DON R HARGER

DON R HARGER - WO

  • HOMETOWN:
  • brick
  • COUNTY:
  • Ocean
  • DATE OF BIRTH:
  • February 13, 1939
  • DATE OF CASUALTY:
  • August 17, 1967
  • BRANCH OF SERVICE:
  • Army
  • RANK:
  • WO
  • STATUS:
  • KIA
  • COUNTRY:
  • South Vietnam

Biography


Don R. Harger was born on February 13, 1939, to Herman and Ada Harger. He had three brothers, Harold, Wayne and Herman. He grew up in Truro, IA, and graduated from Truro High School in 1957.

Harger and his wife were married in 1963. The daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Carl Frick, of Freehold, she was a 1961 graduate of Freehold Regional High School.

Don and his wife, Diane, resided on Roosevelt Drive, Brick, NJ, and previously lived in Manasquan, NJ. The couple had two children, Don R. Jr., who was one when his father was killed, and one-year old, Frank. The younger child died of leukemia in 1971.

Harger had 10 years of US Army service to his credit when he began his tour of duty in Vietnam on July 31, 1967. He was a new Warrant Officer (WO) and was qualified to fly fixed wing planes. Harger was stationed at Lakehurst Naval Air Station for three years prior to 1966. Most of his work related to aircraft. He was qualified and then entered Warrant Officer School with training at Fort Stewart, GA, and Fort Rucker, AL.

Harger was listed as a crewmember of an aircraft that was downed over land while returning to base at Pielku, South Vietnam, on August 17, 1967. He had been in the war zone for just three weeks. It was another month before his remains were recovered and returned home. He was 28.

His widow had first been notified that her husband was listed as missing in action while serving as co-pilot of a small spotter plane that failed to return to base. In a story confirming his death, published in the Asbury Park Press on September 15, 1967, Mrs. Harger said she was not told if the plane crashed, only that it was flying on a low-level pattern.

Contrary to some military records indicating he was in a helicopter crash, she says now his training was only in fixed wing planes.

Awards for service to his country would be presented posthumously, with Don Harger's oldest son and namesake accepting his father's medals.

He was buried with full military honors in Maplewood Cemetery, Freehold, NJ.

Sources: Diane Harger (widow) and NJVVMF, VVMF.


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