Harry B. Wassell was born on July 18,1916 in Westpoint, PA to parents Frank Lloyd Wassell and Mary Wassell. He had three brothers Charles, Frank and George and two sisters Betty and Patricia. Harry attended Radnor High School, in Westport, Ct. He was a member of the Debating Club and the French Club and played football and track and graduated in 1935.
His family moved to Rye in 1936 and were members of the Presbyterian Church and they lived on Grace Church Street. Harry planned to attend the University of Pennsylvania, but instead went to the University of Michigan.
During his time at College Harry made Rye his home and his four younger sibling were attending Rye schools. At Michigan, he joined the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. He graduated from Michigan in 1939 with a civil engineering degree. Harry served as an officer in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II.
On March 10, 1942, three years after he graduated from Michigan, Harry Wassell enlisted in the U. S. Army Air Corps in Fairfield, CT. He was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant and he was assigned to the Air Transport Command, 2nd Ferrying Group, 63rd Ferrying Squadron and transported planes to the United Kingdom for support of the 8th Air Force.
The North Atlantic air ferry route was a series of Air Routes over the North Atlantic Ocean on which aircraft were ferried from the United States and Canada to Great Britain during World War II to support combat operations in the European Theater of Operations (ETO).
The route was developed as one of four major routes along which United States aircraft were ferried to the major combat areas. It originated at several Army Air Bases, which permitted short range single-engined aircraft to be flown to Britain using a series of intermediate airfields in Newfoundland, Labrador, Greenland and Iceland.
The 63rd Ferrying Squadron transported planes from the Martin plant at Baltimore; the Fairchild factory at Hagerstown, Maryland; Piper plant at Lock Haven, Pennsylvania and the Grumman and Republic plants on Long Island. They received aircraft at these factories of origin and ferried them to the overseas units to which they were assigned.
Sadly, Lt. Harry Wassell was killed in an airplane accident on 10 July 1943 flying on
Martin B26 Marauder, serial # 41-35189 on a ferry flight from Baltimore to UK, and crashed near Meeks Field, Iceland.
This was the second tragedy in the Wassell family. Harrys brother, Frank Lloyd Wassell, Jr. , better known as Bud, was killed in an airplane crash in Avon Park, Fla. , in March, 1943.
At the time of his death another brother, Charles, was in California with the Air Force. George, the youngest, had just completed his pre-flight training at Maxwell Field, Ala. Lieut. Wassell, besides his parents and brothers, was survived by a wife and an infant daughter, and his two sisters.
★ World War II Victory Medal★ American Campaign Medal★ Army Presidential Unit Citation★ Army Good Conduct Medal