Harrison L. Harley III

Lieutenant Harrison L. Harley, 1st Plt, 51st CO Infantry OCS, Fort Benning, GARank: 1st Lieutenant

Branch: Infantry

Separation Date: December 15, 1967

Number of Years of service: 3 Years, 8 Months, 8 days

Deceased: July 9 , 2011

Wife’s Name: Annette; Children: One Son- Harrison

City and State: Lynn, Massachusetts

Awards: Good Conduct Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Air Medal, Bronze Star, CIB (Captured a NVA Soldier, and found the first IR RPG)

Civilian Schools Degrees: Boston University, B.A. Psychology, M. Ed., Instructional technology, Certificate of Advance Graduate Study, (C.A.G. S.), Education Leadership and Administration. (All the courses for a doctorate without the research thesis)

Letter from Annette Huskins:

“Annette Huskins here, Harry Harley’s wife. I write with great sorrow to tell you that Harry passed away on July 9th; the end was a sudden, very fast heart attack–he did not suffer. Emergency services arrived in less than three minutes after I called 911–and I called right away–but they couldn’t resuscitate him. Both our son and I were by his side. He dreaded the prospect of a slow, painful demise from cancer or alzheimer’s, so he went the way he preferred. He had such a strong personality and vigorous spirit that friends and family all reacted with shock and disbelief when they heard he was gone. I knew him for 29 years and still adored him, so I am heartbroken, as is our son, young Harrison–now 18.

Harry was enormously proud of his military service, and those years had a profound influence on the life he led. He told me–years ago–that he and his men served honorably in Vietnam. He wore his Vietnam Veteran’s hat–the one he is wearing in the pictures taken last year–so frequently it was like a uniform. I organized a dinner held last night for about 20 of his oldest and closest friends so we could eat, drink, laugh, and cry over him; it was a fine gathering and he would have been pleased. I brought pictures, the frame that holds his medals, and his Vietnam Veteran’s hat. I was careful to include the pictures taken last year at the reunion–he looks so happy in those pictures. I am SO glad he went to the reunion last year–he had a wonderful time. I couldn’t get away to come with him, and was worried about how his health would endure the trip, but finally decided that the military would look after my dear old soldier. Of course, now I’m sorry I didn’t get to meet the last of the “six bars and a bird”.

I am attaching the obituary I wrote for him. You’ll see that I borrowed the line from the “Club” certificate about “getting a combat brigade up and functioning from absolutely nothing.” Still a mind-boggling achievement. I initially intended to send this e-mail to all of the remaining “Club” members, but then decided to have you inform the others because your name is on the Certificate.

It’s important to me to honor his military service, so I think I will try to have his ashes interred at Arlington Cemetery (his father’s ashes are already interred there). If any of you want to come to that service, please let me know your availability and I will do my best to get the ceremony schedulers to accommodate. I still have to organize a memorial service here, and deal with all the other business that goes along with death, so interring the ashes can wait a bit.

I knew him better than anybody, so believe it when I say he was a wonderful man. He had an extraordinary, creative intelligence, but none of the arrogance that usually accompanies that quality. He was truly a nice man. He was what “Hawkeye Pierce” of M*A*S*H would have called the finest kind.

Please drink a toast to this good old soldier.



Summary of Assignments: From OCS to Fort Riley, Kansas, to reactivate the 9th Infantry Division with Colonel Kendall, and 5 other OCS grads: LTs. Peck, Thomas, Stricklen, Gerht, and Lawrence. Lawrence and I were initially assigned as Training Officers with Colonel Kendall, Commanding Officer 1st Brigade writing up army subject schedules and training plans and setting up training sites. I was responsible for designing the “Cadre Instructors Course” to develop acting “Squad Leader Drill Sergeants” from OCS tested recruits for leading the division through Infantry Basic, Advance and Unit training. I was next assigned as XO for Capt. Walker, “A” CO., 2/39, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel. Miles, and was in charge of running the 1st Platoon through the initial training cycles. I was on the Advance Party first group landing December 8, 1966 to  an a empty 1st Inf. Div. base called Bearcat, located near Long Thanh, southeast of Saigon. After Lieutenant Colonel Miles, was wounded in a battalion size ambush, where “A” Company took most of the hits, I was transferred to Captain Unlaub’s company at C, Company as the XO and Platoon leader 1st platoon.

