Soldier convicted for diverting American supplies to French black market.

Wilson Daily Times, 26 December 1944.

A Turner Harris registered for the World War II draft in Union County, Pennsylvania, in May 1945, and his registration card was sent to a local draft board in Washington, D.C. Harris was born 8 September 1923 in Rocky Mountain [sic; Mount], North Carolina; lived at 67 N Street N.W., Washington; and his contact was mother Maggie Whitehead. However, if this is the man the Times speculated about when “it was learned later,” the paper seems to have placed blame on the wrong Turner Harris. The Turner Harris whose family moved to Washington, D.C., did not register for the draft until five months after Harris the black marketeer was convicted and sentenced to 30 years.

However, records of United States Army Enlistments, found online at, show that a Turner Harris, born in 1922, resident of Wilson, N.C., enlisted at Fort Bragg, N.C., on 3 June 1941. I have found no other details of his service.

The obituary of Johnny Farmer.

Wilson Daily Times, 31 March 1944. 


In the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: George Farmer, 60, teamster; wife Bettie, 62, laundress; and children George N., 21, teamster, Miner, 19, Aulander, 18, drayman, Willie, 17, farm laborer, Johney, 15, farm laborer, and daughter Emma, 12.

In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Finchs Mills Road, George Farmer, 78, livery stable laborer; wife Bettie, 62, laundress; son John, 18, butler; and daughter Emma, 16, nurse.

In 1917, Johnie Farmer registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 4 February 1895 in Wilson; lived on Finch Mill Road; worked as a butler for Mrs. F.S. Davis, Wilson; and was unmarried.

On 25 July 1919, Johnnie Farmer sailed with Company C, 348th Service Battalion, from Brest, France, to the Port of New York abroad the U.S.S. Finland.

In the 1920 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Bynum Street, Bettie Farmer, 56, widow, and children Emma, 23, cook, and Johnnie, 25, butler.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 714 Stronach Avenue, paying $10/month in rent, cook Johnny Farmer, 50, and his mother Betty, 85, widow.

Johnie Farmer died 30 March 1944 after 912 days at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Kecoughtan, Elizabeth City County, Virginia. Per his death certificate, he was born in 1893 in Wilson, N.C., to George Farmer and Betsey Crowell [Crumell]; was single; was a cook; was a World War I veteran; and ordinarily lived at 714 Stronach Alley, Wilson. His body was returned to Wilson for burial.

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III; Army Transport Service Arriving and Departing Passenger Lists 1910-1939,