Skip to main content

William James Harney Jr.

T/5 in Signal Co, Special : Radio B

Military occupational specialty: 776 (radio operator, low speed)


Born 1923 in NJ, Died 2003

County of enlistment: Baltimore, MD
Other residence(s): Roseland, NJ; Baltimore, MD; Pasadena, CA; Arcadia, CA; Hemet, CA
United States Army, European Theatre of Operations
College education after the war: West Coast Univ.
Source: Unit Shipment 10143-D, 23d HQ, from le Havre 23 June 1945;

Bill Harney was born on August 5, 1923 in West New York, NJ, the second of twelve children. His father was a newspaper salesman, and later an auto salesman. In 1930 the family was living in Roseland, NJ, and by 1940 they had moved to Baltimore, MD.

Bill registered for the draft on June 30, 1942. At the time he was living with his family and not employed. He enlisted less than six weeks later, on August 7, 1942, and was eventually assigned to the Signal Company Special as a radio operator. He saw service in Europe with the unit, and was discharged on October 21, 1945 with the rank of T/5.

A few years after the war, Bill married Donna Lee Zimmerman and they settled in southern California. Bill used his GI Bill benefits to attend college, graduating from West Coast University in 1954. Bill and Donna became the parents of four children: Janet, Bill III, Terri, and Leanne.

He worked as an aeronautical engineer at Hughes Aircraft and the TRW Space and Defense Sector, and later as a consultant at Raytheon in Redondo Beach.  The family lived in Pasadena and later in Arcadia, CA.

Bill was active in his free time—involved with boating, sailing, tennis, and golf. In retirement, he and his wife moved to Hemet, CA.

Bill died on November 1, 2003 and is buried at Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, CA.


1923 New Jersey birth index

1930 census

1940 census

1942 draft card

1942 enlistment record

1951 Pasadena city directory

1958 Los Angeles county voter registration record

1993 US public records index

2002 US phone and address directories

2003 Find a Grave record*3y8boe*_gcl_aw*R0NMLjE3MTIwNzA0ODkuQ2owS0NRancyYTZ3QmhDVkFSSXNBQlBlSDFzUDNGQVg4UzRNYzNtQnhEZ3ZsRlItUWNSVVJscUF5S3hxUnFJWkltdTdfdFJyczJYZ0hfa2FBZ1M3RUFMd193Y0I.*_gcl_dc*R0NMLjE3MTIwNzA0ODkuQ2owS0NRancyYTZ3QmhDVkFSSXNBQlBlSDFzUDNGQVg4UzRNYzNtQnhEZ3ZsRlItUWNSVVJscUF5S3hxUnFJWkltdTdfdFJyczJYZ0hfa2FBZ1M3RUFMd193Y0I.*_gcl_au*Nzk1ODc1Njg3LjE3MTEyMjY3ODM.*_ga*MTkwMTcxOTc5LjE3MTEyMjY3ODQ.*_ga_4QT8FMEX30*YWFiYjA4YWYtYzY1YS00MTU2LThhZTEtYmY2MDgxY2NkOGE2LjI2LjEuMTcxMjU5MDc1Ni4xNi4wLjA.*_ga_LMK6K2LSJH*YWFiYjA4YWYtYzY1YS00MTU2LThhZTEtYmY2MDgxY2NkOGE2LjQxLjEuMTcxMjU5MDc1Ni4wLjAuMA..

2003 Social Security applications and claims index

2003 VA death record

2003 obituary in the Ventura County Star (CA)

2024 (March 15) GALP Veteran Biography Worksheet from son William J. Harney III

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!