GAL019. D.S.M. SIX - S SX. 16082 A/B ROBERTS, RN, HMS KENYA has been added to your Cart
DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS, G.VI.R.,( reverse officially dated ‘1945’), in Royal Mint case of issue; 1939-45 STAR; FRANCE & GERMANY STAR; WAR MEDAL 1939-45. Lancaster Pilot’s D.F.C. Group of four awarded to Flying Officer J. ‘Butch’ Harris, Royal Air Force, who flew in at least 40 operational sorties with 550 Squadron before being killed in a flying accident whilst stationed with No. 1687 B.D.T. Flight, 11 January 1946 with named enclosure and in campaign card box of issue addressed to ‘Mr & Mrs Harris, 35 Guthrie St, Liverpool 6’......... D.F.C. London Gazette 22 May 1945: "This Officer has completed his first operational tour consisting of 31 sorties involving 176.44 hours flying against the enemy as pilot and captain of a Lancaster bomber. He has taken part in attacks against a wide variety of targets in Germany, France and the Low Countries. These targets have consisted of vital and heavily defended industrial areas such as Munich, Merseburg, Stuttgart, Hanover and the Ruhr besides targets in support of our armies of liberation in the Continent such as Duren, Freiburg and Emmerich. His cheerful disposition, determination and confidence have at all times inspired his crew, and by his skill as a pilot and excellent leadership he has moulded them into a most successful team. Undeterred by all hazards in the form of enemy opposition or bad weather he has at all times pressed home his attack in a manner well in keeping with the highest ideals of the service. His example has gone far to raise the morale of the Squadron to a very high standard. Such devotion to duty, courage and determination well merits the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross......... Remarks by Station Commander: ‘Flying Officer Harris has participated in many attacks as a Captain of a heavy Bomber and his gallantry and devotion to duty has been most commendable throughout his tour. He has taken part in attacks which involved deep penetrations into Central and Eastern Germany where strain on human endurance and tenacity of purpose were necessary in order to accomplish his task. His fine record has shown that he has the persistency and devotion to duty to let nothing deter him from his objective. I strongly recommend that such qualities combined with his fine record of achievement be recognised by the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.’........ John Harris was ‘the only son of Mr. and Mrs Harris, Guthrie Street, West Derby, Liverpool. He was educated at Butler Street School, Liverpool and Skerry’s College, and prior to enlistment he was on the office staff at Armour’s, Liverpool. He received his early training in Canada, where he qualified as a pilot, and was commissioned in 1944. He had done over 40 operational flights, and had the distinction of making 30 flights without one of his crew being injured. He was a most popular and capable officer, and was last year awarded the D.F.C.’........ Harris (coincidentally one of two John Harris’s to fly with 550 Squadron and be awarded the D.F.C. in the same Gazette!) flew in at least 40 operational sorties with 550 Squadron (Lancasters) from September 1944, including: Le Havre; Frankfurt; Steenwijk; Sangatte; Neuss; Calais (2); Saarbrucken; Emmerich; Fort Frederick Hendrick (2); Duisburg (2); Stuttgart; Essen; Cologne (2); Dusseldorf; Bochum; Wanne Eickel (2); Duren; Aschaffenburg; Freiburg; Dortmund; Urft Dam; Merseburg (2); Scholven-Buer; Hanover and Munich......... Having completed his tour, Harris was subsequently posted to No. 1687 B.D.T. Flight, R.A.F. Hemswell. It was whilst serving at the latter that Harris was killed in a flying accident: ‘The accident took place near Howden in Yorkshire just after 10am on Friday 11th January 1946, when attempting a forced landing your son crashed and was killed instantaneously....Your son had been working with us for almost a year, and his enthusiasm and keenness made him a valuable member of this Unit, and we have lost a good pilot and a grand friend.’ (Letter included)........ Flying Officer Harris is buried in Anfield Cemetery, Liverpool......... Comes with the following original documentation: Postagam of congratulation from Base Commander on the occasion of the award of the recipient’s D.F.C. dated 27 May 1945; letter to recipient’s mother from Officer Commanding No.1687 B.D.T. Flight, with regard to the circumstance of her son’s death, dated 28 January 1946; correspondence regarding the recipient’s Memorial Stone; with a number of photographs of recipient in uniform, a large number of family photographs, and an obituary from the Garston & Woolton Weekly News, dated 18 January 1946. Extra Fine condition.