GLENS FALLS --- Harry Leroy “Roy” Hadley, 93, of Glens Falls, NY passed away Friday, April 26, 2013 at The Stanton.
He was born May 29, 1919 in Duncan Township, Mercer County, the son of Harry Everlin Hadley and Meril Lenora Fisher.
He is survived by one sister, Ella Jean (Hadley) Finch of Aledo; a son, Jon Hadley and his wife Maddy of Marietta, Ga.; a grandson, Jeffrey Holden Hadley, his wife Megan, and their one year old daughter Lola Jane of Greensboro, NC; four step-children, William McGarr and his wife Terry of Glens Falls, Patrick McGarr and his wife Lorene of Queensbury, Maureen (McGarr) Scopel and her husband Anthony of Fort Myers Beach, Fla., and Mitzi McGarr-Kinsey and her husband Charles of Greeley, Colo.; 17 grandchildren, 27 great grandchildren, and two great, great grandchildren; and many beloved nieces and nephews and extended family members.
He was predeceased by his parents, his two wives, one son, his four brothers Benjamin Orson Hadley, Adolphus Everlin Hadley, Clifford Eugene Hadley, Donald Wayne Hadley and three of his sisters, Mary Lenora (Hadley) McCarty, Paulsgrove, DeJaynes, Laura Esther (Hadley) Brown, Bloomer, Greeno, and Meril Irene (Hadley) Tschappat, Stivers.
Harry was a great story teller. He loved to reminisce about his early days growing up on the farm in Illinois, hunting in the Adirondacks, his naval experiences during WWII, and the large construction projects he was involved in. His mind was sharp right up until the end, and we will miss his engaging stories.
t the age of 16, he entered the CCC (Civilian Conservation Core) for 18 months. In the fall of 1939 while working on the wheat harvest in South Dakota, he heard the radio reports of Hitler’s invasion of Poland. Shortly afterwards, he returned home to Illinois and told his father “he better enlist and get some practice” before the US went to war. December 1939 he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and went through basic training at Great Lakes Naval Training Station. He served for six years during WWII, and he was honorably discharged December 24, 1945.
He first served aboard the USS Enterprise CV-6 for 20 months in 1940 and 1941. Early December 1941 he was transferred from the Enterprise to a new Gleaves Class Destroyer being commissioned in Boston. He left Pearl Harbor just days before the Japanese attack on December 7. He served aboard the USS Macomb DD-458/DMS-23 from Jan 1942 until Sep 1945 and was a Macomb “plankowner.” He served in the North Atlantic, Atlantic, South Atlantic, Mediterranean, Caribbean, and Western Pacific Theaters. The Macomb took part in convoy duty in the North Atlantic, the invasions of North Africa, Italy and Southern France, submarine patrols in the South Atlantic and Caribbean, and escort duty for the middle Atlantic section between Bermuda and the Azores for President Roosevelt’s Atlantic Crossing aboard the USS Iowa to the Tehran Conference in Nov 1943.
Page 2 of 4 - After the Macomb was converted to a High Speed Minesweeper in the fall of 1944, it moved to the Pacific to join the battles there. The Macomb swept the beach approaches before the invasion of Okinawa, and they served on radar picket duty during the kamikaze attacks on the U.S. Fleet after the invasion. On May 3, 1944, while patrolling on radar picket station #9, the Macomb was attacked by a group of kamikazes. They managed to shoot down all but one which struck the Macomb near the aft gun turret. They were lucky as the plane’s bomb crashed through one side of the ship and out the other without exploding. Many US ships were not as lucky. The Macomb was repaired in time to rejoin the Fleet in August. The Macomb was among the first ships into Japanese home waters and helped sweep Tokyo Bay as a part of Admiral Hulsey’s Task Force 31. The Macomb was anchored nearby when the Surrender Instrument was signed September 2, 1945 by the Japanesse aboard the USS Missouri.
Harry was in Pearl Harbor just before WWII started, and he was in Tokyo Bay at the time of Japan’s surrender. In between, the farm boy from Illinois had been above the Arctic Circle, below the Equator, sailed thousands of nautical miles during 13 crossings of the Atlantic, and survived kamikaze attacks in the Pacific.
Service medals he received include: WWII Victory Medal, American Campaign Medal, European - African - Middle Eastern Campaign Medal - 3 stars, Asiatic - Pacific Campaign Medal - 1 star, Good Conduct Medal, American Defense Service Medal - 1 star with Fleet Clasp.
