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Lt/Capt Harry Welsh, Easy Co, 506th PIR


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#1 Dirigoboy

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Posted 28 October 2003 - 09:27 PM

As I sat watching the "Points" episode today it dawned on me how little Harry Welsh is discussed here. Without pouring over old dialogue from the archives I realize that he has been discussed, yet I would have to say it is with infrequency.

I assume that he's still alive? I don't recall seeing him mentioned in obits. If so does he ever correspond with anyone, or attend reunions?

Anyone have an update on him?

#2 appell8

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Posted 28 October 2003 - 09:47 PM

Alan, my understanding is that he died some time ago, and I think that it's in the book. I know that BK is a major Harry Welsh fan, and we can count on her for the final word. Or Larry.

#3 Dirigoboy

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Posted 28 October 2003 - 10:02 PM

Doug, thanks for responding. While doing some web surfing I had stopped by one 506th website that offered a list of vets who had passed away, but I must have missed his name while going down through the list.

I'd like to hear a bit more about Harry and the post-war years.

#4 larrya

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Posted 28 October 2003 - 11:08 PM

I think Doug is right. I'm sure Harry Welsh is gone. But I will check with Winters. (However, if BK sees this before Winters, or rather Ethel, since Dick's knowledge of computers is all but nil, responds to my e-mail, my comments may be superfluous.)

#5 homefront41

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Posted 28 October 2003 - 11:42 PM

How could you not love Harry? Ambrose described his pre-Toccoa life as having been a non-com in Jim's dad's unit, the 504th/82nd. "After jump school, he made sergeant. Three times." Apparently he kept getting busted for fighting. A scrapper with leadership abilities. That sold me, right there. And apparently his company commander. He recognized him for OCS. Afterward, he was assigned to Easy, and Winters' platoon.

The two became lifelong friends and I've long thought that it must have been of endless comfort to each of them that year of combat to know the other was there -- so thoroughly dependable and predictable in the chaos of war. A leader worth following and a trusty lieutenant.

Harry lived to mid-90s. He was among those interviewed extensively for Band of Brothers. There may have been plenty about Harry that Ambrose never got out of him, but the main characteristics and real telling bits of what made Harry who he was, made it into the book to create a thoroughly likeable and admirable guy. And they were translated to the screen beautifully.

He was one of those many Easy men who came home to be a teacher and a school counselor, Ambrose wrote, and eventually an administrator. Another Easy Pennsylvania man, Harry made his home in the Scranton, Wilkes-Barre area, as I understand it.

If Major Winters ever puts word to paper, I will go first to the pages that bear Harry's name. I wrote more about my sense of Harry in one of the episode forums, but I've forgotten now which.* I wish we had a really good photo of Harry. In the meantime, I think Warden captured his essence so well, his face will do.

Harry just makes me smile. BK

* I found it:

Harry became a quick friend of Winters and Iím certain it was because of a shared affinity for the same sense of leadership they both applied, out front and in charge. He was a gutsy scrapper who appeared to know no fear, but had sense enough to respect it. Was it you who mentioned the nice bit with Welsh unable to get his cigarette lit after the Blithe sniper hit? We donít see any of the men witnessing that shaky reaction to the violence. He stands in the copse with his back to the departing men. And gets past it. But when it's all over, he's the guy who can fall asleep where he collapsed in the doorway -- like any cat with nine lives.

Thereís a wider sense in which I appreciate Harryís value to his men but especially to Winters. We have seen how hard it was for Winters to leave leadership of Easy up to others, but Harry was so capable and shared so many of Wintersí values that his very competent presence was, I believe, a source of comfort and support to Winters throughout the winter. Winters and Welsh became lifelong friends as did Winters and Lewis Nixon. All three were still living when Ambrose wrote his book. Sadly both Welsh and Nixon passed away before the film production got going. It must be bittersweet for Winters to experience this past year without his two longtime friends.

Edited by homefront41, 28 October 2003 - 11:52 PM.


#6 appell8

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Posted 28 October 2003 - 11:53 PM

BK, OUTDAMNSTANDING remembrance. I just thumbed through my Ambrose BoB, and came up dry. Thanks for filling in the blanks.

Here's to Harry Welsh, citizen soldier and citizen teacher. My respects to him and to all like him. Damn fine.

PS: BK"s recovered memory is also an excellent portrait of the value added by Harry Welsh.

Excellent, BK. y.o.s., Doug

Edited by appell8, 29 October 2003 - 10:38 AM.


#7 STRIKEHOLD

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Posted 29 October 2003 - 12:31 AM

How could you not love Harry?† Ambrose described his pre-Toccoa life as having been a non-com in Jim's dad's unit, the 504th/82nd.†

BK,

Would you know what Company 504th he came from?

Jim

Edited by homefront41, 30 November 2004 - 08:07 PM.


#8 Dirigoboy

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Posted 29 October 2003 - 06:55 AM

Nicely done all, I hope we'll speak more of him in the ensuing days----dig out rememberences of him by his Easy friends, perhaps post some war/post-war photographs.

He was one of those men in the series that you instantly liked-----the kind of guy you'd get together with for lunch or invite over with the family. Could anyone comment on how close his portrayal in the series mirrored his real life?

