Retired July 1, 1964. Died Nov. 2, 1988.
Maurice Cooper Harlan was born in Rooks County, Kan., in 1908. He lived on a farm and attended a country school until age 10 when, with his parents, he moved to Des Moines, Iowa. A year passed and the family moved to Knoxville, Iowa, where the father continued his practice of dentistry. General Harlan graduated from high school in 1925 and entered Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa, the same year. He was active in sports and the glee club for the next two years. He entered the State University of Iowa in 1929, graduating in 1933 with a doctor of dental surgery degree and a reserve commission as first lieutenant, Dental Corps, U.S. Army, as a result of membership in the ROTC unit.
After graduation, he established a dental practice at Knoxville, Iowa, and continued in practice until December 1936 when he was called to active duty as a reserve dental officer at Army-Navy Hospital, Hot Springs, Ark. During the year, he made application for a regular commission and, as a result of a competitive examination, was commissioned as number one on the list of successful applicants.
Shortly after receiving his regular commission, he was transferred to Fort Knox, Ky., and named dental surgeon of the 1st Armored Division upon its activation.
In 1940, he completed the basic course of the Medical Field Service School at Carlysle, Pa.
After Carlysle, the captain was ordered to Fort Clayton, Panama Canal Zone, serving until requested for duty at Billings General Hospital, Fort Benjamin Harrison, Ind. In June 1942, a majority and assignment as dental surgeon of the hospital came together and assignment continued until June 1944 when lieutenant colonel Harlan was ordered to the 199th General Hospital at Camp Ellis, Ill., and accompanied the unit to France as its dental surgeon.
Upon deactivation of the 199th, he was ordered to Davis-Monthan, Ariz., and continued as chief of Dental Service until ordered to Tufts Dental College in Boston for four months postgraduate training in specialty of periodontia.
The next assignment for Lieutenant Colonel Harlan was Valley Forge General Hospital as chief clinician and dental surgeon. During this period, he transferred to the Air Force from the Army upon the establishment of Air Force Medical Service. He served under the policy of joint staffing until deactivation of the hospital in 1950.
From 1950 to 1952, Colonel Harlan served in Alaska in the Air Force Hospital as dental surgeon and later as command dental surgeon, Alaskan Air Command.
From 1952 to 1955, he served at McChord Air Force Base and 25th Air Division at Tacoma, Wash.
The next four years, 1955 to 1959, Colonel Harlan served as director of Dental Services Division of the 3882nd School Group, Gunter Air Force Base, Ala.
In June 1959, Colonel Harlan was reassigned to the Office of the Surgeon General, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, to assume the position of deputy assistant surgeon general for dental services and was promoted to brigadier general Aug. 27, 1960.