Died: August 30, 1995
Married: Joan A. Harvey
Children: Erica Harvey Halaburda; Alison Harvey Kellagher; and Jennifer Harvey
William A. Harvey and his wife, Joan, raised their three daughters in the house at 103 Park Avenue. Bill Harvey was a World War II veteran, and — as I remember his story — had participated as part of an airplane crew in the bombing of Dresden. In the 1960s and 1970s, Bill ran the Book Store in what is now the Blue Moon at 46 Main Street. His father, Penn Harvey, owned a camp on Hoel Pond. The Park Avenue house was later sold to George Reynolds and the Harveys moved to property on Lake Kiwassa. Bill had a pair of lederhosen which he wore to festive events and which were on display at his memorial service." — Mary Hotaling
His daughter, Alison "Penny" Kellagher, died as a result of a cycling accident in 2010. http://www.dailycamera.com/ci_15015300
(Not to be confused with William L. Harvey, Jr., of a different Harvey family.)
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, May 7, 1993
SL man's World War II mission shown on canvas
By MATTHEW RUSSELL Enterprise Staff Writer
SARANAC LAKE — Luftwaffe fighter planes arc through the skies over France, guns blazing. Crewmen on a crippled American bomber shoot back, the pilot struggling to keep the huge, smoking B-17 aloft.
One moment in a long and terrible war has been captured on canvas to honor the memory of a man — a brother, a comrade and a friend — who did not survive a fateful mission.
Longtime Saranac Lake resident William Harvey is known to most as the former owner of Harvey's Bookstore, as a local craftsman and as an avid sailor and pilot. But Harvey is also a decorated veteran of World War II who, at 22, survived 25 grueling bombing missions over Europe as radio operator and gunner on a four-engined American bomber.
But Harvey said the real story of the memorial painting is not his own. It is the story of S/Sgt. Jim McCurdy, a gunner in a ten-man crew returning to base in England from a mission in the hostile skies over Germany in 1943.
Harvey recalled that the bomber, named "Poisonality" by its crew, took hits from anti-aircraft fire over a target, losing power in one of its engines. The pilot, Lt. James Maginnis, tried but could not keep up with the rest of the formation as the group headed for home. Harvey said the plane became a "straggler," easy prey for the German fighter planes still ruling much of Europe's airspace midway through the war.
Well behind the other B-17 bombers, the Poisonality was pounced upon by a flight of dreaded Messerschmitt 109 fighters. Armed with .50 caliber machine guns, the crew tried to fend off the Luftwaffe planes in a 20-minute gun battle, but the fighters shot out the three remaining engines of the B-17. Maginnis tried to fire up the first damaged engine and by luck it started. Doing everything possible to reach the shelter of a low cloud bank, Maginnis steered for the English coast.
Up to that date, no one had ever hit a target and gotten back to base alone on one engine.
Before the bomber reached the cloud-cover, McCurdy received a mortal wound from a Messerschmitt shell. While tending their comrade, the crew members threw everything out of the plane to lighten the load. Somehow the B-17 made it to a new British airfield on the coast being built for the benefit of crippled planes.
The shaken crew touched ground and McCurdy was taken to a hospital where he died a short time later.
The story of the Poisonality made all the papers including the U.S. armed forces paper, Stars and Stripes — no one had thought the exploit possible. In later years, pilots of other crippled bombers followed Poisonality's example, having read a report Maginnis wrote on how his crew made it.
But the notoriety came as slim consolation for the crew, saddened as they were by the loss of their friend.
Many years passed, and Harvey, who received decorations including the Distinguished Flying Cross for his service, returned to college and then moved to Saranac Lake. He attended several reunions of the 351st Bomber Group and met Jimmy McCurdy's older brother, J.R. McCurdy, who was made an honorary member of the crew.
At one reunion J.R. McCurdy met Ohio artist Frank Nezget who learned the Poisonality's story and rendered the fateful flight in an oil painting in honor of Jimmy McCurdy. Moved by the work, J.R. asked Nezget to make similar paintings for the other crewmen. Harvey just received his in the mail last week.
The painting shows Poisonality, engines smoking, under attack by three fighters. One fighter, felled by die American gunners, is dropping from the action. Harvey said Nezget has refused to accept payment for the paintings.
For Harvey, the painting is a fitting tribute to the remarkable crew which survived the ordeal and it also represents a moving, artistic memorial for a young friend who did riot survive the air war over Europe
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, September 1, 1995
William A. Harvey
SARANAC LAKE - William A. Harvey, 74, of 222 Lake Street, Saranac Lake, died suddenly at his home on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 1995.
Born Dec. 24, 1920 in New York City, he was the son of Penn and Lillian (Buckley) Harvey.
Mr. Harvey was a graduate of Princeton University. He served in the 8th Air Force in England during World War II and attended yearly reunions of the crew of his B-17 bomber, "The Gremlin's Delight." He was awarded the distinguished Flying Cross and the Purple Heart.
Mr. Harvey served as president of the Saranac Lake Free Library Board of Directors, was a longtime member of the Clinton-Essex- Franklin Library System Board, served as treasurer of the Adirondack Festival of Music Scholarship Fund, and was a member of the Harrietstown Airport District and Board of Appeals. He was an avid sailor and a well-known musician, playing the bass for many area musical productions.
Survivors include three daughters, Erica Halaburda of Vestal, Alison Kellagher of Boulder, Colo., and Jennifer Harvey of Prince George, B.C.; one sister, Alice Harvey Dempsey of Boonton, N.J.; and three grandchildren, Morgan Halaburda of Seattle, Wash, and Freya and Daphne Morgen of Prince George, B.C.
There will be no calling hours. A memorial service will be held at a date and time to be announced.