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William Harrison; Korea War Negotiator

May 30, 1987|From Times Wire Services

PHILADELPHIA — Funeral services were held Friday for retired Lt. Gen. William Harrison Jr., a veteran of both world wars who late in his career headed the United Nations armistice team in Korea.

Harrison, 91, a direct descendant of President William Henry Harrison, died Monday in Bryn Mawr, a Philadelphia suburb. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery after memorial services at nearby Ft. Myer.

Harrison graduated from West Point in 1917 and commissioned a second lieutenant in the cavalry and sent to France toward the end of World War I. He had a tour of duty in the Philippines before becoming commander of the Army General Staff School at Ft. Leavenworth, Kan.

In World War II Harrison was assistant commander of the 30th Infantry Division where he became noted for showing up at the front to lead his troops with a submachine gun in his hand. He received the Purple Heart for a wound received during fighting in France and the Silver Star and Bronze Star for his actions in other battles.

A Baptist lay preacher, he was a nonsmoker, nondrinker and one who frowned on cursing.

After the war, Harrison served under Gen. Douglas MacArthur in Japan and in December, 1951, became deputy commander of the 8th Army in Korea.

In 1952, he was named by Gen. Mark Clark to head the U.N. team negotiating an armistice at Panmunjom, Korea, where he was known as a blunt-speaking, taciturn and tough negotiator.

Before retiring in 1957 he was made commander in chief of U.S. forces in the Caribbean. He later served for two years as executive director of the Evangelical Welfare Agency in Chicago.

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