George Whitaker: Ernest Harmon High School, Ernest Harmon AFB, Stephenville, Newfoundland, Canada

I was a student at Harmon High School from January 1964 until May 1966, and was the last graduate (alphabetically and otherwise) of the last class of the school before the base closed and was returned to the Canadians. The building itself was fairly new and modern. Our principal was Mr. Cecil Haddox, who was over both Harmon and the DODDS School up at Goose Bay Labrador (a part of Newfoundland).  Our Assistant Principal was Mr. Robert Kefauver, the brother of Tennessee Representative and Senator Estes Kefauver.  My favorite teachers at Harmon were Miss Judith Okada, Miss Johanna Scharmen, Miss Margaret Clinton, Miss Sara Younts and Mr. Russell Cobbs.  The sad thing about the DODDS system is by the time that a student realizes the impact that some teachers have had on their lives, it is almost impossible to contact them and let them know.  My own experience is I did find Mr. Cobbs by accident but have never found any of the other teachers that had a significant impact upon my life.  The basketball team travelled to Goose Bay for a tournament and over to St Johns for the Newfoundland-wide tournament as well.  I enjoyed all of the teachers and our time at Harmon, even though I wasn’t the best student, but the island is beautiful and with the full four seasons, it was an adventure.  Larry Gay, a fellow student and I built what I believe to be the first snow surf boards in shop class and had to demonstrate their use to our teacher or he would have failed us on the project.  The Youth Center, better known as the Teen Club, was a center for activities year-round.  Later, while serving in the military in SEA, I used memories of sitting in the snow behind our quarters and watching the F-102’s take off with no more sound than a light “whooshing” noise or mentally reciting the “Prologue to the Canterbury Tales” that Mr. Cobbs had made our class memorize in old English to calm nerves during operations.  Our family enjoyed the ice fishing and all the fresh lobster that was available as well.  Harmon was an unforgettable tour of duty for our family and one of the highlights of my Father’s career as well.


Photo of exterior of Ernest Harmon High School
Ernest Harmon High School


Photo of the exterior of the teen club at Harmon Air Force Base
Harmon Teen Club


Photo of students outside building at Ernest Harmon Air Force Base
Ernest Harmon AFB

Tell Us Your Story

We'd love to hear from everyone who worked and lived overseas either as a student or an educator.

Share Your Memories
Share This: