DEWITT A. HARRELL, CDR, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Dewitt Harrell '35

Date of birth: October 16, 1912

Date of death: March 5, 1945

Age: 32

Lucky Bag

From the 1935 Lucky Bag:

Loss

Dewitt was lost on March 5, 1945 in a plane crash near NAS Miami, Florida.

He was designated naval aviator #6361 in 1940. He is buried in North Carolina.

Biography

From UNC Alumni Site:

Harrell entered the University from Scotland Neck High School, where he had been selected to receive a scholarship offered by Thomas Alva Edison to young men whom he hoped would carry on his inventive work. He was enrolled at UNC from 1929 until 1931, when he transferred to the U.S. Naval Academy.

While at the academy, he was selected as one of the battalion commanders for the first term of 1933. He also received a fourth stripe [on his sleeve] in recognition of his achievement in winning the highest honor in his class of 600, an award voted on by officers and his classmates. Upon his graduation from the academy, he received a "star" in recognition of his academic and other achievements.

After graduation, Harrell was stationed aboard the battleship California for two years. He continued his education with postgraduate training in aeronautical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He rose to the rank of commander and was head of the assembly and repair department of the Miami Naval Air Station, when he was killed in the crash of his plane near Perry Field on March 5, 1945.

Source:GAA Alumni Records

Career

Dewitt served on USS California until going to Pensacola naval station to become an aviator; he was subsequently assigned to Scouting Squadron 71. He attended the postgraduate program at USNA during 1942-1943 academic year and received a master's degree in Aeronautical Engineering from California Institute of Technology on June 30, 1944.

Dewitt was promoted to LT(jg) on June 6, 1938 and LT on August 1, 1941, then LCDR on May 1, 1943 and then Commander on March 1, 1944.


Class of 1935

Dewitt is one of 56 members of the Class of 1935 in Memorial Hall.