NEW YORK (Oct. 8)
Harry Herbert, 74, long-time Jewish communal worker and college sports figure of the 1920s, died here Sunday after a heart attack. He had served as director of the Support and Development Services of the National Jewish Welfare Board (JWB) from 1951 until his retirement in 1966. Funeral services will be held in Hartford, Conn., his home town, on Thursday.
In Nov. 1946, the Medal of Freedom was awarded to Mr. Herbert by President Truman for his outstanding service in the China-Burma-India theater where he had organized religious, hospitality and welfare programs for American GIs along the Lido Road on a beat ranging from Burma to Karachi. In Shanghai, he also served American troops on behalf of JWB and assisted refugees there on behalf of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC).
Mr. Herbert’s JDC assignment was to escort 265 displaced persons on an American ship from Shanghai to Hong Kong where they were to board an Australian ship for that continent. While en route. Mr. Herbert was advised by British motorboat police that the Australian government had withdrawn their ship and he and the 265 displaced persons were checked Into the ballrooms of the Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong. For approximately five months. Mr. Herbert remained, helping the refugees, a few at a time, to get out by plane or ship.
From 1930 to 1941, Mr. Herbert served in executive positions in Jewish Community Centers in Hartford. Conn.; Lawrence. Mass. and Norwalk, Conn. He joined JWB’s staff as a USO-JWB worker and served in El Paso. Texas, and following a period of service in the U.S. Army, he was USO-JWB Regional Supervisor for the Southeast area. A graduate of Syracuse University, class of 1923, Mr. Herbert played on the Syracuse varsity football team and later was a varsity football coach at Trinity College and varsity lacrosse coach at Harvard.