Harold L. Emptage

Howard L. Emptage was born on August 30th, 1921 to Mr. Emptage and Agnes Emptage, who emigrated from Barbados in 1904. His mother remarried and Harold became Bruno Knapp’s stepson.

Harold grew up on William’s Avenue in Teaneck and he graduated Teaneck High in 1939. “Em” was a quiet guy, but that didn’t stop him from being passionate about photography and art. He and wanted to be a photographic illustrator when he got out of school. He took his first steps towards his dream job and by 1940, Harold was a photography developer.

On March 22, 1942, Harold began training at Maxwell Field Army Air Force Pre-Flight School for pilots in Montgomery, Alabama. He was to join the 5th Air Corps Bomb Group, 31sr Squadron. He spent most of his military service in bombing missions and attacks on enemy vessels from August 28th 1944 to January 23rd, 1945. In his F-13 aircraft, he took part in the major campaigns of Asiatic-Pacific Theater.

After completing the required missions for a furlough back home, Sgt. Emptage was killed on March 7thy, 1945 when his airplane home crashed on takeoff. Harold’s remains were originally buried in Morotai but were recovered and in June 1949 he was interred in Grove Church Cemetery in North Bergen. He was posthumously awarded an Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters for meritorious achievement while participating in sustained operational flight missions.

WWII Scrapbook

  1. March 22, 1943
  2. August 2, 1945

High School Yearbook

  1. 1939 Yearbook, Page 31
  2. 1939 Yearbook, Page 95
  3. 1939 Yearbook, Page 98


  1. 1930 United States Federal Census for Agnes E. Knapp (mother)
  2. 1940 United States Federal Census for Agnes E. Knapp (mother)
  3. U.S. Headstone Application for Military Veteran, 1925-1963

fold3.com (Historical Military Records)

  1. Emptage Harold L

National World War II Memorial, Wash., D.C.

  1. War Department Files - S SG Harold L. Emptage

Cambat Squadrons of the Air Force - World War II

  1. 32st Bombardment (p. 152-153)

Find A Grave Website

  1. Sgt Harold L. Emptage