Sergeant Roy William “Bill” Woodrow Harmon, US Army, was born on 3 May 1916 in Talala, Oklahoma, raised in Yale, and moved to Pixley, California, in 1939 where he worked on the family farm. He had six brothers and six sisters. He enlisted in the Army on 17 November 1942. His 91st Infantry Division trained for 18 months in the United States and Algeria. On 19 June 1944, the 91st ID arrived in Italy and joined General Mark Clark’s Fifth Army north of Rome.
The 362nd Infantry and SGT Harmon’s first day of WWII combat was 12 July 1944, on which day he was mortally wounded, and awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions. At 0430 a platoon was pinned down by three German machinegun positions concealed in haystacks. SGT Harmon’s squad was ordered to rescue the platoon by neutralizing the enemy. Acting Squad Leader Harmon directed his men to stay in their position saying, “I’m going to see what I can do about this.” Armed with white phosphorous grenades and a submachine gun, Harmon assaulted positions 75, 150, and 250 yards away. He destroyed the first position. While assaulting the second, he was wounded, but destroyed the gun and its occupants. As he approached the third, he was mortally wounded.
Harmon’s citation reads: “But he struggled ahead until within 20 yards of the machinegun nest, where he raised himself to his knees to throw a grenade. He was knocked down by direct enemy fire. With a final magnificent effort, he again arose, hurled the grenade and fell dead. His grenade destroyed the enemy’s third position. Sergeant Harmon's extraordinary heroism, gallantry, and self-sacrifice saved a platoon from being wiped out, and made it possible for his company to advance against powerful enemy resistance. SGT Roy Harmon was awarded the Medal of Honor.” SGT Harmon rests in the Florence (Italy) American Cemetery.