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George HG Harris DFC, Legion d'Honneur

Discussion in 'WWII Obituaries' started by The_Historian, Feb 24, 2018.

  1. The_Historian

    The_Historian Pillboxologist Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    "George HG Harris DFC Bomber Command pilot and businessman. Born 3 November, 1922, in Holbeach, Lincolnshire. Died 17 January, 2018 in Tunbridge Wells, 
aged 95 George Harris was first introduced to flying as a small boy, thrilled to take to the air in a bi-plane on a trip to pioneering aviator Sir Alan Cobham’s celebrated Flying Circus. From that moment on he was hooked on flying but it wasn’t until he joined the Edinburgh University Air Squadron that he got the chance to start training as a pilot. By that time the Second World War was raging and Harris was still only 18. But, despite a couple of false starts, he proved a bold and determined airman, surviving numerous missions and close shaves as a Lancaster bomber pilot and winning the Distinguished Flying Cross.
    Posted to No 1 Group in 101 Squadron, a Special Duties squadron, he found himself on a pioneering path when his Lancaster crew acquired an eighth member – a German speaker brought in to operate a top secret radio jamming system and countermand German fighter control instructions. Breaking radio silence made them vulnerable, easy targets for the enemy to track, and resulted in the squadron suffering the highest casualties of Bomber Command, but his crew were a lucky crew, Harris maintained. After completing 30 operations by the age of 21, he went on to train other pilots before going on to Cambridge and subsequently playing a leading role in the field of executive search consultancy, establishing one of the UK’s first headhunting firms. George Henry Gordon Harris was born in Holbeach, Lincolnshire and was educated at Moulton Grammar School after winning a scholarship. In early 1941 he went from school into the RAF via the Edinburgh University Air Squadron and was sent to Alabama and Georgia for training. However just before he was about to gain his wings he failed an American medical, on technical grounds that had not applied to his earlier RAF medical, and was taken off flying duties. It was a grave disappointment to the young airman and after returning
    to the UK it took him another six months of persistence to get back into flying. He joined a course at the RAF College Cranwell and finally gained his wings and a commission in September 1943."
    George HG Harris DFC
     

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