Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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32541005   Private Francis Harbison
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Dated added: 19/02/2016   Last updated: 27/06/2020
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 7th Infantry Regiment, US Army (United States Army)
Date Of Birth: 16/02/1909
Died: 16/10/1943 (Killed in Action)
Age: 34
Summary      
Francis Harbison was the eldest son of Henry and Alice Harbison. He was born on 16th February 1909. He was the oldest of twelve children, all born in Ballyronan area. Henry Harbison was a farmer. Frank Harbison emigrated to the United States around 1929. He found employment with the Western Union Telegraph Company in New York. Frank enlisted in Pennsylvania shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbour. Private (First Class) Francis Harbison was serving with the 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, when he was killed in action on 16th October 1943 in Italy.
Private Francis Harbison
Further Information
Francis Harbison was the eldest son of Henry and Alice Harbison. Henry Harbison and Alice Kathleen Monaghan were married on 24th November 1908 in the district of Cookstown.
Francis Harbison was born on 16th February 1909. He was the oldest of twelve children, all born in the Loup / Ballyronan area.
The 1911 census lists Francis as age 2, living with the family at house 19 in Ballyneil More, The Loop, County Londonderry. Henry Harbison was a farmer.
Known family: Henry Harbison, Alice Kathleen Harbison, Francis Harbison (born 16th February 1909), Mary Rose Harbison (born 13th May 1910), Henry Harbison (born 25th August 1911), Charles Harbison (born 4th April 1913), Alice Harbison (born 24th April 1915), Patrick Harbison (born 2nd April 1917), Edward Harbison (born 26th June 1918), Thomas Harbison (born 14th February 1920).
Frank Harbison emigrated to the United States around 1929. He found employment with the Western Union Telegraph Company in New York.
Frank Harbison enlisted in Pennsylvania with the U.S. Army shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbour in December 1941. Frank is believed to have been living in Huntingdon County at the time.
Private Francis Harbison served in northern Africa initially.
Private (First Class) Francis Harbison was serving with the 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, when he was killed in action on 16th October 1943 in Italy.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 1st January 1944: Moneymore
Mrs Alice Harbinson, of Ballyneal, has been informed by the War Department at Washington that her son, P.F.C. Frank Harbinson, of the U.S. Army, was killed in action on 16th October 1944 in Italy.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 1st January 1944: Loup Soldier’s Posthumous Honour
A posthumous award of the Order of the Purple Heart has been made to Mrs Alice Kathleen Harbinson of Loup, on behalf of her American soldier son, Private First Class Francis Harbison, who was killed in action on the Italian front on 18th October 1943. The decoration was presented by Lieutenant Colonel Cowlan of New Haven, in a simple ceremony which took place in the room where Francis Harbison was born. Witnesses were Major O H Kaberle, Waterloo, Iowa, and Chaplain (Captain) John W McLeod, Arcadia, Florida. Colonel Cowlan told the mother:-
‘The loss of a loved one cannot be compensated for by pretty words, but as a token of the high esteem in which every American must hold your son, I present you with this medal.’
Mrs Harbinson is the widowed mother of twelve children. She spoke of her son leaving Ulster fifteen years ago, and how he found employment with the Western Union Telegraph Company in New York. Francis Harbinson, who was 34, entered the Army shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbour, and served with distinction in Africa and Sicily before receiving the wounds which caused his death. Mrs Harbinson will receive a pension and a considerable sum of money for life insurance for which her soldier son had provided.
Private Frank Harbison is buried in Florence American Cemetery, Italy.
Private Frank Harbison was awarded the Purple Heart.
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Relevant Magherafelt Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Ballyneel More Ballymaguigan Census listing in Ballyneel More 54.705291 -6.566693
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1911 census lists Harbison family Lists Francis as age 2 living with the family at house 19 in Ballyneil More, The Loop, Londonderry
2 American Battle Monuments Commission Details of where Private Frank Harbison is buried
3 Cookstown War Dead Also on Cookstown War Dead
4 FindAGrave.com NO Photo of grave
5 HonorStates.org Limited details of Private Frank Harbison
6 Huntingdon County PA Private Frank Harbison, Huntingdon County PA
Magherafelt District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2014-2021