Flags to Half-staff Sat. to Honor Recently Identified WWII Pilot

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers signed Executive Order #196 ordering the flags of the United States and the state of Wisconsin to be flown at half-staff on Sat., May 6, 2023, in honor of Army Air Forces First Lieutenant Roy Coulson Harms, who lost his life in World War II and whose remains have been identified and returned to Wisconsin for burial. 

“We are glad to be able to welcome First Lieutenant Roy Coulson Harms home and that he can finally be laid to rest in his home state,” said Gov. Evers. “First Lieutenant Harms gave his life fighting for the values and freedoms we hold dear, and the state will forever remember his courageous service and sacrifice.” 

On Aug. 1, 1943, Army Air Forces First Lieutenant Roy Coulson Harms, a native of Grafton, a pilot of a B-24 bomber in World War II, and a member of the 329th Bombardment Squadron, 93rdBombardment Group, 8th Air Force, was killed by enemy anti-aircraft fire during Operation TIDAL WAVE near Ploesti, Romania. First Lieutenant Harms’ remains were not identified following the war and were buried in the Hero Section of the Civilian and Military Cemetery of Bolovan, Ploesti, Romania, and were later interred at Ardennes American Cemetery in Belgium. In 2017, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency began exhuming unknown remains believed to be associated with Operation TIDAL WAVE for analysis and identification. Thanks to the efforts of his family and the work of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, First Lieutenant Harms’ remains have been positively identified. First Lieutenant Harms was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, and Purple Heart.

Army Air Forces First Lieutenant Roy Coulson Harms will be buried with full military honors in Grafton, on Sat., May 6, 2023.
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