#9 hooper117

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Posted 29 October 2003 - 09:24 AM

Damn! I decide to check the boards before getting ready for work. I'm already dragging because of a cold that's getting me down. Now I read Bk's fantastic post on Harry Welsh and all I wanna do is curl back up in bed and watch some BoB and Welsh scenes.
That was such a wonderful post, BK. The lifelong friendships between Winters and Nixon and Winters and Welsh warm my heart. But hurt it at the same time knowing that Nix and Harry weren't there to share the series and the resultant recognition with Winters.
Bittersweet to say the least. :D

Sue

#10 homefront41

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Posted 29 October 2003 - 10:42 AM

I'll tell you, Alan. What I wrote above is about all I've ever been able to glean from any source. There is a guy who might know more but he's a regular clam for no good reason I can fathom. I could have kicked myself for not asking about Harry at the Reunion last year. But I just avoided any conversations about people who were gone. I'll bet the vets would have been happy to talk about Harry. He lived a long and full life with his Kitty.

Harry died in January 1995, before most web archives were established in the smaller newspapers, so I haven't even found an obit. I'll try to find the one reference I've seen posted by someone who lived in the S/W-B area. It might have a bit more flesh on his post-war life.

Edited to add his obituary, posted on www.tircuit.com by ebeth:

Harry Welsh M.S., on Jan. 21,1995. For a period of time he served in the tax collection department of Luzerne County. He then taught at Wilkes-Barre high schools and later became director of pupil services for the Wilkes-Barre Area School district; he retired in 1983. He was a veteran of WWII, having served with the 101st Airborne Division in the Battle of Bastogne, for which he received many decorations, retiring as a lieutenant colonel. He was mentioned in a book, Band of Brothers, about the 101st Airborne Division. Preceded in death by a son, Kevin, Harry is survived by his wife, Catherine "Kitty," two grandchildren and nieces and nephews.

There are a couple of photos at Eagle's Nest that include Harry, but they're so large and distant from the faces, you can barely make out what he looks like. Maybe I'll play around with that one shot where he's lounging in a huge chair, and see if I can blow it up some more. Stay tuned. BK

Edited by homefront41, 29 October 2003 - 10:55 AM.


#11 homefront41

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Posted 29 October 2003 - 11:05 AM

Here you go! Found it.

2BNKaprun45Cap

Posted Image

1st Row (L-R): LT Thomas A. Rhodes; Thomas A. Peacock; CPT Joe F. McMillan; LTC Robert L. Strayer; MAJ Richard D. Winters; CPT Lloyd J. Cox; Harry F. Welsh.

2nd Row (L-R): LT J. P. O'Shaughnessy, Jr.; Robert H. Cowing; Ralph D. Richey; CPT Wayne P. Beardsley; CPT Phillip F. Dean; Tom L. Gibson; John A. Cadmus.

3rd Row (L-R): Francis L. O'Brien; Phillip J. Maher; Jack E. Foley; Robert A. McCutcheon; Bernard F. Staplefeld; William T. Allers; Elliott W. Curry; Adolf Paterson; Lee J. May.

4th Row (L-R): Louis S. Ritter, Jr.; Alexander M. Hamilton; Victor A. Schroeder; Andrew E. Tuck, III; John L. Ghiardi; Robert E. Gage; Edward G. Thomas; John C. Williams; Holland C. Oswald; Donald J. Frary; LT William F. Robertson.

Not in Picture: CPT Ronald C. Speirs; CPT Lewis Nixon; Henry S. Jones; Ralph Cobb; Laird McNeal; Douglas Marshall; John R. Lacey; Edward D. Shames; Robert C. Brussat; Gerald C. McCarthy; Roy P. Gates; John C. Williams; Leonard Jaye.

Attached Files


Edited by homefront41, 17 April 2007 - 12:27 AM.


#12 homefront41

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Posted 29 October 2003 - 11:08 AM

This is Harry, there on the end.

Posted Image

Attached Files


Edited by homefront41, 17 April 2007 - 12:28 AM.


#13 gailfus

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Posted 29 October 2003 - 11:54 AM

Harry Welsh M.S., on Jan. 21,1995. For a period of time he served in the tax collection department of Luzerne County. He then taught at Wilkes-Barre high schools and later became director of pupil services for the Wilkes-Barre Area School district; he retired in 1983. He was a veteran of WWII, having served with the 101st Airborne Division in the Battle of Bastogne, for which he received many decorations, retiring as a lieutenant colonel. He was mentioned in a book, Band of Brothers, about the 101st Airborne Division. Preceded in death by a son, Kevin, Harry is survived by his wife, Catherine "Kitty," two grandchildren and nieces and nephews.

He retired a Lt. Colonel? How long did he stay in the Army? I didn't know he went beyond 1st Lt.!

#14 kat

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Posted 29 October 2003 - 12:43 PM

Wow! Great rememberance of a great man. Thanks, BK!

kat

#15 Sgt_M_Salazar

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Posted 29 October 2003 - 12:53 PM

Ok, Ok, I am still awe-struck with this whole site! I have been a member forever...(yesterday 10/28/03) and can't get enough! All of you here amaze me with all the data you have collected on this, some of America's finest!

On the subject of this post, I love Harry in the book and in the film. My only problem with the film portrayal of him is that he seems so small in the film. I am certain that he was a man of both physical and mental stature. The information displayed here about Harry is fantastic. It gives me such insight into this man and his personality.

Like the others I am sorry that both Nixon and Welsh passed before BoB hit the screen. However, I imagine that everything pales in comparison to have actually lived it and been a member of the "Band." His service to his country is more than admirable. After his service to go to public education, nothing is greater than the heart of a volunteer!




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