P.F.C. Harry Orson Grey, C Co. 1st Corps Medium Tank Battalion
From the South Dakota WWII Memorial website:
Harry Grey was born on July 13, 1922, at Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to Irvin and Sarah Grey. He had three brothers and a sister. Harry graduated from Washington High School in 1939 and was a former Argus-Leader carrier. Before he entered the service, Harry worked at Morrell’s.
Harry joined the Marine Corps on November 10, 1942. Grey was in the 1069th platoon in boot camp and was trained in tank maneuvers at Tank School. He was sent to the South Pacific on July 16, 1943. Marine Private First Class Harry Grey was killed in action on Tarawa on November 20, 1943.
According to author Martin Russ, Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Islands of the South Pacific was a heavily fortified holding of the Japanese, one in which about 5,000 Japanese soldiers were stationed. A Japanese commandant is said to have bragged: “A million men cannot take Tarawa in a hundred years.” As it turned out, about 5,500 Marines were able to defeat the Japanese at Tarawa in just three days, thus becoming the “first major American thrust into the heart of the Japanese Empire.”
Pfc. Harry Grey, USMC, was issued several citations and awards during his service.
This entry was respectfully submitted by Merrick W. Golz, 8th Grade West, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota, November 22, 2000 and updated 2002. Information for this entry was provide by Mary Carey of Sioux Falls, SD, a newspaper clipping, and an application for a South Dakota veteran’s bonus payment.
Thanks to the students of South Dakota for their hard work on the South Dakota WWII Memorial website which has been reproduced here on T.O.T.W.
copyright 2003 T.O.T.W.
Created 22 December 2002 - Updated 7 December 2010