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Thread: RNZAF pilot S/Ldr J.A. Harrison

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    Default RNZAF pilot S/Ldr J.A. Harrison

    Hello Errol and all other Kiwi experts,

    I am seeking information with a view to find any family of NZ404870 S/Ldr J.A. Harrison, 76 Sqn "C" Flight Commander 1944. He was posted in to 76 as a Flt.Lt. Any biography, no matter how small will be gratefully received. Thank you

    Norman
    Last edited by namrondooh; 29th May 2009 at 20:45. Reason: adding info about Flt.Lt

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    Norman,

    From Colin Hanson's 'By Such Deeds - Honours and Awards in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, 1923-1999':

    "HARRISON, Squadron Leader James Arnold, DSO, DFC.
    NZ404870; Born Hastings, 28 Sep 1914; RNZAF 30 Nov 1940 to 15 Sep 1945; Pilot.
    Citation Distinguished Flying Cross (8 Mar 1943): [10 Sqn RAF (Halifax)] In March, 1942, this officer was involved in a serious crash and sustained head injuries, a broken arm and crushed foot.[*] Undeterred by the experience, Flight Lieutenant Harrison returned to operational duties immediately on his discharge from hospital and has since taken part in numerous sorties in the face of severe enemy opposition. Over Dusseldorf in September, 1942, his aircraft was held by searchlights and badly damaged by anti-aircraft fire. In November, 1942, whilst returning from Turin, his aircraft was repeatedly attacked by an enemy fighter which was eventually destroyed by his rear gunner. Throughout all his operations this officer has displayed exemplary determination and a grim resolution in seeking out and bombing his target. His fine leadership has been an inspiration to the squadron.[*] On the night of 27/28 Mar 1942, when returning in bad weather from a raid on St Nazaire, his aircraft crashed on the Yorkshire moors. His navigator was killed. Although suffering from head injuries, a broken arm and a crushed foot Flt Lt Harrison dragged his unconscious wireless operator from the burning aircraft before collapsing himself. After five months in hospital he returned to operational flying.
    Citation Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (Imm) (17 Nov 1944): [76 Sqn RAF (Halifax)] Squadron Leader Harrison has completed two tours of operational duty during which he has attacked a wide variety of targets many of them far into enemy territory. He has set a magnificent example of skill, gallantry and devotion to duty, qualities which have been well illustrated in the high standard of operational efficiency of the flight he commands. On a recent occasion, Squadron Leader Harrison led a large formation of aircraft on an attack against Scholven Buer. By his outstanding skill this officer contributed in good measure to the good results obtained.
    Died Waipukurau, 12 Aug 1998."

    When his DFC was awarded a newspaper described him as being from Hastings but when announcing his DSO he was of Takapau. All three locations are in the Hawkes Bay province.

    You could try placing a (free) notice in the 'Lost Trail' column of the RSA Review magazine - editorial email is rsareview@rnzrsa.org.nz
    This might lead you to a family contact.

    Errol

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    Many thanks Errol, I now learn about another brave warrior.

    Norman

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    Default S/Ldr James Harrison - operational postings

    Hello Errol,

    Do your references state when he was posted into and out of 10 & 76 Squadrons? Thank you.

    Norman

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    Norman,
    Flt/Lt J A Harrison posted to 76sqdn from 1658CU on 15/5/44. Sqdn/Ldr J A Harrison posted from 76sqdn to 12 PDRC 5/12/44.
    Last edited by AlanW; 3rd June 2009 at 18:19.

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    Thanks Alan, your reply is appreciated
    Norman

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    Hi, apologies for jumping in on this posting.

    Ive been researching James Harrison for some time now with his link to the incident on 28th March 1942, flying Whitley Z9221, the aircraft flew into high ground between Pateley Bridge and Kirby Malzeard.

    My website at www.yorkshire-aircraft.co.uk/aircraft/planes/dales/z9221.html has pretty much the info I currently have.

    I may need to amend the bit given the injuries to the pilot and him probably not being the one who went for help. I spoke to a gamekeeper who says that local memory has it that a New Zealander went for help following the crash. It now sounds like this would be the rear gunner.

    regards Rich Allenby

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    Quote Originally Posted by namrondooh View Post
    Hello Errol,

    Do your references state when he was posted into and out of 10 & 76 Squadrons? Thank you.

    Norman
    Norman,

    Sorry but no.

    Errol

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Allenby View Post

    I may need to amend the bit given the injuries to the pilot and him probably not being the one who went for help. I spoke to a gamekeeper who says that local memory has it that a New Zealander went for help following the crash. It now sounds like this would be the rear gunner.

    regards Rich Allenby
    Rich,

    Just a small correction to Chorley's spelling of the rear gunner's surname, it should read:

    NZ39011 Andrew McArthur WADDELL
    Died 1957 age 45 (early death a result of his injuries, perhaps?), buried Waikumete Cemetery, Auckland.

    Errol

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    Default S/Ldr. J.A.Harrison photogaph

    Can anyone lead me to a wartime photograph of James Arnold Harrison please ?
    Norman

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