Col Ejner J. Fulsang, Cpt Gerry A. Harr, LTC Stephen C. Marks Memorial Scholarship
Ejner J. Fulsang, Jr., was born in Chicago in 1922 as the the eldest child. He and his six sisters and grew up during the hard years of the Great Depression. Colonel Fulsang was first and foremost a soldier. At age fifteen he enlisted in the National Guard and by age seventeen he had obtained the rank of sergeant, outranking his father who was also a member of the Guard. It was later said, “nothing was ever asked of any soldier under his command that young Sergeant Fulsang would not have asked of his own father, Private First Class Ejner J. Fulsang, Sr.” With the outbreak of World War II, he reenlisted in the regular Army. He was commissioned a second lieutenant of field artillery and went on to become an Army aviator, serving as a front line artillery observer pilot in Italy as well as taking part in the invasion of southern France. He went on to finish the war, commanding a troop ship back to the United States. After a brief stay, he commanded a shipload of German POWs back to Germany, where he served as part of the occupation force. During this time he met and married Lieutenant Dorothy Bowman. They raised four children and were married forty-three years until her passing in 1991. During his military career, Colonel Fulsang served in the Korean and Vietnam wars. He also had numerous peacetime assignments in the United States, Europe, and Paraguay. His final assignment was as the Professor of Military Science at Oregon State University from 1972 to 1975. It was a fitting assignment, as education was always very important to him. He was a staunch proponent of continuing education throughout one’s life, obtaining both his undergraduate and master’s degrees while serving on active duty. He retired in 1975 after thirty-eight years of military service, three wars, and numerous commendations, including the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, and the Bronze Star. He settled in Corvallis, where he remained active as a general contractor and a municipal court judge for Junction City. He was a dedicated member of the Corvallis Rotary Club and the Military Officers Club of Corvallis and served a term as president of each organization. He was remarried in 1993 to Enid Berne. Colonel Fulsang was a strong supporter of ROTC. He contributed to this Endowed ROTC Scholarship Fund during his lifetime and his family provided memorial contributions following his death in 1998.
A young platoon leader who charged and destroyed two Viet Cong positions to spring his men from a deadly enemy trap was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. Maj Gen William W. Beverley, Fort Lewis CG presented the nation’s second highest decoration for heroism to Captain Gerry Harr, 25, now with the 15th Support Brigade. On April 7, 1968, the then lieutenant performed his extraordinary feat as the lead element in a reconnaissance
operation near the Song Be River in the Chon Thon Province. During the sweep, contact was made with a well fortified and entrenched enemy force in its base camp. Pinned down by heavy automatic weapons and small arms fire, the platoon was halted by intense enemy fire. Explained Cpt Harr: ‘I couldn’t move forward or backward without taking heavy casualties. Something had to be done to neutralize those two positions and I took this course of action.' He moved forward alone amid whizzing bullets to fire an antitank weapon at a key bunker. Unable to destroy the strongly built fortification, he charged headlong through the enemy fire to hurl a hand grenade into the bunker. He crawled inside to insure the Viet Cong were dead. Fire from another undetected bunker drew his attention and he attacked this one, killing one Viet Cong with a rifle and one with a grenade. With both bunkers silent his men launched a devastating assault and overran the enemy base camp. Among his decorations are four Bronze Star Medals with “V” device (Valor), three Purple Hearts, Vietnamese Campaign Medal, Vietnamese Service Ribbon and the National Defense Service Medal.
Recognition of Captain Gerry Harr with a memorial scholarship was long overdue. Pamela Harr, family and friends who knew and served with Captain Harr contributed to this scholarship in tribute to him.