Obituary, Harry George Smeltzer

Harry Smeltzer 2Harry Smeltzer 1

Harry George Smeltzer died Sept. 20, 2014, at VAMC, Prescott. He was born March 23, 1923, in Manor, Pa., to Harry and Madelyn Smeltzer

Harry served in the U.S. Navy during World War II on the USS Franklin CV-13. The ship was attacked by Japanese kamikazes on March 19, 1945, losing over 900 crew members. Harry was wounded and awarded a Purple Heart. He is the Arizona representative for the WWII Monument in Washington, D.C.

June 26, 1949, Harry married Gertrude Mary Hickey. They spent most of their life in Michigan City, Ind. retiring to Prescott, Ariz., in 2000.

He is survived by his wife; children, Carolyn, Mary (Charlie), Jim; two sisters, Marilyn and Gerry.

The family extends their greatest appreciation and thanks to the VAMC in Prescott for taking care of Harry in his final years.

Visitation is from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014, followed by a Memorial Mass at the VA Chapel, 500 N. Highway 89, with full military honors at the Prescott National Cemetery at 11 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you simply help a veteran whenever possible.

You are invited to log onto ruffnerwakelin.com to sign Harry’s guestbook and share a memory with the family.

Information provided by survivors.

March 23, 1923 – September 20, 2014
USS Franklin CV 13 Proud plank owner, “Big Ben the Ship that Would Not Die”
Purple Heart Recipient, Representative for the state of Arizona for the WW 2 Monument and Steeler Fan

Born in Pennsylvania to Harry George and Madelyn on March 23, 1923. He grew up in Irwin Pennsylvania with his two sisters, Marilyn and Gerry. He served in the US Navy on the USS Franklin CV 13 during WW ll. He honored his shipmates’ everyday and was proud to be of service to his country. He had many stories of the Franklin and shared them with the fellow VA patients and staff as well as the government and his family.

He married Gertrude Mary Hickey Smeltzer on June 26th, 1949. They were married for 65 years. They have three children, Carolyn, Jimmy and Mary (Charles Buckner). For his children he said he wanted them to have respect for the country and be responsible. He said he achieved that with all three. He was, besides his family, very sincere about other three importantaspects of his life, Pennsylvania, the Pittsburg Steelers and the USS Franklin, CV 13.

His favorite song was: Allegheny Moon

Composer: Al Hoffman / Dick Manning

Allegheny Moon, I need your light
To help me find romance tonight
So shine … shine … shine

Allegheny Moon, your silver beams
Can lead the way to golden dreams
So shine … shine … shine

High among the stars, so bright above
The magic of your lamp of love
Can make him mine

Allegheny Moon, it’s up to you
Please see what you can do
For me … and for my one and only love

(Shine … shine … shine on tonight)
(Shine … shine … shine)

High among the stars, so bright above
The magic of your lamp of love
Can make him mine

Allegheny Moon, it’s up to you
Please see what you can do
For me, and for my one and only love

For me, and for my one and only love
(Shine … shine … shine on tonight)
His favorite Team the Steelers:

His favorite Ship was of course, the Franklin:He was extremely proud and honored to be the selected the veteran of WW11 to represent Arizona at the WW11 Monument. He was quoted in the book Inferno, There were two huge explosions and from time to time a rocket would fly…I was not afraid…though I prayed. “I prayed let me see my next birthday,” which was just three days away. I didn’t think I had three hours—let alone three days.”

The Supreme Commander called them home to sail the crystal sea,
Where they will steer with steady hand thought out eternity.
No longer will the high sea roll,
The skies will be clear and every day will be a day of happiness and cheer,
No storm shall cross their valiant prow and calm will be the sea,
In that bright place where all is well and kindly is the breeze,
They are at peace with our shipmates who have gone before.

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