1919 Albert 2015

Albert "Al" Haar

January 4, 1919 — April 9, 2015

Albert E Haar Long Beach resident Albert E. Haar Jr. died April 9, 2015 at a local care facility. Al was born in Detroit, Michigan on January 4th, 1919. He spent his early years in Michigan. The family moved Seattle, Washington about the time he became a teen-ager. There he graduated from Lincoln High School in Seattle in 1938. He was good in shop and liked boats so he went through the Boat Building program at the Thomas A. Edison Vocational School, graduating in 1940. Al worked for about six or seven months at the Naval yard in Bremerton and then for Blanchard Boat Company on Lake Union in Seattle until he was drafted into the Army on July 7th, 1941. After basic training in Texas he volunteered for Army Air Corps and went to flight school in Texas. He washed out as a pilot, but went to gunnery school and bombardier school. On December 4th, 1943 he was commissioned a second lieutenant and received his flight wings. Al became part of a B-17 crew, which went overseas in March of 1944, and ended up flying out of Knettishall Airfield near Thetford, England. He did two tours of duty there - 50 missions as a bombardier in B-17s. During his second tour he became lead bombardier for the 388th Bomb Group. During his 50 missions, besides the normal bombing duties, he helped supply the French underground, flew to Russia and returned through Iran and North Africa By the time the war was over, he had earned a Distinguished Flying Cross with an Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Medal with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters, European, African, Middle Eastern campaign ribbons with 4 Bronze Stars. When he returned home to the States after the war, his parents had moved to Mercer Island. He courted the girl next door, Ella Mae, and they were married on March 29th, 1947. Her wedding dress was made of silk salvaged from Al's parachute after his plane was destroyed on the ground in Russia. A brief honeymoon in Victoria, British Columbia and then on to a fishing season out of Ketchikan, Alaska. The following February, Al's son Robert was born came along, and the three of them left for another Alaska fishing season. They fished southeast Alaska for the next five years, until time for Robert to go to school. The family moved to Lynnwood north of Seattle and Al worked at his trade of boat building in the Seattle area. About 1965 he started running charter boats out of Ilwaco, eventually purchasing the purpose-built charter boat, Poseidon. He initially chartered in the summer and built boats in Seattle in the winters, eventually building his home on Willapa Bay and moving to Long Beach year round. He chartered out of Ilwaco for about 25 years. After he retired, he had a small power boat, Number 7, and fished for pleasure and kept his hand in the boat building by keeping the wooden boats in the Ilwaco charter fleet in good order. Al, like Ella Mae, was very active at Ocean Beach Presbyterian Church in Seaview, serving the congregation in many capacities. Additionally he was an active member of the Peninsula Kiwanis Club and Rain Land Fly Fishing club. Albert is survived by his son Robert Haar of New Zealand. Memorial service will be held Tuesday, July 14, 2012, 11:00 AM at Ocean Beach Presbyterian Church, 5000 "N" Place, Seaview with a reception following. Those wishing may make donations in Al's name to Ocean Beach Presbyterian Church or the Peninsula Senior Activity Center in care of Penttila's Chapel, PO Box 417, Long Beach, WA 98631. His guestbook is available at www.penttilaschapel.com.

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