Cpl. Fred Harless Cited For Bravery
Seng Creek, March 14 – Mr. and Mrs. Fred Harless, of Seng Creek, have just received word that their son, Cpl. Fred Vernor Harless, recorder for Battery C., 30th F.A. Battalion, displayed unusual bravery and quick thinking during the recent exercise Leap Year in Erlangen, Germany.
Cpl. Harless, who is in the U. S. Army in Germany, was near a combat-loaded tank when it went out of control on an icy road, struck two trees, slid across the road onto a bridge then off into a 15-foot ditch, overturning and trapping the crew inside.
When some other soldiers yelled that the tank had overturned and was on fire Harless ran to see what could be done. Seeing the fire he ran back to a truck and grabbed the fire extinguisher.
Soldiers stopped Harless when he returned to the scene saying the tank was loaded with shells but Harless broke away and began trying to put the fire out. Before he could open the escape hatch of the tank the fire gained new fury. He finally succeeded in extinguish it and managed to get the escape hatch open allowing the crew to escape.
Cpl. Harless’ display of bravery beyond the call of duty to release the tank crew when the ammunition might have exploded gained the everlasting thanks of the tank crew. Every member of his battalion is also proud of his action in saving both human lives and valuable equipment.
Cpl. Fred Harless Cited For Bravery, Beckley Post-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia, 15 March 1952, p. 9, column 1.