Wednesday, March 21, 2018
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HarryBirthday 003 1U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class, Ivan Aguilar presents a plaque from the Navy Recruiting District, San Antonio, and Navy Recruiting Station, McAllen honoring Harry R. James for his 100-year birthday and an appreciation certificate commemorating his WWII service aboard submarine chaser PC-569.

U.S. Navy veteran, Harry R. James, celebrated his centennial birthday at Snow to Sun RV Resort in Weslaco on Jan. 2.

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class, Ivan Aguilar, and Petty Officer 2nd Class Shauna Allen presented Harry with a memorial plaque and a commemorative certificate of service. Petty Officer Aguilar cited Harry’s service on the submarine chaser PC-569 (USS Petoskey) from 1941 through 1943 and thanked him for his dedicated service.

Harry left a wife and baby at home when he deployed in 1942 from San Francisco to the northern Pacific where his ship patrolled off the coast of Alaska and the Aleutian Islands looking for enemy submarines.

More than 100 Snow to Sun residents, many of them also veterans, were on hand to wish Harry a happy birthday and share cake and ice cream.

Harry is a little hard of hearing, but still very active. He lives by himself now in a small home in Snow to Sun where he spends his time creating beautiful oil paintings and watching TV. Until a few years ago he carved wood sculptures, but “I had to give that up because the dust interfered with my breathing. I’d like to pick it up again, but I have to get a breathing apparatus that will keep the dust out of my face.”

Harry drives from Snow to Sun RV Park to his son’s house at Siesta Village in Weslaco for happy hour every day. “My son doesn’t think I’ll remember to take my pills, so I go over there, take my medicine and we have a happy hour. I drink one scotch and water.”

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