World War II (Last Names E-J)
The Radnor High School Wall of Honor features 48 inductees who served in World War II. The below biographies on these brave veterans were researched and compiled by Radnor High School students. If you believe there may be discrepencies in the below information or have additional details to share about these inductees' lives, please email RHSWallofHonor@rtsd.org. To browse the the student-produced videos of these and all the 57 inductees, visit the RHS Wall of Honor YouTube channel here.
Ralph J. Falcone
Ralph J. Falcone was born in 1918 and graduated from Radnor High School in 1937. He enjoyed baseball throughout his RHS career and helped his nieghbors as a hardworking landscaper.
Mr. Falcone joined the U.S. Army on February 4, 1942 at the Fort George G. Meade Center in Maryland. He was assigned to the 27th Infantry Division and began his campaig in Western Europe.
Mr. Falcone's infantry was supporting the Allies on September 20, 1944 in Bussbach, Germany, preparing for the upcoming siege and occupation of Aachen, when Mr. Falcone was mortally wounded.
He received the Purple Heart medal and is buried at the Henri-Chapelle American War Cemetery in Belguim.
David Farrell was born in Scotland and his parents are both native to Ireland. The family eventually moved to 228 Rockingham Road in Garrett Hill. Mr. Farrell had two younger brothers, William and Robert.
Mr. Farrell enlisted in the U.S. Army on October 5, 1942, in Philadelphia, during the time of the Asia-Pacific War of World War II. He served in the army’s 133rd Military Police Platoon as a Warrant Officer, tasked with training soldiers and organizing or advising missions. He attained the rank Private First Class (or PFC).
Mr. Farrell died on September 26, 1944 of what records indicate as “non battle” causes. He is buried in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Francis Gurney Fine, Jr.
Francis Gurney Fine, Jr. was born on October 30, 1903 to Francis Gurney, Sr. and Mary Parker. Mr. Fine, his parents and his sister Mary lived at 109 County Line Road in Bryn Mawr.
Mr. Fine attended Radnor High School and graduated in 1921. He was interested in math and science and was enrolled in Algebra, Chemistry, Geometry and Trigonometry classes during his senior year. After high school, he wanted to pursue a career in engineering so attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was a member of the Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity.
At some point after the United States entered World War II, Mr. Fine joined the military, even though the average age for servicemen and women in World War II was between 20- and 25-years-old and he was in his late 30s.
Sadly, Mr. Fine died on May 4, 1943. The cause and place of his death is unknown. He is buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles County, California.
George Lee Jameson Forster
George Lee Jameson Forster was very involved in clubs and activities at Radnor High School, including as a member of Hi-Y, which strived “to create, maintain and extend throughout the school and community, high standards of Christian character,” and the Law and Order Committee. He also held various positions on Student Council, including president and vice president, and the Assembly Program Committee. During his freshman year, Mr. Forster wrote for the school newspaper, the “Radnorite.” He also played varsity basketball.
Mr. Forster’s prospective school was Yale University, but this changed when Pearl Harbor was attacked during Mr. Forster’s junior year, fully involving the United States in World War II.
Like many of his peers, Mr. Forster was moved to join the military. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force on April 12, 1943 and achieved the rank of lieutenant. He was most likely involved in the Italian Campaign, which began on July 10, 1943, when Allied forces joined together to try to advance up the Italian coast and into Germany.
Sadly, Mr. Forster died on July 13, 1944 in Italy. His name can be found on the War Memorial at the West Laurel Hill Cemetery and at the War Memorial in downtown Wayne.
Robert H. Handy
Robert H. Handy was born on December 2, 1923 and attended Radnor High School all four years before graduating in 1942. His yearbook quote was: "In his single person, he is a social commotion.”
Mr. Handy enlisted in the U.S. Army on April 5, 1943 and was a part of the 1892nd Engineer Aviation Battalion, which was a United States Air Force Unit. Sadly, he was killed in action at the on June 26, 1944 in Italy. He is buried at Beverly National Cemetery in Beverly, New Jersey.
David Haughton was the second son born to Mary Montgomery and John Haughton on June 10, 1924. Early on he showed talent in sports, taking after his older brother Anson. The brothers attended Radnor schools but later moved to Haverford.
In high school, Mr. Haughton excelled in art and track. He won the Newswanger Art trophy his junior year and drew caricatures to advertise dances and football games. He earned his first varsity letter his junior year and received a qualification medal. He ran on two mile relay teams at the Penn Relays and excelled at the 440, 880, and the mile. At the end of his junior year, he received the Wallace Track Cup for his outstanding improvement.
Mr. Haughton was also a member of the dance committee and the game committee. His dream was to go to Harvard after the war. He enlisted in the military on October 15, 1943 and served in the United States Army Corps training soldiers to go overseas. He served during World War II from 1943 to 1945. Although he did not go overseas, he became a sergeant and received his gunner's wings. He was stationed at Gulfport, Mississippi and later transferred to Camp Pyote, Texas.
