Harry M. Johnstone, Jr.

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Harry M. Johnstone, Jr., 92, of Carriere, Miss., died peacefully at his home on December 30, 2016. Harry was born in Carbon Hill, Ala. to Harry M. Johnstone, Sr. and Erin Johnstone. He was preceded in death by his parents and three of his sons.
Harry left home to attend Auburn University in the fall of 1941 with dreams of becoming an airline pilot only to find himself leaving to join the war effort on the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, December 8, 1941. At age 19 he became the youngest flight instructor in the Army Air Corps.
Harry returned to Auburn in 1949 to pursue a degree in aeronautical engineering. Afterwards Harry continued to serve in the Army Missile Command, later to become NASA in 1960.
Harry entered into the frantic race to beat Russia to the moon and played a significant part in this endeavor. He was appointed by his hero, Dr. Werner Von Braun, as manager of rocket engine testing in Huntsville, Alabama. Harry’s vigilance helped America succeed in landing a man on the moon in July of 1969. He retired from NASA in 1975 after 30 years of service to his country. He continued to do consulting for several aerospace contractors in the years that followed.
Harry is survived by wife, Wilda (Dimple) Johnstone; son, Michael and wife Gayle, and their three children, Gregory and wife Jaquelyn (Jackie), Caitlin, and Zachary Johnstone; stepson, Ron Whitfield and wife Kay, and their children and wives, Jonathan and Jennifer, Colby and Heather, and four great-grandchildren, Caroline, Ross, Justin, and Kate Whitfield; grandchildren, Jeremy Hayes and wife Christi, Adam Hayes and wife Margaret; two great-grandchildren, Claire and Avery Hayes.
Memorial services for Harry will be held Tuesday, January 3, 2017, at 11:00 a.m. at McDonald Funeral Home Chapel.
Visitation will be Tuesday, January 3, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. at McDonald Funeral Home Chapel.
Arrangements are under the direction of McDonald Funeral Home.
Obituary, register book, and driving directions can be found on the Internet page at www.mcdonaldfh.com.

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