461st plaque

461st Bombardment Group (H)

Harvey A. Stevens

Harvey Arthur Stevens, born 24 September 1921 in Norwich, New York graduated from Mt. Upton (NY) High School in 1939, attended Springfield College, Springfield, MA in fall 1940.

Harvey Stevens enlisted into the U.S. Army Air Corps and entered active duty in Atlantic City, NJ on 25 February 1943.  Following Basic Training at Atlantic City, Stevens attended pre- pre-flight training at Pennsylvania State College, State College, PA from April to 23 June 1943, training in Piper Cubs.  After screening and other tests in Nashville, TN, he attended Ground School at Maxwell Field, Montgomery, AL until 3 July 1943.

In September 1943, Stevens took primary flight training at Avon Park, FL, finishing on 2 February 1944 after which he was assigned to Cochran Field, Macon, GA for three months for basic flight training.  In May 1944, he attended multiple-engine training at Napier Field, Dolthan, AL and graduated as an Officer Cadet, receiving his wings on 4 August 1944.  Following a short furlough, he reported to Fort Meyers, FL for one month.  In September 1944, he went to Westover Field, Springfield, MA where he was assigned as Co-Pilot to a combat crew (2nd Lt Ray M. Tetzlaff, Pilot) after which he took transition training [in B-24s?] in Charleston, SC, finishing on 28 December 1944.

Stevens and his crew were assigned a new B-24 Liberator at the Port of Embarkation at Mitchell Field, Long Island, NY.  They departed for Bangor, ME on 10 January 1945 after which they flew the southern water route to Bermuda, the Azores, Marrakech in French Morocco, to Bari, Italy (Fifteenth AF HQ) and ultimately to Torretta Airfield, Cerignola, Italy and were assigned to the 764th Bombardment Squadron of the 461st Bombardment Group (H) of the 49th Bombardment Wing, Fifteenth Air Force.

Starting 1 March 1945, Tezlaff, Stevens, and crew flew 28 missions through the end of the War, ending for them on their last mission on 26 April 1945.  Stevens, Tezlaff, and crew departed Italy on 25 June by way of Taranto, Marrakech, Dakar, Africa, Brazil, British Guiana, and Puerto Rico ending at Charleston, SC.  Following a six-week furlough, Stevens returned to Ft. Bragg, NC expecting training in B-29s and eventual transfer to the Pacific Theatre of Operations.  Instead, the War ended with Japan’s unconditional surrender in August 1945 and Stevens was released from active duty on 28 August 1945.  He stayed in the Army Reserves until about 1950 when he resigned his Commission as a First Lieutenant to spend more time with his family.

Harvey Stevens’ timing was good and he was able to enroll at Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY in September 1945.  On 18 November, Harvey married his High School sweetheart, Caroline ("Carrie") Curtis in Mt. Upton, NY.  He graduated from Syracuse U in June 1947 and accepted a teaching position at Cazenovia, NY High School where his wife also taught.  He taught health, physical education, and life science, and coached several sports, especially baseball until his retirement in June 1979.  In 1950, Harvey and Carrie purchased their long-term home in New Woodstock, NY where they raised their two sons, Tom and Harry.

During his working years, Harvey went into the insurance business with John Hancock and later Security Mutual life insurance companies where he was quite successful providing health and property insurance to farm owners.  He also became an officer in Patron’s Fire Relief Company, a small cooperative fire insurance company and maintains his position as Executive Secretary to this day.  He also was elected Assessor for the Town of Cazenovia for many years until the mid-1980s.

Following their retirement, Harv and Carrie traveled extensively around North America and overseas.  Like many others from Upstate New York, Harv and Carrie became "snowbirds" and spent summers at their home on the St. Lawrence River while spending winters in Florida where they purchased a second home in Barefoot Bay.  Carrie died in December 1992.

A couple years after Carrie passed away, through mutual friends Harv met Margaret Granholm, also of Barefoot Bay.  They travel and vacation extensively together and are companions in the true sense.  Harv still travels around the globe, but not as much as he once did.  As of this writing (March 2004), he is talking of selling his St. Lawrence River summer home and maintaining a permanent presence in Florida.

His contact information:

Harvey Stevens

336 Avocado Dr.

Barefoot Bay FL 32976

(772) 664-0984

AUTHOR NOTE: This brief biography was extracted from a larger biography of my Uncle Harvey written by my father William P. Stevens for inclusion in: Stevens, W. P. 1987.  Stevens Genealogy: Ancestors and Descendants of Heaman, William, Harvey, Orrie Stevens and Carolyn Stevens Carter.  Mimeo 150pp, NYS Library, Albany, NY.

Any transcription or extraction errors are mine and mine alone.  I have concentrated this sketch on the military aspects of Uncle Harv’s Army Air Force experiences.  While growing up, we lived for, and with Uncle Harv’s war stories and gained the impression he won World War Two single-handedly.  Of course, while this is a slight exaggeration, it nevertheless represents the high sentiments of those of my generation and myself in particular toward those of "The Greatest Generation" who participated in defeating the enemy during WW2.  In my own Army experiences during a different, far less "popular" war in a tiny little country in SE Asia, I attempted to uphold the legacy of the highest standards and traditions of the U.S. Army as taught me by my Uncle Harv.  He always was my hero and still is.

W. Frederick Stevens

Lt. C, USAR, SigC, Retd.

23 February 2004