History Moment By William “Doc” Halliday

trumanI never knew Harry Truman who was born in 1896. He was a veteran of World War One, and at the time of his death he was a celebrity. No, I am not speaking of Harry S. Truman,
the thirty-third President of the United States. I am speaking of Harry Randall Truman, the owner of the Spirit Lake Lodge.

Harry R. Truman was born in West Virginia. His family moved to Chehalis, Washington several years later. In August of 1917, Harry joined the United States Army and was assigned to the 100th Aero Squadron which was formed at Kelly Field in Texas. After just two months of indoctrination training, orders were given to the Squadron to move to Mineola Field, in Long Island, New York in anticipation of overseas assignment. At Mineola Field, the men received instruction in the maintenance of the Curtis JN-4 aircraft that was known as the Jenny.

In January of 1918, orders were issued for the squadron to proceed to Liverpool, England by transport on the SS Tuscania. That ship had been launched in September of 1914 as a luxury liner of the Cunard Line. When World War One began she was pressed into service as a troop transport. The ship departed Hoboken, New Jersey with 384 crew members and 2,013 United States Army personnel. At about 6:40 PM local time, the German submarine UB-77 fired two torpedoes at the Tuscania. The second torpedo hit the ship. Within four hours the Tuscania sank in about 330 feet of water in the Irish Sea. Two hundred and ten men lost their lives in the attack and sinking. Harry Truman was not one of them.

After the sinking, the 100th Aero Squadron…


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