Every week, Kiss Country is making a special point to thank all those incredible men and women who have served our great country! We appreciate the sacrifices made by service personnel and their families, this week we salute JR Hardin who served in the USAF. Read his story and show your support!

 

JR is on the top row on the left next to the last man standing by the bumper.

 

My great uncle SSGT James R Hardin (JR) joined the Air Force to serve our country in WWII. James Hardin was shot down and lost over the English Channel during World War II and his tombstone in an English cemetery was only a cross marking an empty grave.
A phone call from researchers investigating the crash of his B-24 bomber(the repulser) on April 22, 1944 not only rewrote our family history, but told our relatives that a small town in Suffolk plans to honor Hardin and his fallen crew members with a stone monument on the 66th anniversary of the tragedy. The family thought that my uncle was shot down over the English Channel and never recovered. We thought that the cross erected in a cemetery in Cambridge, which a couple family members had visited, was just a marker…no remains. We now know that this is not the case.

Townspeople still alive who witnessed the crash and who have commemorated the date each year, also invited all surviving family members of the bomber crew to attend the monument’s unveiling.

It brought our family great honor and sadness especially my grandfather to relive that part of his life, he lost his older brother. James never got to say goodbye and neither did our family. We were surprised when we later found there had been a book written about not only James, but the entire crew and the witness of that night. The book is called The Night Of The Intruders. We saluted James on April 22nd and even read about him in the book. He is deeply missed.

The picture I provided is of the crew shot down. JR is the top row on the left next to the last man standing by the bumper. --Sarah Foster

Salute Your Service Member!