Thomas Harkness

Thomas Harkness

January 2, 1920 December 28, 2020

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Obituary for Thomas Harkness

Thomas Harkness, of Country Meadows, Wyomissing, passed away peacefully Monday, December 28, 2020, in Reading Hospital.  He would have celebrated his 101st birthday on Saturday, January 2, 2021.  Born in Darby Borough, Delaware County, PA, he was a son of the late Edward D. and Ernestine (Wachter) Harkness, and the husband of Anna P. (Peluso) Harkness, Country Meadows.

A 1937 graduate of Sellersville-Perkasie High School, Tom played on the school’s championship football team.  He then attended the University of Buffalo, and graduated from the Franklin Institute School of Navigation.  He served our nation proudly during WWII, first with the US Army Air Corps, and then with the US Air Force for 19 years.  While serving in the South Pacific, Tom flew B-29 bombing missions over Japan, and also flew B-52s for 10 years, often carrying nuclear bombs.  He later became an instructor in bombing recon and transport aircraft, and was awarded six silver wings for training.  He finally retired from the service in 1966 as a Lt. Colonel.

Following retirement, Tom worked for 18 years for General Battery Corporation, Reading, retiring in 1984.

In addition to his wife of 64 years, Tom is survived by his son, Thomas M. Harkness, husband of Vickie, Reading; his granddaughters: Courtney Harkness, wife of Scott Downes, of Reading and Lauren Harkness of Reading; great grandsons Dawson and Brayden Downes; and a number of nieces and nephews.

Tom was predeceased by his parents; his brothers Edward, John, and Emil; his sisters Caroline, Alice, Helen, Katherine, Ernestine, Mary, and Faye; and several nieces and nephews.

Services will be private at the convenience of the family.  The Edward. J. Kuhn Funeral Home, West Reading, is assisting with arrangements.  Condolences may be expressed at

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Service Details

  • Interment

    Gethsemane Mausoleum
    3139 Kutztown Road
    Laureldale, PA
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email |

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Al Schutte

The New England Air Museum, home of the 462nd Bomb Group (the "Hellbirds") and the 58th Bomb Wing Memorial, sends its sincere condolences to the family and friends of this true American patriot and hero.

May he rest in peace.
Comment | Posted at 05:59am via Condolence

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