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Wartime Heritage ASSOCIATION
Remembering World War II
Arthur Hugh Harris Flight Lieutenant J/13395 Royal Canadian Air Force 215 (RAF) Squadron June 11, 1920 Sydney, Cape Breton Co., NS July 26, 1941 Halifax, NS 21 5 feet, 2¾ inches Fair Blue Red Single Wholesale Clerk Presbyterian Catherine Sarah Harris (Mother) Sydney, NS January 3, 1945 25 Singapore Memorial Column 455 Commemorated on Page 522 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance Displayed in the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower in Ottawa on November 4 Flight Lieutenant Arthur Hugh Harris was the son of Harding Hay Harris and Catherine Sarah Harris, of Sydney, NS. Having enlisted in Halifax, NS, he trained and served in Canada until December 18, 1942. He then departed Canada and disembarked in the United Kingdom in December 1942. In August 1943 he was transferred to India serving with the Royal Air Force at Karachi, Calcutta, and Poona. On July 15, 1944 he joined 215 RAF Squadron posted from 355 Squadron. On August 17, 1944 he was promoted to Flight Lieutenant. On the 3rd January, Flight Lieutenant Harris was the 1st Wireless Operator of Liberator B.VI (KH 214) that left Dhubalia, India at 7:21 am in formation with other aircraft to carry out bombing operations in enemy occupied territory on the Bangkok-Moulmein Railway. The aircraft was hit in No. 4 engine and the starboard wing at approximately1:35 pm and burst into flames. In a matter of seconds the wing folded up and the aircraft plummeted into the ground, exploding upon impact. Nobody was seen to have bailed out. The crew were buried by the Japanese within a bomb crater. This site was visited by the first Allied graves search team to reach the area, on September 16, 1945. The diary of Padre Henry C.F. Babb, a Burma-Siam Railway POW who had volunteered to join the graves search team, detailed the visit to the well maintained Liberator crew grave and included tell tale facts of the crash learned directly from a Captain Sakai, the Japanese officer in charge of the Indian National Army gun crew which downed the Liberator. The bodies were never recovered for reburial in an official Commonwealth War Grave Cemetery. The crew of Liberator B.VI (KH 214): Sergeant William David Adams (Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve 3050579) Age 19 (United Kingdom) Flight Lieutenant Charles Milne Brodie (RCAF J/24393) Age 33 (Manitoba, Canada) Flight Lieutenant Kenneth Denison Cox (RCAF J/6157) Age 24 (British Columbia) (b. January 3, 1921) Flight Sergeant Harry Dawson (Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve 1541705) Age 33 (United Kingdom) Flight Lieutenant Arthur Hugh Harris (RCAF J/13395) Age 25 (Nova Scotia) Flight Lieutenant Sao Hkun U (Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve 112240) Burma Son of a Sawbwa (Hereditary Ruler) from the Shan State in Burma. Warrant Officer Class I Harold Oliver Irvine (RCAF R/119324) Age 25 (Ontario, Canada) Flying Officer James Hepworth Nesbitt (Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve 164352) Age 21 (UK) Flying Officer James Murray Potts (RCAF J/23534) Age 24 (British Columbia, Canada) Warrant Officer Alfred Thomas Read(Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve 1333702) (UK) Pilot Officer William Leigh Washbrook (RCAF J/93729) Age 23 (Alberta, Canada)
Lloyd George MacLeod
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Name: Rank: Service No: Service: Date of Birth: Place of Birth: Date of Enlistment: Place of Enlistment: Age at Enlistment: Height: Complexion: Eye Colour: Hair Colour: Marital Status: Trade: Religion: Next of Kin: Date of Death: Age at Death: Cemetery: Reference:
A member of the 215 RAF squadron, Wally Frazer, wrote a book A Trepid Aviator, in which he had this to say about Arthur Hugh Harries. Frazer described his idea of a perfect crewmate,' My first choice would be Art Harris, a chubby little guy from Nova Scotia. Everyone calls him 'Chota' - Urdu (language) for small. He's very bright, never without a big grin and a joke. Wouldn't somebody like that be great to have in the crew, and as your roommate?' 'Nobody laughs harder than Chota Hassis.Some guys have faces that invariably look as if they've just received bad news; others always appear angry....But Chota is one of the lucky ones. Even asleep, I expect, his expression would make you think he'd just heard a good joke.' (capebretonpooles.com)
Photo: the site of the crash and burial of the crew
Liberator B.VI (KH 214) photographed on a previous bombing mission