I got the Bronze Star and Army Commendation Medals for chasing down and capturing a NVA POW, and one of the first Infrared guided RPGs among all kinds of other weapons and ordinance, after we took the hill pulverized by B52 bombers.  An entire NVA regiment was vaporized when the 1000 lb. bombs blew up an underground ammo dump. I just happened to be the first guy to take the hill even with my Jammed-never-did-work M-16, by charging two NVA troops with a machine gun only using grenades. They ran away in the smoky blasts. We caught one in a bunker. The second one I chased down through the jungle and as I aimed my worthless weapon at him he luckily dropped his grenade. About 5-10 minutes later what’s left of my original platoon after months of combat catches up with me. So I’m the hero with a jammed gun for most of my tour.

They changed the bolts to stainless steel and they still didn’t work. Many years later, while working with a fellow management consultant, who had set up the M-16 manufacturing process, just before I was about to beat the crap out of him, he explained that it wasn’t him, but some Lieutenant at the Redstone Arsenal, who changed the charge from Black Power to C4, expecting a higher velocity round. The extra charge expanded the shell casing causing it to stick fast in the chamber so it would not eject. Some older rounds worked and some newer ones didn’t. What a mess.

That’s me on page 52 of the “9th Infantry Division 1966-1967, “Combat Art and Photography,” bottom right front, sleeping under a tree after pulling two men from my “C” Company platoon out of a tunnel who had passed out from lack of oxygen, I almost didn’t make it either.

I spent my last two months, as an adviser to the Xaun Loc Provence chief, running 6 hamlet defense forces. We got hit by a NVA division about the end of November 67, but along with “Smokey” gun ships, and tanks blocking we stopped them cold, only one casualty. Sadly, before they attacked us, they killed all the women and children while they were watching TV in the village square outside of the fortified defense. About two weeks later, with this insane battle still fresh in my mind, I was discharged in N.Y., and remember the red mud washing off my boots soaking as the snow lightly fell outside Grand Central Station. Standing there at the main entrance I watched Santa ring a bell for donations in a money pot and a disabled Vet selling lapel pins. I was in full bloused class “A”s with a trophy rifle slung over my shoulder. I remember, watching all the carefree Christmas travelers and thought “This is what we’re fighting for.” but, the people glared at me, and a few spat at my muddy boots. What a great home coming! Now, it seems people finally “get it.” When I’m wearing my Nam Vet hat they come up, shake my hand, and thank me!

Cady’s Tigers were the best. I’ll remember you all for the rest of my life. God bless and good luck to all.

Jobs/Profession Following Military: Teaching, Curriculum Development, and Consulting

Experience: I have a long history in a variety of educational settings in both private and public schools and at the college level, as well as serving as an educational consultant in the private sector. I was Social Studies Teacher and Library Media Specialist for the Newton Public Schools. I then severed as Director of Media Services at Babson College. I also served as Educational Consultant for the newly merged Five Hospital Complex called the Baystate Medical Center, in Springfield, Massachusetts where I was responsible for developing error-free training programs for hospital wards and medical departments, such as the School of Nursing and National Medical Conferences. I moved from there to industrial and foreign contract training endeavors.

Summary of Professional Experience:

  • Telemedia, Training Aids Manager; Implemented and directed the Training Aids Department a newly installed training program for the Royal Saudi Navy.
  • International Training and Education Company, (ITECO), Director for      Curriculum Resources and Instructional Technology; developed and      implemented the curriculum design and method for writing and producing 33  vocational skills courses for the Royal Saudi, Jubyal Industrial Resources      Institute.
  • Raytheon, Director/Producer for the Royal Air Defense Force Instructional Television Facility under contract with Raython writing and producing training programs, including a dual language instructional video for the “Stinger” handheld anti-aircraft missile operating instructions used by Bin Laden to defeat the Russian occupation of Afghanistan. I designed and specified for a renewed Raytheon contract most of the video systems later used in Desert Storm to set up a command and control center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
  • Saudi Arabian Government, Advisor; specified equipment for shops, science laboratories and classrooms; designed curriculum materials providing English Language instruction and technical training to Saudi Arabian desert nomads.
  • Owner and Principal, Advance Productions. I founded my own educational media company.

