HARRY PALLER, LTCOL, USA

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Harry Paller '38

Date of birth: May 16, 1914

Date of death: February 23, 1945

Age: 30

Lucky Bag

From the 1938 Lucky Bag:

Loss

1938 Paller 1.jpg

Harry was lost when the C-46 transport aircraft he was aboard crashed shortly after taking off from Casablanca on February 23, 1945. Thirteen passengers were killed; seventeen passengers and crew survived.

He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Harry was survived by at least one brother.

His service number was O-023463.

Career

From naval aviation historian Richard Leonard via email on February 9, 2018:

From US Army Registers 1942-1945:
1942 Register:

  • (023463). B-Pa 16 May 14. B. S., U. S. N. A., 38. A. B. in Chem., Waynesboro Coll., 39.
  • 2 Lt. Inf - Res. 26 Sept. 38; accepted 1 Nov. 38; active duty 8 July 39 to 30 June 40; 1 Lt A.U.S. 10 Oct. 41; accepted 18 Oct. 41. -- 2 Lt. of Inf. 1 July l40; accepted 1 July 40; Ord, Dept. 28 July 41.

1943 Register:

  • 2 Lt. Inf - Res. 26 Sept. 38; accepted 1 Nov. 38; active duty 8 July 39 to 30 June 40; 1 Lt A.U.S. 10 Oct. 41; accepted 18 Oct. 41. Capt. A.U.S 1 Feb 42 -- 2 Lt. of Inf. 1 July 40; accepted 1 July 40; Ord, Dept. 28 July 41.

1944 Register:

  • 2 Lt. Inf - Res. 26 Sept. 38; accepted 1 Nov. 38; active duty 8 July 39 to 30 June 40; 1 Lt A.U.S. 10 Oct. 41; accepted 18 Oct. 41. capt A.U.S 1 Feb 42; maj. A.U.S 1 Dec 1942; lt. col. A.U.S 3 Oct 43 -- 2 Lt. of Inf. 1 July 40; accepted 1 July 40; Ord, Dept. 28 July 41; 1 lt 1 July 43.

1945 Register

  • 2 Lt. Inf - Res. 26 Sept. 38; accepted 1 Nov. 38; active duty 8 July 39 to 30 June 40; 1 Lt A.U.S. 10 Oct. 41; accepted 18 Oct. 41. capt A.U.S 1 Feb 42; maj. A.U.S 1 Dec 1942; lt. col. A.U.S 3 Oct 43 -- 2 Lt. of Inf. 1 July 40; accepted 1 July 40; Ord, Dept. 28 July 41; 1 lt 1 July 43; trfd Ord. Dept. 8 Dec 44.

1946 Register (a one line entry in the active duty casualties section)

  • Lt. Col. Harry Paller, Ordnance Department, 23 February 1945, in French Morocco.


Translating all that (I happen to speak “Old Army” or at least enough to get by):

After graduating in 1938 it appears that Paller did not get a USN commission, probably another one caught in the vision rules. So, Pennsylvania native, he went off to Waynesboro College and earned a degree in chemistry in 1939. In the meantime, he signs up for the Army Reserve and is offered a commission as a 2 Lt, Infantry, USAR on 26 Sep 1938. He accepts the commission on 1 Nov 1938 – my suspicion on the delay was the negotiation to allow him to finish his chemistry degree at Waynesboro. He is called to active duty as a reservist on 8 July 1939, serving until 30 Jun 1940. On 1 Jul 1940 he is offered a regular commission, 2 Lt Infantry USA, which he accepts the same day and is detailed to the Ordnance Department on 28 July 1940, no doubt by virtue of his chemistry degree. On 10 Oct 1941 he is offered a commission in the Army of the United States (AUS) as 1 Lt and accepts same on 18 Oct 1941. In his case, as a regular officer this is not unlike the rapid promotions in the Navy of the period and subsequent war years. He is a 1 Lt AUS and retains his 2 Lt USA permanent rank. On 1 Feb 1942 he is promoted to Captain, AUS (still a 2 LT USA permanent rank). On 1 Dec 1942 he is promoted to Major AUS, and on 3 Oct 1943 to Lieutenant Colonel, AUS. On the regular army side, his permanent rank changes to 1 Lt with his promotion to same on 1 July 1943. He’s still branched Infantry, but detailed to the Ordnance Dept. On 8 Dec 1944 his basic branch changes from Infantry to Ordnance; his permanent status is 1 Lt., USA, Ordnance; his temporary status is Lt. Col. AUS, Ordnance. Paller is killed in French Morocco 23 Feb 1945.


Class of 1938

Harry is one of 69 members of the Class of 1938 in Memorial Hall.