Charles Cleo Harmon

August 5, 1916 - May 30, 2016
U.S. Armed Forces Veteran
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Charles Cleo Harmon was born August 5, 1916 on the family farm three miles east of Alfalfa, Oklahoma. His parents were Arthur Lewis and Lola May (Luper) Harmon. Charles passed away on May 30, 2016 at his home in Norman, Oklahoma.
Charles was raised in the Alfalfa community until 1922 when his family moved to Loco, Oklahoma. He lived here until his Mother’s passing on January 1, 1923. Charles and his siblings lived with his Grandparents (Jesse & Nancy Harmon) in Carnegie, OK until 1926. His father, Arthur remarried and moved the family to Augusta, Kansas. Charles was not happy so he went to live with his Aunt Maude and Uncle Arthur Rudolph in Carnegie, Oklahoma. In 1939, Charles started working at the Crain Ford dealership as a salesman. He also worked at the tag agency.
In April of 1941, Charles was drafted into the army. He was sent to Ft. Knox, Kentucky for basic training in the tank division. After basic, he was sent to Camp Polk, Louisiana. At Camp Polk, he was assigned to the 192nd division tank corps C Company, 125 men including Charles were reassigned to a National Guard unit headed to fortify the Philippines. His new unit was the 753rd tank battalion. He arrived in the Philippines on November 20, 1941 and was stationed at Ft. Stotseburg. On December 22, 1941 the Japanese bombed Clarks Field in the Philippines. After this bombing the American’s mission was to hold the Philippines at all cost. Charles’s unit had the first tank-to-tank battle of World War II. The Americans were able to hold off the Japanese for 120 days before they had to surrender. Charles became a prisoner of war in the Philippines. He was forced to walk about 175 miles in the Bataan Death March. He was held captive in the Philippines where he was on a work detail for seven months. In the spring of 1943, Charles and the other soldiers were sent to Niigata, Japan where they were held captive until the end of the war. While in Japan, Charles was forced to work in the Shintetsu Iron Foundry where he weighed iron and put it in the blast furnaces.
At the end of the war Charles was very sick. He was sent to Bruns General Hospital in Santa Fe, New Mexico to recuperate. While recovering at Bruns, Charles met his future wife Mary Ann Huelsmann. Charles and Mary Ann were married in Shawnee, Oklahoma on October 9, 1946. After their marriage the couple lived in Shawnee where Charles worked for ABC Sales Company as a salesman. In 1948 they moved to Norman, Oklahoma. Charles made his living selling cars at different dealerships in Chickasha and Norman. In the 1950’s he opened his own car lot in Del City. He later moved his business to Western Street in Oklahoma City. Charles retired from the automobile business in 1998. After retirement Charles was very active in the American Ex-Prisoner of War Organization. He was the Commander of the Central Oklahoma Chapter of this organization for twelve years. Charles received numerous medals for his service during the war.
Charles wife, Mary Ann passed away 21 May 1990. On May 11, 2006 Charles married Huiging (Jean) Ying in Wuhan, Hubei Provence, China. Charles and Jean made their home in Norman, Oklahoma.
Charles was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Mary Ann, two brothers Arthur Harmon and twin brother Earl Leo Harmon, two sisters Annie Harmon and Dortha Harmon Evans, and one niece Lois Earlene Harmon Holland. He is survived by his wife Jean Harmon of the home and nephew Jimmy Fox and wife Judy of Wimberley, Texas.

Graveside Service: 2:00pm Thursday, June 2, 2016
Carnegie Cemetery, Carnegie, OK
Under the Direction of Ray and Martha's Funeral Home, Carnegie, OK

Service Information

Date: June 2, 2016
Time: 2:00 pm

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Oak park, IL
To Charles family and friends:
I extend my condolences to for your loss. Being a minister, I reflect on what Almighty God promises at Isaiah chap 25 verse 8, where he say one day "he'll swallow up death forever and remove the tears from all faces." A promise to be realized when Gods Kingdom rules this earth as it does heaven. So even though Charles almost lived to be a centenarian, one day humans will live forever on a paradise earth in perfect health. So until that wonderful time, pray for Gods Kingdom to Come.  I've already offered a pray in his behave
Craig Farrow
Shawnee, OK
Uncle Charles, I honor your service and your memory. From one tanker to another.  I'll see you later.
Richard A. McMahon, Jr., President, Maywood (IL) Bataan Day Organization (MBDO)
Maywood, IL
On behalf of MBDO, our condolences to the Family. Annually, we honor the Heroes of the 192nd Tank Battalion. Next year will be the 75th Anniversary of the Fall of Bataan and the 75th Anniversary of the first Bataan Day in Maywood. Our Memorial Service will be Sunday, September 10, 2017. We would like to contact the Family. Please email me at [email protected] Our website is
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