Port of Hollandia, New Guinea
Date / Place of burial: November 1, 1944,
USAF Cemetery, Hollandia, New Guinea
Harry Grant signed on as Third Mate aboard the Liberty Ship SS Francis G. Newlands at San Francisco, CA on August 14, 1944 two days after being issued his Coast Guard License. The ship sailed the same day to the South Pacific bound for Finschhafen, New Guinea with a cargo described by the ship’s Armed Guard Officer as “heavy lifts and subsistence.” Upon arrival in Finschhafen the Francis G. Newlands awaited further routing orders until September 12 when it was ordered to sail to Hollandia, New Guinea. At that time Hollandia was the headquarters for General MacArthur and the main staging base for the invasion of the Philippine Islands.
From September 14 through November 14,1944, the Francis G. Newlands was moored
at Hollandia, New Guinea delayed in the discharge of its cargo by the tremendous ship
traffic (both merchant and navy) in preparation for the invasion of the Philippines. On
the afternoon of October 31st, Harry Grant was supervising cargo operations at the
after end of #4 hatch. At 1620 local time he was crushed between the ship’s Number 4
heavy boom and the pipe guard around the Number 4 starboard winch. The Francis G.
Newland’s Third Mate was pronounced dead 28 minutes later by Lieutenant Hugh
Crawford, USNR the Medical Officer assigned to the USS Isherwood (DD 520). Harry
Grant was buried in the U.S. Air Force cemetery at Hollandia, in grave number 123.
The Francis G. Newlands sailed from Hollandia bound for Port Moresby, New Guinea
on 14 November. The Captain had been unable to find a replacement for Grant, so the
ship sailed without a Third Mate.
Harry Grant entered the San Mateo Basic School on November 11, 1942, roughly six
weeks after his family name was changed from Goldstein to Grant. He signed on
aboard the Liberty Ship SS Simon Bolivar as Deck Cadet on April 28, 1943. Fourteen
months later the Simon Bolivar arrived at San Francisco from Australia. Harry Grant
signed off on June 13, 1944 and reported to Kings Point to complete his education.
This culminated in his graduation later that summer and issuance of his Third Mate’s
license on August 12, 1944. Based on his service as a Cadet-Midshipman Harry Grant
at least would have been awarded the Pacific War Zone Bar, and very likely the Combat Bar.
Harry (Goldstein) Grant was the only son and youngest child of Harry and Lorraine
Beilman Goldstein. His older sisters were Lois and Marion. According to the 1930 and
1940 U.S. Census, Harry Sr. was the manager/owner of a clothing factory in 1930, but
was listed as a salesman for a clothing factory in 1940. After his death, Harry’s sister
Lois wrote to the Coast Guard for more details on her brother’s death, but no further
details were available. Most of the men buried overseas during World War II were
either re-interred at permanent military cemeteries overseas or returned home for
reburial by their family.