Alfonso Laurell Harris
March 26, 1926 – DOD
Class: 45-G-SE
Graduation date: 10/16/1945
Rank at time of graduation: Flt. Officer
Service # T70548
From: Dallas TX

Alfonso Laurell Harris was born March 26, 1926 at old Parkland Hospital a few miles from his home.  He was a good student and entered Booker T. Washington High School at age 11, allowing him to graduate when he was just 15.  He he later moved to the Northwest and began working as an aircraft engine inspector in Ogden, Utah.  On July 14, 1944 he enlisted in the US Army, shortly after his 18th birthday at nearby Fort Douglas, Utah.  As it did for hundreds of thousands of others, the terms of his enlistment read “Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law.”

He was selected shortly thereafter to enter the Second Tuskegee Experiment at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama as a candidate in the Army Air Corps’ Aviation Cadet Program.  He graduated with Class 45-G, having qualified as a single engine Fighter Pilot and went on to serve with honor in World War II.

Following the war, he worked in electronic technology culminating in becoming a Technical Director in Los Angeles, California television broadcasting market. Ultimately, Harris pursued an academic effort as a physics major by matriculating at the University of California at Los Angeles where he earned his B.S. degree in physics in 1966. He was employed by National Cash Register’s Engineering Division in San Diego, California for some thirty years as a physicist/engineer wherein scientific articles were authored and published. After retirement, Harris’ community volunteer efforts include tutoring students in mathematics, and library patrons in Internet usage. The pedantic urge still persists and he serves as a ready, able, and compassionate non-credentialed teacher. As a believer in the American ideal of equality, real instead of virtual, Harris offers a solution that is evidenced primarily at American military bases.

Since his retirement, he has been actively involved in community service, tutoring and doing public speaking.

Sources:
Fresh Fiction
Texas History Notebook
Wikimedia Commons
Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force Historical Research Agency, Maxwell AFB, Alabama

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