— The company obtained contracts from various military organizations for instructional television and interactive training programs.

— One notable contract was for GTE; I developed interactive training materials for the new digital command and communication control centers for deployment with an airborne division during Desert Storm.

— Another notable project was for Spinnaker Software, Cambridge, MA; where I developed and produced “Vietnam the Air War,” a  top rated documentary war video. Additional military contracts include:

  • Lockheed/Sanders, Nashua, NH, Consultant; I prepared curriculum materials for electronic anti missile devices and a seven-hour instructional video program describing the radar manufacturing process.
  • Raytheon, Lexington, MA, Consultant; For the U. S. Air force, I  wrote scripts and story boards and prepared curriculum materials and produced video programs for the layout and operation of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) air defense radar facility in Alaska.

Business Consulting Experience: Following many years in teaching and developing curricula, I decided to leave teaching and try my hand at business. My background in military training and technical training for manufacturing was ideal for my new business role. For ten years I served as a business consultant providing guidance to management on profits and human performance and efficiency. I also oversaw and coordinated the implementing production standards, cost control systems, operation policy and procedures, and financial analysis reports.

I own and manage a 3-family house in Lynn with my devoted and community involved wife Annette Huskins, who is the Secretary of my campaign. We have one son, Harrison Harley IV, who is currently at Classical High School. He has attended Lynn public schools all his life.

Obituary: Harrison L. Harley III, 68  – Originally published on Saturday, July 16, 2011

LYNN, MA – Harrison L. Harley, III, of Lynn first discovered his gifts as a teacher and curriculum designer when the young lieutenant was assigned to be the training officer of the reactivated 9th Infantry Division in 1966. At the time of the reactivation, the First Brigade consisted of six lieutenants and a colonel – “six bars and a bird” – responsible for ordering and organizing the deployment of all the equipment and material a combat brigade requires. Each of the lieutenants was given various missions in order to get the brigade up and functioning from absolutely nothing. By the time of the honorable discharge in 1967, Harrison had served in Vietnam and been awarded the Air Medal and the Bronze Star, though he was proudest of his Combat Infantryman’s Badge. Because he began his military career as an enlisted man, his heart was always “with the troops.” He passed away from natural causes at home on July 9. He was 68.

He was born in San Antonio to Mary Louise (Tatum) and Harrison Harley, Jr. After his father’s naval service during both World War II and the Korean War, the family returned to his father’s hometown of Brookline. He attended Brookline High before transferring to Browne and Nichols, where he pitched a no hitter and was vice president of his senior class.

After his return from Vietnam his military service continued to influence his career path when he enrolled in Boston University, interested in understanding human conflict. He obtained a BA in Psychology and a M.Ed. in Education, with a concentration in Educational Media. Always working as part of a team, he developed a variety of training programs, from nursing instruction for Baystate Medical Center to language and skills training for young tribesmen in Saudi Arabia. He ‘returned’ to Vietnam in 1987 when he wrote, directed, and produced the video “Vietnam – The Air War”; during that Christmas season the video was the biggest selling military video on the market.

In his middle years he worked as a business consultant, traveling to manufacturing plants all over the eastern U.S. However, after his son Harrison was born in 1993, he decided to find work closer to home and went back to school at Salem State College to obtain his teaching certificate. He taught General Science, Biology and Physics at Lynn Vocational technical Institute until his retirement in 2009. After retirement he stayed engaged by running for Lynn School Committee, volunteering at the urban garden at the Ford School and experimenting with windmill design.

Though his travels took him to far away places, he always returned to Boston because he was at heart a Yankee Home Boy, declaring that, “everything past the Charles River is a wasteland.” He was also that loyal and passionate as a friend, husband and father.
In addition to his son he leaves his wife, Annette Huskins; sister, Laura Harley, aunts Jane Gaylord and Joan Harley, cousins, friends reaching back to childhood, and his dog, Lady.




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