Samuel George Harding
United States Air Force
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|Samuel George Harding was born December 7, 1931 in East St. Louis,
the son of Paul K. and Marguerite Harding. He graduated from
Lansdowne Junior High School in East St. Louis in 1947 and from O’
Fallon Township High School in 1950. He then attended McKendree
College in Lebanon, Washington University and University of Illinois where
he graduated in 1954. He entered the U.S. Air Force that same year.
The following year on December 19, he married Lucia Hadley in
Collinsville. He completed a tour of duty in England at the end of 1957
and was assigned to Schilling Air Force Base as a 1st Lieutenant. He
was a navigator with the Strategic Air Command detachment. The
couple made their home in nearby Salina, Kansas. On February 27,
1958, a B-47 medium jet bomber he was flying in was headed home but
was diverted to Biggs Air Force Base in Texas because Schilling was
iced in. The plane ran out of fuel and crashed. The crew was only
slightly injured except for Lt. Harding who was killed. He was survived by
his wife, parents and two sisters, Suzanne and Mary Frances. Funeral
services were held at the O’Fallon Methodist Church with burial at Mt.
Hope Cemetery in Belleville. He was 26 years old.
He gave his life that we might live free!
Memorial Corner Flag Raising sponsored by
the O'Fallon Woman's Club, Saturday December 10, 2005
biography courtesy of O’Fallon Historical Society