Unfortunately, he contracted meningitis and poliomyelitis while he was stationed in Texas. He died on September 7, 1945 in the Beaumont General Hospital in El Paso. His funeral was held at St. Martin's Church in Radnor and his final resting place is in Ardmore, PA.
He was survived by two family members – Anson and his mother. He is remembered today through the David Haughton Memorial Trophy, which is awarded annually to the best middle distance runner who reveals the same spirit and ability displayed by the man from whom it is named.
Richard L. Holland
Richard L. Holland was born on September 1, 1919 and, during his time in Radnor Township, lived in two neighboring homes on Walnut Avenue in Wayne. He had a brother David and a sister Eleanor and attended Radnor High School until his junior year, when he transferred to a private school in Philadelphia. Before he went off to fight in World War II, he married Rita A. Harding and had a son Stephen.
Mr. Holland entered the military as a private in the 346th Infantry, Regiment 87th Infantry Division. Sadly, he died toward the end of the war while pushing into Germany. He received the Purple Heart and is buried in Henri-Chappelle American War Cemetery in Belgium.
George Rushton Howell, III
George Rushton Howell III, also called “Bud,” was born on January 6, 1917 in Essex, NJ to parents George Rushton Howell II, who fought in the Spanish American War, and Carol Frye. The family, which included two other boys and a girl, moved to Radnor in 1923 after living in Lower Merion and Philadelphia.
Mr. Howell started at Radnor in the 1st grade. His senior year he was vice president of the Boy's Glee Club, president of the Athletic Association Council, and chairman of the Assembly Committee of the Student Council. He graduated in 1936, and spent the summer touring the world as part of a five-piece band aboard a cruise ship.
Mr. Howell graduated in Business from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania before enlisting in the U.S. Army Air Force along with his two brothers, who all became pilots. He captained a B17 Flying Fortress in North Africa and Europe, and served as flight commander and squadron leader.
While flying over Genoa, Italy on October 29, 1943, on his 40th mission, his plane "Patches" was hit and destroyed by flack. Three of the 9 crew members parachuted to safety and survived. His parents later received a Purple Heart on behalf of their son, who in 1949 was returned home and finally buried at Valley Forge Memorial Chapel.
Radnor High School offered a George R Howell III Memorial Award and Scholarship to a graduating senior through the early 1970s. His brother Horace Pettit Howell, class of 1940, ran the RHS Alumni Association for many years.
Mary Holmes Howson
Mary Holmes Howson was one of just two women to graduate from Radnor High School and join the U.S. Army Air Force as pilots during World War II.
Ms. Howson was born in Wayne on February 16, 1919 to Richard and Mary Howson. She had three brothers, two of whom also served in the armed forces. She attended a private middle school in Devon before moving to Radnor High School and graduating in 1936.
After high school, Ms. Howson attended Smith College and worked as a teacher at the Oak Lane Country Day School. In 1942, Ms. Howson began learning about mapmaking by studying aerial photographs while taking classes at Bryn Mawr College. She used these skills to obtain a job at the U.S. Geological Survey Office in Washington, D.C., where she continued to learn about navigation and practiced flying herself at a nearby field.
In 1943, Ms. Howson joined the Air Force to serve as a part of the Woman Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs). The WASPs flew noncombat missions and transported plans from base to base around the country. Approximately 25,000 women volunteered for this group, with just 1,830 being accepted. Ms. Howson eventually earned the rank of Second Lieutenant.
Ms. Howson died on April 6, 1944 in a mid-air collision near Avenger Field in Sweetwater, Texas. She is buried in the cemetery of Washington Memorial Chapel at Valley Forge National Historical Park.
George H. Hurst
George H. Hurst was born on May 11, 1925 to parents George and Elise. Along with his two brothers and four sisters, the family lived in Ithan on Darby-Paoli Road.
Mr. Hurst enlisted in the U.S. Army on August 7, 1943 and received basic training at Camp Gruber in Oklahoma and Camp Phillips in Kansas. He was a part of the 79th Infantry Division - one of 39 divisions to take part in the Battle of Normandy. Sadly, he was killed in action shortly after D-Day on September 29, 1944 in Luneville, France.
He is buried at the Fernwood Cemetery in Lansdowne, PA.
Alan L. Jacobs
Alan L. Jacobs was born on January 24, 1924 in Toronto, Canada to Canadian parents Leslie and Mary. The family moved to 307 West Lancaster Avenue in Wayne in 1940. Mr. Jacobs attended Radnor High School for one year, was a member of the Rifle Club and graduated in 1941.
After graduation, Mr. Jacobs worked as an electrician's assistant for a year before joining an ally of the United States, the Royal Canadian Air Force, on March 18, 1942. He attained the rank of Flight Sergeant and flew a DeHaviland Tiger Moth T-7612.
Sadly, on November 9, 1943, Mr. Jacobs' plane crashed during a training mission. He was buried at the Blacon Cemetery in Cheshire, England.