Harry Schurr was born on July 5, 1928, in Indiana, Pennsylvania. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Forces on October 5, 1946, and after completing basic training at San Antonio, Texas, he served as a facsimile technician and weather observer at Stewart Field, New York, from April 1947 until he entered the Aviation Cadet Program of the U.S. Air Force on September 16, 1948. He was commissioned a 2d Lt and awarded his pilot wings on September 30, 1949. His first officer assignment was as an F-84 Thunderjet pilot with the 82nd Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Hamilton AFB, California, from September 1949 to July 1950, followed by service with the 18th Air Base Group at Clark AB in the Philippines from July to August 1950. Lt Schurr flew combat in Korea as an F-80 Shooting Star pilot with the 9th Fighter-Bomber Squadron at Teagu AB, South Korea, from September 1950 to April 1951. He then served as an F-84 and F-94 Starfire pilot with the 82nd Fighter Interceptor Squadron back at Hamilton AFB from April 1951 to December 1952, followed by service as an F-84 and F-86 Sabre pilot with the 514th Fighter-Bomber Squadron at RAF Manston, England, from December 1952 to August 1955. After completing Marine Corps Amphibious Warfare School at Quantico, Virginia, Capt Schurr served as an F-100 Super Sabre pilot with the 1st Fighter-Day Squadron at George AFB, California, from June 1956 to March 1959. During this time, he deployed with the squadron to Moron AB, Spain, from June to November 1958. His next assignment was as an F-100 pilot with the 306th Tactical Fighter Squadron at George AFB from March 1959 to October 1960, and then on the staff of the 31st Tactical Fighter Wing at George from October 1960 to May 1962. Maj Schurr attended Air Command & Staff College at Maxwell AFB, Alabama, from May 1962 to July 1963, followed by service as an Inspector with the 1002nd Inspector General Group at Norton AFB, California, from July 1963 to June 1966. After completing F-105 Thunderchief Combat Crew Training, LtCol Schurr served with the 13th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Korat Royal Thai AFB, Thailand, from April to May 1967, and then as Commander of the 469th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Korat from April to November 1967. His next assignment was as Commander of the 4519th Combat Crew Training Squadron (later redesignated the 419th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron) at McConnell AFB, Kansas, from November 1967 to January 1970, followed by service with the 23rd Tactical Fighter Wing at McConnell AFB, where he served as Assistant Director of Operations, Director of Operations, Wing Vice Commander, and then Wing Commander from January 1970 to July 1972. Col Schurr next served as Director of Inspection with Headquarters Pacific Air Forces at Hickam AFB, Hawaii, from July 1972 to November 1973, and then as Commander of the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing at Kunsan AB, South Korea, from November 1973 to September 1974. He then served as Commander of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing at Kunsan from September to November 1974. His final assignment was as Inspector General with Air Force Logistics Command at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, from November 1974 until his retirement from the Air Force on August 1, 1978.
His Air Force Cross Citation reads:
Lieutenant Colonel Harry W. Schurr distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force as commander of a strike force of twenty F-105 Thunderchiefs against a heavily defended target in North Vietnam on 11 August 1967. On that date, though intense, accurately directed hostile fire had damaged his aircraft prior to reaching the target, Colonel Schurr, with undaunted determination, indomitable courage, and professional skill, led the strike in a devastating attack against a key railroad and highway bridge. One span was destroyed and others heavily damaged. As a result, the flow of war materials into this area was appreciably reduced. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of the hostile force, Colonel Schurr has reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.