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Thread: Looking for an Air Force Cross citation

  1. #1
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    Default Looking for an Air Force Cross citation

    Hi,
    I have in my possession from a family source, a Tankard inscribed - Flt Lt B.E. Harrison A.F.C. - 1922 - R.A.F. Leuchars. This is not my family name and I have no idea how we have come to have it but I am intrigued by the inscription and would like to know more about this man.

    I have some conflicting information on B.E. Harrison but what I have found indicates that he may have initially served in the R.N.A.S. around 1917/18 before being absorbed in to the new Royal Air Force. There are records of a Sqn Ldr B.E. Harrison A.F.C. going on to command 35 Sqn in 1929 and various other references in Flight and The London Gazette etc.

    There is a record in The London Gazette supplement dated 3rd June 1919 page 7033 of an A.F.C. being awarded to a Capt Bernard Edward Harrison so I am guessing that he is probably my man.

    Does anyone know where I can find the citation for the award of this medal?

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    David

    Looks like it was part of awards issued as Birthday Honours in 1919:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1919_Birthday_Honours

    Ancestry.co.uk has a Bernard Edward Harrison in the Navy List, 1917, as an Temporary Observer Sub-Lieutenant, R.N.A.S. The site also has a 'Register of Seamen's Service' record for the same, born May 29th 1889, Hendon, Middlesex. Is this your chap?

    Regards

    Simon

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    Hello,

    Summary of Harrison's career up to retirement:

    ROYAL AIR FORCE - Squadron Leader B. E. Harrison.

    Squadron Leader B. E. Harrison, A.F.C., has been placed on the retired list on attaining the age of 48, after 22 years service with the R.N.A.S. and R.A.F.

    Entering as a mechanic in 1915, he was commissioned in the following year as an observer officer, and was awarded the A.F.C. for war service with R.N.A.S patrols at Eastchurch, Cattewater and Newlyn*. During 1919 he was a seaplane observer in H.M.S. Pegasus. He graduated as an aeroplane pilot in 1921, and afterwards served with Fleet Air Arm flights on staff duties at the Air Ministry, and in command of No.35 (Bomber) and No.821 (Fleet Spotter Reconnaissance) Squadrons. During the past two and a half years he has commanded No.2 Balloon Training Unit at Rollestone Camp.

    The Times - Thursday, June 3, 1937. p.9.

    * During his time at these establishments, he survived at least seven forced-landings/ditchings in various aircraft. These are documented in: Royal Navy Aircraft Serials and Units 1911-1919/Sturtivant & Page/Air-Britain,1992/pp.196, 197, 207 & 208 (4).

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 20th February 2017 at 00:33.

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    Simon,

    Many thanks for the quick response. Yes I believe that this is my man, an earlier thread on this forum from 2014 relating to 35 Sqn had him born in 1898, enlisting in Aug 1918 and I could not get to grips with him being awarded the A.F.C after only a few months service, it just didn't seem right. Following up on your quoted date of birth for him I have now located a large number of records related to his life and service and it all fits nicely so your info has been very helpful in pointing me in the right direction. Still don't know why we have the Tankard though!

    Many thanks,

    David.

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    COL BRUGGY,

    Thats his service in a nutshell, your info has saved me having to wade through the numerous documents I have now located thanks to Simon.

    I knew of one ditching in a Short Seaplane following an engine fire off the South coast on Dec 20th 1917 but wasn't aware there were others so will have to look them up. My main focus now I have some info on him will be on seeing if I can find any links between our 2 families as the source of the 43 Sqn Tankard is still a mystery.

    Many thanks,

    David.

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