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Thread: F/Lt John Worthington Harder, 64 squadron

  1. #1
    Alan434 Guest

    Default F/Lt John Worthington Harder, 64 squadron

    Hello,

    Flt Lt John Worthington Harder (RAF Fighter Pilot - 64 Squadron) - an American citizen who was shot down & captured over Normandy in July 1944.
    John was transferred to Spitfires, it would appear that Harder flew with Bomber Command and may have enlisted and trained with some Americans whom went onto serve with 434 Squadron, specifically the crew of WL-P (NG-497).

    This crew was attacked by a Nightfighter on 21 Feb. 1945, one killed, another seriously injured.

    Cameron, D.J. RCAF Pilot, J-45297
    Weaver, S.J. RCAF, A/G, R-275185
    Taggart, J.H. RCAF, A/G, K-206351. J-93454 (Injured)
    Davey, H.A. RCAF, W/Op, R-194254 (Killed - Parents listed as Americans, and living in U.S. on CWGC site)
    Ennis, J.G., RCAF, Nav., J-40720
    Sutton, D.F., RCAF, B/A, J-39998
    Stanfield, J., RCAF, F/Lt. F/E, R-225215. J-94479

    My questions;
    Any more information on John Harder’s training while in Bomber Command, and transfer to 64 Squadron?
    (Perhaps someone with 64 squadron info may be able to shed some light on him)
    Any of the other 434 squadron crew members nationalities other then being listed as RCAF?
    (I did not know Davey was American till searching CWGC)

    Thanks, Alan

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    Default F/Lt John Worthington Harder, 64 squadron

    Hi Alan,

    Not an answer to your question I'm afraid but just a small piece of additional info regarding your man Harder. The below is on the RAF Harrowbeer website on the information pages, not sure if it will help or add to the mystery surrounding this man,

    Colin Foster has a little mystery he is trying to solve.....

    "A friend of mine has a cottage in the village of St Vigor des Mezerets, in Normandy, France - just outside of the main “Bocage” country - with major actions (such as Villers Bocage, Mount Pinçon & the assault on Villers & Vire) all nearby.


    In their back garden is a wooden shed (with patches over a series of bullet holes!); on the inside of this are 18 names of both British & American servicemen who were captured in the fighting in Normandy. One of the British Servicemen listed is as follows...


    Number: nnnn19026 Name: Fl Lt J W Harder - Captured: 31/07/1944

    I have agreed to do my best to investigate all of the names in the hope of finding out more about them, whether they made it to the end of the war (or are even still alive), etc,


    I have had some success with tracing two out of the 4 American names listed, and from a chat that I have had with the one who was at the time still alive, it would appear that Flt Lt Harder was an American flying with the RAF.


    Since then (until very recently) the trail went quite cold until I came across someone on a discussion group (www.ww2talk.com) that I am a member of who has been able to provide me with the following information...


    Fighter Cmd Losses 1944-45 by Norman L. R. Franks: American pilot.

    24th July 1944. N°64 Sqn; Fighter Cmd; Spitfire MkIX; Seriel N° MK258; Rhubarb ground targets at Voutre. Hit by flak and baled out over Arou; POW.
    Stationed at Harrowbeer, Devon.

    Note: 18th April 1944. N°64 Sqn; Fighter Cmd; Spitfire MkVb; Seriel N° AD565; Shipping Recce, a.m.; Engine caught fire 50 miles East of Yarmouth, Norfolk; Ditched and rescued; Safe Stationed at Coltishall Norfolk.


    As I replied to him... Thanks for this... It supports what I was told in that he was an American still serving with the RAF"

    The loss of Fl Lt Harder is recorded in the Station ORB but we now know from his Son, that he survived the War. The mystery is that during Colin's search for information, the following turned up:

    OKEHAMPTON CHURCHYARD WAR MEMORIAL
    1939-45, John W Harder


    Colin would like to know more about both the above.

    Hope this is of interest to you,

    Colin

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