Colonel Harry Polk BallAugust 13, 1925 ~ June 10, 2017 (age 91)
Colonel Harry Polk Ball, US Army, Retired
Harry Polk Ball, 91, Col. US Army (Ret) passed away on June 10, 2017. He had been a resident of Indian River Colony Club, Melbourne, Fl for 26 years and is survived by his wife of 65 years, Helen, two sons Robert and wife Molly of Orkney Springs, VA and James Ball and wife Alyce of Waltham, MA and five grandchildren Brian and wife Tracy, David and wife Juli, Michael and wife Meghan, Kathleen and Emily and four great-grand children. He was born in Cheyenne, WY August 13, 1925, but spent most of his young life in San Antonio, TX. After graduating from Punaho School in Hawaii, he attended New Mexico Military Institute and The United States Military Academy graduating in the Class of 1947. In his 30 years of military service he served in many posts and stations to include two Airborne Divisions, three tours in Korea, Vietnam and Germany. After retirement he attended the University of Virginia where he obtained a PhD in American Diplomatic history. He was later commissioned by the Army War College in Carlisle, PA to write a history of the institution which was published in 1984 under the title of “Of Responsible Command”.
A funeral service at St. Paul’s Anglican Church 7200 N. Wickham Road Melbourne, Fl is scheduled for Saturday, June 24, 2017 at 12:00 P.M. A viewing will be in the church parish hall between 10:30 and 11:45 prior to the service. Burial will take place at a later date at West Point, NY. You may sign Harry’s guestbook at www.beckman-williamson.com.
Harry Ball was born on August 13th, 1925, in Cheyenne, WY. He grew up in San Antonio, TX, and attended New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, NM, graduating in 1943. He entered the United States Military Academy in the summer of 1944 and graduated in the class of 1947 when he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry. The following year he was a student officer at the Ground General School at Ft Riley, KS, and then attended the Basic Officers course at the Infantry School, Ft. Benning, GA.
In the summer of 1948, Harry was transferred to Korea where he served with the 7th Infantry Division. He briefly commanded K Co, 5th Regimental combat Team and in June of 1949 was reassigned to the Korean Military Advisory Group (KMAG) where he served as Battalion Advisor in the 1st Division, Republic of Korea (ROK) Army, then deployed along the 38th Parallel.
Harry departed Korea late in 1949, took parachute training at Ft Benning, and joined the 82nd, he served in a Rifle co of the 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, as Executive Officer, division Headquarters Co, and as the Division Antitank Platoon Leader. It was during this tour that he married Helen Moore who is the daughter, granddaughter, and great granddaughter of career military officers. Their wedding was followed at once by orders back to Korea.
In January 1952, Harry arrived in Korea and was assigned as Company Commander, CoC, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. For the next six months, Harry’s unit helped man the Main Line of Resistance (MLR), an official campaign known as “Second Korean Winter.” It was during this period of active ground combat that 1st Lt. Ball was promoted to Captain and awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge.
Harry returned to the United States in March of 1953 and was assigned to Ft Benning to attend the Infantry Officers Advance Class. Upon completion of this school in April 1954, he was assigned to the Office of the Infantry Center G-4. In the summer of 1955, Harry located in Canyon, TX, after a three-year ROTC tour, he was selected to attend the Army command and Staff College at F Leavenworth, KS. He was also promoted to major at that time.
Following his CGSC graduation in 1959, Harry was sent to Oberammergau, Germany, to serve as an instructor in the NATO Special Weapons School. The mission of this school was to teach nuclear weapons employment to officers of all services of the fifteen NATO nations. In August of 1962, he returned to the States to attend the Armed forces Staff assigned to the 101st Airborne Division where he served as Deputy Commander, 1st Battle Group, 506th Airborne Infantry Regiment, as commander of the 2nd Battalion, 506th, and after eighteen months with the same regiment, became the Division’s Assistant chief of Staff for Personnel (G-1).
Harry was then assigned to the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV) where he served as Executive Officer to the J-1. Following that one-year tour, he returned to the States to attend the naval War College at Newport, RI, where he also earned a Master of Science degree in International Relations and received his promotion to Colonel. After his graduation from the Naval War College, he moved to the Pentagon where he was assigned to the Management Directorate, Office of the Comptroller. During this tour, he also served on a Special Review Panel studying reorganization of the Army in the Continental US.
1970 found Harry back in Korea for a third tour, this time as the commander of the 3rd Brigade, 7th Infantry Division, deployed on the Demilitarized Zone. Upon the deactivation of the 7th Division, Harry became the Deputy Chief of Staff, I corps. When he returned to the States in 1971, he was assigned to the Combat Developments Command, Ft Belvoir, VA. Upon activation of the Training and Doctrine command (TRADOC), he was reassigned to Ft. Monroe, VA, and continued to work in the combat development area.
Harry’s final tour of duty was with the Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, PA, where he served on the faculty for three years. During his third year at Carlisle, Harry was head of the Department of Military Strategy, Planning, and Operations. On 31 July 1977, he retired from the Army after thirty years of active service.
In lieu of a civilian career, in august 1977 Harry began studying American diplomatic history at the University of Virginia. This culminated in 1983 with the award of his doctorate degree, and in 1984 he published his book entitled ‘Of Responsible Command’: A History of the U.S. Army War College. In 2002, the Army War College selected Harry Ball for induction into their Distinguished Fellows Program.
Harry and Helen have two sons, two granddaughters, and three grandsons. The divide their time between Bryce Resort in Virginia and at the Indian River Colony club in Florida.