Harley Stevenson, of Leitchfield, was born on Sept. 8, 1925 in Grayson County. He attended the one-room Bloomington School until the 8th grade, at which point his father made him quit to work on the family farm.
Stevenson was drafted into the Navy on Dec. 1, 1943 and released from active duty on April 2, 1946. While in the Navy, he was assigned to the USS Rocky Mountain, which was a “Flag Ship” carrying admirals who commanded the 7th fleet.
Stevenson was a 40 mm gunner, and he fired at Japanese suicide planes trying to fly directly into the American ships. He participated in eight invasions throughout the Pacific Ocean.
Stevenson said he remembers listening to Tokyo Rose broadcasting Japanese propaganda that his ship had been sunk. Fortunately, that never happened. Stevenson even met General Douglas MacArthur.
After leaving the Navy, Stevenson resumed farming for two years, but soon found that construction was more to his liking. He married Roberta (Downs) in 1946, and they had four children, two boys and two girls.
Stevenson has since retired and now spends time at the Grayson County Senior Center, where he exercises daily using the center’s equipment. He also enjoys playing guitar and shooting pool.