44-11472         MACR 12937

 

On 8 March 1945 a P-51K-1NT Mustang, # 44-11472, assigned to 14th Air Force, 51st Fighter Group, 16th Fighter Squadron, Laohokow, China, departed the airfield on a fighter sweep mission over the Yangtze region. The pilot was 1stLt William I. Harbour, # 0-702532. His fighter was seen to crash and burn and he was killed. Capt. Boyden H. Hale, 0-406112, reported that their flight was returning from a mission. About 25 miles east of Laohokow, 1stLt Harbour’s fighter was about to run out of gas so he called that he was going to belly land in the Yangze. He decided to bail out instead. He did so at 8,000’.  His fighter had run out of gas and the engine quit. His parachute never opened. His fighter crashed and burned about a mile northwest.

 

HARBOUR, WILLIAM IVAN, First Lieutenant, # 0-702532, USAAF

 

William I. Harbour was born on 25 April 1921 in Texas to David Frank Harbour (1896-1952) and Ala Lillian (Swindell) Rambo nee Harbour (1895-1967). Siblings were David Frank Harbour Jr. (1920-1988), Robert Lee Harbour (1924-1966), and Dr. Jerry Harbour (1927-1998). He was married to Dorothy McKenzie (Morris) Hunt nee Harbour (1921-2003) in 1942 and they had a son, William I. Harbour (1944-2007).

 

He enlisted in the U.S. Navy, # 3560644, Seaman 1st Class, in 5 April 1939 and was a passenger on the U.S.S. Neches to Hawaii and served on the U.S.S. Lexington (CV-2). He registered for the WWII draft on 28 July 1942, resided on Sunrise Hill, Coleman, Texas, and described himself as 6’, 160 lbs, with blond hair and brown eyes. He noted that he had an appendectomy scar. He was commissioned on 26 June 1942 in the USAAF and completed flight instruction through advanced school and was assigned to fly the North American P-51 Mustang. He earned his commission and pilot wings. On 8 March 1945 a P-51K-1NT, # 44-11472, assigned to 14th Air Force, 51st Fighter Group, 16th Fighter Squadron, Laohokow, China, departed the airfield on a fighter sweep mission over the Yangtze region. His fighter was seen to crash and burn and he was killed. Capt. Boyden H. Hale, 0-406112, reported that their flight was returning from a mission. About 25 miles east of Laohokow, 1stLt Harbour’s fighter was about to run out of gas so he called that he was going to belly land in the Yangze. He decided to bail out instead. He did so 8,000’.  His fighter had run out of gas and the engine quit. His parachute never opened. His fighter crashed and burned about a mile northwest. After recovery, his remains were buried in the Coleman City Cemetery, Coleman, Texas.

 

His brother, David F. Harbour Jr., born 21 April 1920, served in the USAAF then the USAF for 23 years, retired a Colonel. He died 27 April 1988 and is buried in the National Memorial of the Pacific, Hawaii (Sec. S, Grave 554-B).

 

His brother, Robert L. Harbour, born 3 April 1924, served in the U.S. Marine Corps, Reserves, Private First Class. He died 10 November 1966 and was buried in the Coleman City Cemetery, Coleman, Texas.

 

His brother, Jerry Harbour, born 24 November 1927, served in the USAF. He died 14 September 1988 and was buried in the Coleman City Cemetery, Coleman, Texas.