Earl L. Hardison and Harold W. Hardison entered the US Army in April 1942. We volunteered for US Army Air Force and we both sign up at the same time. We were sent to St. Petersburg, Florida for basic training. When we started training, we talked about the fact that we were our parents’ only children, and that if something happened with us in the same outfit, we could both be killed. So we talked with our CO, and we separated. Earl was put in a B25 squadron as an engineer and I stayed in B24’s. After training we were sent to the Pacific. His outfit ended up on one island and I wound up on another. As the U. S. pushed the Japanese nearer to the homeland, Earl was in the Philippines at Clark Field. Their target was a little island called Negras that had a small Japanese airstrip. Earl’s squadron bombed the field and came back strafing it. One of his engines was hit and his plane plowed into a mountain on January 1 1945. After that, my outfit was sent to Okinawa, and soon after, his outfit came to Okinawa too. I talked with a fellow who had been on the same mission and flying on Earl’s wing. He said that Earl’s plane, with the engine out, did not have the power to clear the mountain.
Except the time in training in Florida and Texas, all my time was spent in the Pacific on various islands as a gunner and dispatcher (and a lot of other jobs). I was discharged on March,1945
Note: The above account was submitted by former State Senator Harold W. Hardison in summer of 2007.
Former State Senator Harold W. Hardison, 92, a life-long resident of Deep Run, North Carolina, passed away Wednesday, September 9, 2015. He was a United States Air Force veteran from 1942 – 1946 and during that time served in the Pacific during World War II. He was also a Mason in the Pleasant Hill Masonic Lodge No. 304 and a Shriner. Never afraid to work hard, he was involved in a number of family businesses and civic enterprises before turning his interests to serving the people of North Carolina. Locally, he was the Founder and President of the Humphrey-Hardison Oil Company, charter member and co-founder of Deep Run Volunteer Fire Department, and organizer of Deep Run Water Corporation. In his later years, he enjoyed a long career with Neil Medical Group.
His public service began when he was elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives in 1971. In 1973, he was elected to the North Carolina Senate where he served the people of our state for eight terms. Senator Hardison’s ability to work with many others to achieve common good was legendary. He served as Chairman or member of over 90 committees, boards and commissions during his Legislative tenure. Senator Hardison’s most notable accomplishment was serving as Chairman of the North Carolina Senate Appropriations Committee from 1977-1984. He was also the Chairman of the Banking Committee, Commerce Committee, and Advisory Budget Committee. Senator Hardison’s imprint is all over North Carolina to this day.
He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, who dearly loved his church, his family and his friends. Surviving are the love of his life, his wife of 71 years, Arlene Humphrey Hardison of the home; one daughter, Pamela Braxton and husband, Johnnie, of Deep Run; one grandson, John Braxton and his wife, Laurie, of Virginia Water, Surry, UK, and his great-grandchildren, Sophia and Elin. He was predeceased by his parents, Rutha and Annie Hardison, and his brother, Earl Hardison.