Lt. Rutherford Maynard Harris wanted to take his wife in a plane before going to fight in Germany in 1942.
“When Maynard was getting ready to leave overseas, he wanted to take me up in his plane,” his wife, Anne Harris Chrisley, said tearfully. “He rented a plane in Winston-Salem and we flew over to Tennessee. It was very sweet.”
Maynard and Anne met in high school. Their freshman year they both went to Traphill High School, but she transferred to Mountain Park.
“We graduated the same year. At first we saw each other occasionally and then a little more,” Chrisley said with a smile.
The couple was married on Nov. 20, 1941, only 11 months before Harris was drafted into the Army in October 1942. He received his training in Texas, Kansas and Colorado.
“He was drafted into the Army, but he wanted to fly so badly,” Chrisley said. “Maynard asked if he could be switched over to the Army Air Corp (now the Air Force). He graduated from the Army Air Force in Colorado and received his wings in 1942.”
Harris fought in the European Theater during World War II in Germany, and was chosen to fly formation in the 1945 Warner Brothers film “God is My Co-Pilot” starring Dennis Morgan.
“He was a great pilot, and he was chosen to fly in formation in the movie,” Chrisley said. “They filmed them flying down in Florida.”
It was difficult for Chrisley while her husband was fighting overseas.
“While he was in Germany, I stayed with my parents or his parents,” she said. “We didn’t have a home yet when he left. When he returned, it was altogether different.”
Discharged in 1945, the couple bought land in Dobson and started a farming business in 1953.
“Maynard was interested in farming equipment and farming implements,” Chrisley said. “When he returned we bought our land and started out together again.”
The Harrises had two daughters, who now live in Hickory, and ran the business until Rutherford Maynard Harris died in 1972.
“He was a wonderful person and was always full of life,” Chrisley said. “He loved his work and being a pilot.”
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