Soon after his return from the Pacific, he married his first wife, Ruth Tedford October 18, 1945 in Lake Placid. In 1946, after his discharge from the Navy in Boston, they moved to Glens Falls. They were married for 24 years and had two children, a son who died at birth in 1946 and their son Jon. On September 19, 1970 he married Leah (Brace) McGarr. They were married for 41 years until her death March 5, 2012.
He was employed by the Marinette Paper Company in Fort Edward (which later became Scott Paper) for 22 years, starting in 1946. Following Scott Paper he worked 17 years as a pipefitter on numerous construction projects around the Northeast including the piping for the refrigerated bobsled run and the outdoor speed skating rink for the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics.
He was proud of his contributions to the construction of the Nine Mile II Nuclear Plant; Vermont, Connecticut and Maine Yankee Nuclear Plants; and the West Milton, NY Naval Training Command land-based nuclear reactors. He also worked on paper mill projects in Glens Falls, Ticonderoga, and Millinocket, Me. He was a proud, 45 year member of the Pipefitters Local 773.
He was an avid golfer and long time member of the Queensbury Country Club, at which he had holes-in-one on No. 14, 25 years apart.
Page 3 of 4 - For many years he was a league bowler in Lake George and South Glens Falls. In his earlier years, he enjoyed boating and camping on Lake George. He was a member of Wheel & Pitch club with his wife Leah, and they traveled many places with their pop-up camper. He enjoyed his many beach trips with Leah and their travels across the United States to visit family.
He was an avid reader of American History, especially of the Civil War and WW II Pacific Naval battles, and he was proud of his book collection.
His interest in the Civil War stemmed from his family’s involvement. Four sons of his Great Grandfather Hadley served in New York and Pennsylvania Regiments. His Grandfather Hadley was the only one of the four who escaped without injury as one brother was killed, one was wounded, and one was captured and imprisoned for five months.
His interest in WWII Pacific Naval battles was because of his desire to learn what happened in the Pacific while he was serving in the Atlantic. News was heavily censored during the war. He said not much information was ever available to sailors about what was going on in other areas.
Masonic principles of self improvement were important to Harry. During his naval service he completed various Navy Training Courses and rose in rating from Fireman to Water Tender First Class (WT1c). After his discharge, as a young man with an eighth grade education, he earned his GED, he completed Dale Carnegie leadership and public speaking programs, and he joined the Glens Falls Masonic Lodge where he become a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Freemason.
Harry was a past commander of the American Legion Post No. 1133 in Fort Edward, NY. He was a life member of VFW Post 6196 of Queensbury, NY.
He was a 58 year member of Glens Falls Lodge 121 Free and Accepted Masons. He was a 44 year member of the Scottish Rite Valleys of Albany & Troy. He was a 43 year member of the Oriental Shriners of Troy. He was a supporter of the U.S. Navy Memorial. He was a long time member of Salmon Pond Club, a hunting and fishing club in the Adirondacks.
Time spent in the woods or in hunting camp was the time he looked forward to all year. His hunting buddies nicknamed him “Harry the Hat” because they never saw him without a hat.
Burial will be at Saratoga National Cemetery with full military honors. His interment service will be at Noon May 29, on what would have been his 94th birthday. The family will have a celebration of his life later that day at his home. All family and friends are invited.
Page 4 of 4 - In lieu of flowers, the family would like to encourage donations to Civil War Trust towards preserving and enhancing the Cross Keys Battlefield near Harrisonburg, Virginia where Harry’s great uncle, Corporal Henry Joshua Hadley of The Pennsylvania Bucktails was killed June 8, 1862, at the age of 21. Henry Joshua was the older brother of Harry’s Grandfather, Adolphus Hubert “A B” Hadley. Harry was very interested in “Uncle” Henry and the Battle of Cross Keys, and he enjoyed discussing details of the battle and Henry’s activities with The Pennsylvania Bucktails. Two years ago his son Jon was able to tour the battlefield and take pictures which he shared with his Dad so Harry could see where Henry Joshua had fought and died. In 2012, Civil War Trust purchased an 83 acre portion of the battlefield, including the area where Henry Joshua was killed.
If you are interested in making a donation in Harry’s name, contact Civil War Trust at www.civilwar.org for more information or contact his son Jon. For more information on the Battle of Cross Keys go to www.civilwar.org/battlefields/cross-keys.html
Arrangements are under the care of Tunison Funeral Home, 105 Lake Ave., Saratoga Springs NY 12866, (518) 584-0440. Online remembrances may be made at HYPERLINK "http://www.tunisonfuneralhome.com/" www.tunisonfuneralhome.com.