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Thread: Spitfire MK672,Lanquesaint,Belgium,May 1944

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    Default Spitfire MK672,Lanquesaint,Belgium,May 1944

    I'm searching for the squadron and individual code letters of Spitfire MkIX MK672, RAF 74 Squadron
    The pilot, F/S Stephen Brian HARRIS evaded capture and was later arrested and sent to St Gilles prison. I'searching for any information about how he evaded capture and who helped him.
    Thanks for your help.
    Phil
    Phil in Belgium

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    Hello Phil
    I have the ORB for 74 Squadron for this period.
    There is no mention of F/S Harris on the Form F540.
    However his loss is recorded on the Lympne Wing ORB.
    There appears to be no F541 for May 44 which is a shame as the squadron was recording the aircraft letter and not serial numbers on the F541 for July and August 44.
    Regards
    Andy

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    No record of a SB Harris in the web pages for PoW's, nor Harries or Harrison.... Closest is either S V Harris, Service No. 1130017 or SBH Harrison, Service No. 112754..
    According to the website Spitfire Production (p70) :-
    MK672 HFIX CBAF M70 6MU 28-3-44 74S 16-5-44
    and therefore appears to have been lost on or before 16th May 1944 with 74 Squadron. No CWGC entry for Harris etcso he survived and appears to have successfully evaded. An alternative might be that he was seriously wounded and was therefore hospitalised but that doesn't seem to tie in with the information given.
    Hope it helps in a small way...

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    There is a F/Sgt S B Harris listed on the 74 Sqn ORB in March 1944.
    There is no more metion of him after this time.

    Andy

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    Hello,

    On the 22nd (May, 1944), there was more success when they (74 Sqn) destroyed five more lorries, two trailers , two railway engines and two wagons, a flak post and a German staff car. Added to this list were canal barges which were damaged together with, in the words of the Operations Record Book, 'various members of the Reich'. The day's success was tempered by the loss of Titch Harris*, who hit a tree while strafing German fraffic along a Belgian road just south of Brussels, although he escaped with just cuts and bruises. Allan Griffin (who by this time had been commissioned)recalls Harris's later return to the Squadron.

    "There was a story circulating that Titch had been captured after taking refuge in a supposed safe house in Brussels and being looked after by a most attractive young lady. Titch was known for his prowess with members of the fair sex and it would seem he was in his element! But the lady in question was not averse to entertaining members of the local German garrison as well and when one appeared Titch would go and sit in the wardrobe and only come out after the German had departed!".

    But the lady's allegiances were obviously suspect, as Titch woke up one morning to find the Gestapo on both sides of the bed:

    "I thought I was having a bad dream. They tried to give the third degree while I was in bed but they got nothing out of me so they hauled me out and took me to Brussels where I was thrown into a prison cell".

    Titch was later able to escape and make his way back to England with the help of the local Resistance.

    * Elsewhere identified as; S.B."Titch" Harris.

    See:
    Tigers:The Story of No.74 Squadron RAF.
    Cossey,Bob
    London:Arms & Armour Press,1992
    p.133

    There is also brief mention of Harris in; OIiver Clutton-Brock's, RAF Evaders p.372 (identified as; 1380154 F/S S.B. Harris).

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 18th January 2010 at 13:18.

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    Thanks a lot for your replies.
    The individual call letter is still missing.
    Best regards from Belgium
    Phil in Belgium

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    phil, I'm sure you know that 74 changed to 4D in April 1944, but I don't have the individual code, perhaps others?

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    Thanks Kevin.Yes I know It changed to 4D

    Phil
    Phil in Belgium

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