Edward Haney, lubrication engineer

Edward T. Haney
Edward T. Haney
Posted: August 01, 2014

Edward T. Haney, 89, of Doylestown, a decorated World War II veteran, died Tuesday, July 22, of a heart ailment at Fairview Care Center.

Born in Abington and raised in Elkins Park, Mr. Haney worked for 32 years as a lubrication engineer at Fiske Bros. Refining Co. in Newark, N.J.

His proudest moments, however, came while he served in the Army during World War II, his family said.

He was a rifleman assigned to the 29th Infantry Division, one of the first to land on Omaha Beach during D-Day.

Mr. Haney, then 19, was promoted on the spot from private to sergeant, and ordered to take a squad and eliminate a German pillbox high up on the cliffs that was preventing Allied soldiers from making it safely from their landing craft to the beach.

Although wounded several times, Mr. Haney resisted orders to leave his men and stayed at the front line. Mr. Haney's squad succeeded in its mission, but at the cost of many lives. The division's heroism under withering enemy fire was showcased in the movie Saving Private Ryan.

Mr. Haney continued fighting until V-E Day on May 8, 1945, and was recognized for distinguished service.

Among Mr. Haney's decorations were a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart, and a European American Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with three bronze stars. On May 8, the 70th anniversary of D-Day, he was honored at the French Embassy in Washington as a recipient of the Legion of Honor, France's highest military award. The award recognized his participation in freeing France from the Germans.

"He was waiting for it for years. Then they thought he died. The French finally came to our home on April 16 and presented it to him," said his wife, J. Elaine Haney.

A 45-minute documentary, The American Hero, was made by a French television network in May. In the film, Mr. Haney talks about D-Day at Omaha Beach. An excerpt is to be shown at his funeral, his wife said.

Mr. Haney was an honorary life member of the Sandy Run Country Club and provided over 65 years of support and service to the organization. He was a skilled golfer.

He belonged to American Legion Post 248 and the Purple Heart Society. He was a member of Crossway Community Church in Willow Grove.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by son Jeffery; daughter Brenda Zirkelbach; seven grandchildren; two sisters; nieces and nephews.

A visitation starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 9, will be followed by military honors at 10:50 a.m., then an 11 a.m. funeral service, at Crossway Community Church, 3805 Mill Rd., Willow Grove, Pa. 19090. Interment will be private at Washington Crossing National Cemetery.

Contributions may be made to the church at the address above.


bcook@phillynews.com

610-313-8102

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