Skip to main content

Harvey David Porter Jr.

S/SGT in 603rd Engineer Camouflage Bn : Co B, 1st Platoon


Born 1920 in TN, Died 1981

County of residence at enlistment: Hamilton County, TN
Other residence(s): Chattanooga, TN; Red Bank, TN; Farmer, TN; Miami, FL; Broomall, PA
United States Army, European Theatre of Operations
Occupation before the war: inspectors, public service, n.e.c.
Notes: Rank changed from CPL to S/SGT per Army newspaper release, July, 1945
Source: 603rd Camouflage Engineer Roster provided by W. Anderson; Company B Names and Addresses roster; photo courtesy Chattanooga Daily Times, November 1, 1942

David Porter was born on July 15, 1920 in Chattanooga, TN. His father was an accountant at a dry cleaner's; his mother worked as a school secretary. Harvey was the older of two sons born to the couple; he also had two older stepbrothers from his mother's first marriage.

He graduated in 1938 from Central High School in Chattanooga where he played on the football team. By 1940, he was living in Red Bank, TN and working as a stock clerk. On June 15, 1941 he married Mary Duncum and they made their home in Red Bank.

David registered for the draft on February 16, 1942. At the time he was living in Farmer, TN and working for the TVA in Knoxville; his wife was living in Chattanooga. He enlisted on September 19, 1942; his occupation was listed in the category of "inspectors, public service."

He joined the 603rd Engineer Camouflage Battalion and saw service in Europe with the unit during the war. A letter, sent from Europe to his parents in October, 1944, contains the following account: "How are things going on now on the Red Bank field? Gosh! How I would like to be back home—I mean several years back. If I were there, I'd probably be on the field for football practice, but I am here, and playing 'first string tackle' on a harder hitting team than most realize. The difference is that when we get practiced up for this 'big game' it is not finished in 48 minutes—and we can't come out because we are tired or out of breath. I'll be home as soon as the 'game' is over—and won't that be swell!"

After coming back to the States, David was able to come home on furlough in July 1945, and was discharged from the Army with the rank of Staff SGT on October 21, 1945.

By 1950 David was living in Miami, and wholesaling televisions; his wife worked as a clerk with the telephone company. They had a daughter, Laura Lynn, born in 1955. They were in Miami through at least 1963; nothing else is known of David's life or work.

David was living in Broomall, PA when he died on November 15, 1981; he is buried at Sts. Peter and Paul Cemetery in Springfield, PA. His wife outlived him by 25 years.


1942 in Chattanooga Daily Times (TN)


1930 census

1940 census

1941 article about his wedding in the Chattanooga Daily Times (TN),0.025224963,0.13922586,0.36004347&xid=3398&_gl=1*uijl7u*_ga*MjAxMDAyNDU5LjE2Nzg4MjM3MjI.*_ga_4QT8FMEX30*MTY3ODg0MjUzNS4zLjEuMTY3ODg0NDU2MS41NS4wLjA.*_ga_B2YGR3SSMB*YTA1NWEyNDgtODc0Yi00ZWUwLWE4ZTktM2U4MDcxMTVlODFkLjY2LjEuMTY3ODg0NDU2Mi41OS4wLjA.&_ga=2.24796218.1677879379.1678823722-201002459.1678823722

1942 draft card

1942 enlistment record

1943 article in the Chattanooga Daily Times (TN); info about his military career

1944 article in the Chattanooga Daily Times (TN) about his time in Europe; quotes from a letter

1945 article in the Chattanooga Daily Times (TN) about his return from Europe (mistakenly refers to him as "Henry")

1950 census

1963 article in the Chattanooga Daily Times (TN); mentions he is in Miami and daughter is Laura

1981 VA death record

1981 Social Security applications and claims index

1981 Social Security death index

1981 Find a Grave record*16nfnr2*_ga*MjAxMDAyNDU5LjE2Nzg4MjM3MjI.*_ga_4QT8FMEX30*MTY3ODkxNjU4Ni41LjEuMTY3ODkxNjc1My4yOC4wLjA.*_ga_B2YGR3SSMB*YTA1NWEyNDgtODc0Yi00ZWUwLWE4ZTktM2U4MDcxMTVlODFkLjY4LjEuMTY3ODkxNjc1NC4yOS4wLjA.

2006 wife's obituary in the Philadelphia Inquirer (PA)

2006 funeral home page re wife's death (clarifies daughter and son-in-law)

Please Support Our Ongoing Efforts

The soldiers of The Ghost Army used inflatable tanks, sound effects, and imagination to fool the Germans on the battlefields of Europe. The Ghost Army Legacy Project is ensuring that these men and their accomplishments are never forgotten.

Give via credit card by clicking the yellow “Donate” button.

Or, send a check to:

Ghost Army Legacy Project
1305 S. Michigan Ave. #1104
Chicago, IL 60605

All donations are tax-deductible!