker and his father James D. Harris, a farmer at Grassy. George was the youngest of six children.

Death first visited the family in 1912 when son Clyde died at age 16.

The father died in 1917.

By the time of the 1920 Census the three youngest children were still living with their mother and she still farmed at Grassy.

Death came again the next year when the oldest sibling, Ora Belle, by then married and with young children, died at age 28.

Nora Harris remarried in the early 1920s, but the union was brief because her spouse, Albert Rendleman, collapsed and died while walking in his farm yard in 1923.

By 1930, George Harris was a boarder at a home in Carterville, a town of about 3,000 in Williamson County. He worked as a grocery store salesman.

Mr. Harris enlisted in the Navy on June 19, 1936. He was a machinist’s mate and petty officer first class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941. There is a cenotaph in his memory at Wolf Creek Cemetery in Williamson County. HIs parents are buried there.

His mother died in 1962 at the age of 91, outliving all but two of her children.


Sources: the Southern Illinoisian; the Carbondale (Illinois) Free Press; Census; Navy muster roll; cenotaph and grave markers at Wolf Creek Cemetery in Williamson County, Illinois;  Illinois death index. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.

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