James Phillip Harkanson

United States Marine Corps
27 October 1946 - 18 February 1968
Philadelphia, PA
Panel 40E Line 006


James P Harkanson

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for James Phillip Harkanson

30 Nov 2002

J P Harkanson

The photo and following article is taken from The Philadelphia Daily News, special supplement entitled 'SIX HUNDRED AND THIRTY,' October 26, 1987. The special supplement was issued in conjunction with the dedication of the Philadelphia Viet Nam Memorial.

The flag that covered James P. Harkanson's casket when he returned home to his beloved Philadelphia from Viet Nam was to be raised over the Philadelphia Viet Nam Veterans Memorial at its dedication. 'Happy' Harkanson's brother, a pre-Viet Nam Air Force veteran, remembers the young man as having "ever-present contagious optimism," and could always be counted on to find something positive "even in the most trying of circumstances." When Harkanson wasn't spending weekends at the Jersey shore, he was home rowing on the Schuykill or following the Phillies and Big Five basketball. Harkanson graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in 1964. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in March 1965 and volunteered to go to Viet Nam, 'where they needed me,' he told family and friends. The 21-year-old lance corporal arrived there in December 1967 and was assigned to Company A of the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division. Harkanson was killed while fighting at the Hue Citadel in Thua Thien Province on February 18, 1968. He was survived by his parents and a brother, and was close friends with Raymond J. Ahern Jr., a Philadelphia veteran who died in Viet Nam on November 26, 1968.

Semper Fidelis, Marine!

From a native Philadelphian and Marine,
Jim McIlhenney

26 Jan 2004

Jimmy was my cousin. I was 7 years old when he went off to Vietnam. I remember sitting on his lap at a party in his house right before he left. I remember Jimmy being very proud in his uniform.

- George Harkanson

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Alpha 1/5 Marines lost six men on 08 Feb 1968 in the fighting for Hue:
  • SGT Joe M. Gutierrez, Pueblo, CO
  • LCPL Howard R. Carpenter, Indianapolis, IN
  • PFC Dennis W. Frisbee, Oakland, CA
  • PFC Carl L. Ljung, New York, NY
  • PFC Thomas L. Senn, Lanett, AL
  • PVT James P. Harkanson, Philadelphia, PA

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a native Philadelphian and Marine,
Jim McIlhenney
30 Nov 2002

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 02/03/2004