As part of the Habitat for Humanity San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valleys’ 78-home Enriched Neighborhood® in Santa Clarita, Habitat built a memorial wall to honor all branches of the United States Military. In addition to the wall, with assistance from the Santa Clarita Rotary, Elks and Shriners clubs, Habitat also created the Harry Bell Memorial in honor of local veteran hero, Harry Bell.
Harry Bell was born on July 2nd, 1923. At age 21, Harry began his flying career at the beginning of WWII. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1944 and went straight to basic training and Aircraft Gunnery School. After basic training, he was attached to a bomber group training in B-24 Liberators. Harry’s bomber group left for Italy with the 15th Air Force, 757 Bomber Squadron. Harry flew 50 combat missions as a gunner and engineer—and his squadron, the 757, was primarily responsible for bombing and cutting off the main oil supply for the German war machine.
After the war ended, Harry married his wife Barbara and moved to California, where he went to school to train as an engineer, simultaneously serving on the Army Corps of Engineers. Harry answered the call once again during the Korean War — flying 13 missions in B-24’s. After Korea, Harry left the service and returned to California where he worked with L.A. County Engineers for 15 years, before forming his own business, Andel Engineering with Ed Bolden.
Because of a monetary contribution made by the Santa Clarita Elks, Rotary, and Shriners and by Harry’s family, the City of Santa Clarita named the entrance street to the Santa Clarita Enriched Neighborhood® community after this American Hero.