Harold Shrider - Ensign
Ensign Harold D. Shrider's brother, Gene Shrider Mills, sent the following letter to the Alumni Office, dated April 5, 1944:
"Harold was born in Fremont, Nebraska, March 9, 1914. He graduated from Fremont High School in June of 1930. He attended Ames that fall.
He entered Annapolis in June 1933, and graduated June 1937. Harold spent two years as Ensign on the Flag Ship U.S.S. Pennsylvania. Always interested in aviation, he asked to be transferred to the Air Service. This request was granted and he went to Pensacola, Florida, where he trained for a year, receiving his wings in July 1940.
In September 1940, Harold was assigned to Squadron 3 of the U.S.S. Saratoga.
On December 17, 1940, Harold married the former Harriet Hoenig of Omaha in Lost Angeles, California. They made their home at Coronado. The Saratoga was in a US Port December 7, 1941. It was ordered out and into active duty the following day. As I understand it, Harold's plane failed to gain the necessary altitude as it left the carrier, causing the plane to crash immediately into the sea. He and his gunner were never found and a memorial was held for them on board the ship.
A son, Harold, was born to his wife the following February 18th. That was all Harold could write about in his last letter to me.
I hope I have given you the information wanted. Harold often spoke of his days in the D. U. House at Ames, and of his friends there.
Sincerely, Gene Shrider Mills."
Shrider was flying air patrol missions from the USS Saratoga, protecting it against enemy attack as it steamed toward Wake Island Iwo weeks after Pearl Harbor. On December 23, Shrider's SBD Dauntless lost power just after leaving the deck and plowed into the sea, sinking just ahead of the ship.