Harry James Henry Hardy

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HARDY, F/L Harry James Henry (J20841) - Distinguished Flying Cross - 440 Squadron
Award effective 23 May 1945 as per London Gazette dated 1 June 1945 &
AFRO 1147/45 dated 13 July 1945

This officer has completed a large number of operational sorties. He has attacked many heavily defended targets including bridges, railway sidings, enemy strong points, barges, locomotives, canal locks and V-1 objectives. On two occasions Flight Lieutenant Hardy has been forced to leave his aircraft by parachute but each time he has returned to operations within a few hours. During the fighting in the Ardennes area he showed outstanding ability and resolution, and despite intense anti-aircraft fire he destroyed a large number of enemy transports. An excellent flight commander both in the air and on the ground, this officer has set an outstanding example of courage, skill and devotion to duty.

Note - Public Record Office Air 2/9088 has recommendation drafted by S/L H.O. Gooding, Commander Officer, No.440 Squadron, when he had flown 92 sorties (108 hours):

This officer has now completed 92 dive-bombing and strafing sorties against many heavily defended targets which included bridges, marshalling yards, enemy strong points, barges, locomotives, railway trucks, canal locks and V-1 sites.

Since becoming a flight commander he has led the squadron many times against all types of targets and has always obtained excellent results. On two occasions he has had to abandon his aircraft by parachute and each time returned to operations within a few hours.

During the Ardennes offensive, in spite of intense light flak, he destroyed a large number of enemy transport and showed outstanding ability for seeking out and destroying the enemy.

By his outstanding dive-bombing ability and good leadership he has contributed much to the rail interdiction program. He has personally destroyed and damaged a large number of locomotives, railway trucks and tankers.

Flight Lieutenant Hardy is an ideal leader of men who, by his courage, skill and determination, both in the air and on the ground, has been an inspiration and example to all members of his squadron. I strongly recommend that this officer be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

This was endorsed by W/C F.G. Grant (10 March 1945), G/C A.D. Nesbitt (11 March 1945) and the Air Officer Commanding, No.83 Group (20 March 1945). Air Marshal Arthur Coningham approved the award on 13 April 1945.


Born 30 May 1922 in Virden, Manitoba.
Home in Burnaby.
Enlisted in North Bay, 19 November 1941.
Posted to No.1 Manning Depot.
To Technical Training School, 1 December 1941.
To No.6 ITS, 14 February 1942 (graduated as LAC, 10 April 1942).
To No.9 EFTS, 24 May 1942 (graduated 19 July 1942).
To No.11 SFTS,13 July 1942 (graduated as P/O 6 November 1942).
To 123 Army Coop. Sqn. (Debert, NS), 24 Nov. 1942 to 29 March 1943.
To 163 Army Coop. Sqn. (Vanc.) 30 March 1943 to 31 Dec. 1943.
There he flew Cranes, Bolingbrokes and Harvards until 163 became a
fighter squadron and began flying Hurricanes and Kittyhawks.
(Promoted to Flying Officer, 6 May 1943)
Ordered overseas, 1 Jan. 1944 with 2 weeks embarkation leave in Timmins.
To "Y" Depot (Lachine) on 14 Jan. & sailed from NY on the Queen Elizabeth.
Arrived at Greenock, Scotland on 28 January.
Taken on strength of No.3 PRC (Bournemouth), 31 January 1944.
To No. 61 OTU Rednal, 20 February 1944 (Spitfires).
(He had trained on twin engines so had not taken fighter OTU).
To Montford Bridge, 10 April 1944 for 20 days of gunnery training.
To No. 3 Tactical Exercise Unit, Annan, Scotland, 21 May 1944 for a 17 day
dive-bombing course (Hurries, graduating 7 June '44) then got 10 days leave.
To No. 3 Tactical Exercise Unit Satellite, Honiley.
Checked out on Typhoons, 17 June '44 (Graduated, 18 July '44).
To No. 83 Group Support Wing at Bognor Regis, awaiting posting.
Landed at Normany as a replacement pilot with 440 squadron, 10 Aug. 1944.
Promoted to Flight Lieutenant, 6 November 1944.
Flew during the Falaise Gap fiasco, the Battle of the Bulge (Ardennes
Offensive), the crossing of the Rhine (Operation Varsity) etc.
He had flown 96 ops when his tour ended on 24 March 1945.
He had bailed twice, once following a mid-air Spitfire collision at the OTU
and once when his Typhoon was shot down by a German tank.
He also force-landed once, when his squadron got lost and they ran out of
fuel while moving to a new base at Brussels.
Repatriated 5 September 1945.
Released 25 October 1945.
Served in the RCAF Auxiliary after the war.


Typhoon Fury by Robert Bailey
Typhoon Fury by Robert Bailey - As the Allies moved relentlessly eastward across France after D-Day, Typhoon pilots fearlessly flew at low level to support ground troops. Depicted is 'Pulverizer 2,' flown by F/L Harry Hardy of 440 Squadron, R.C.A.F., over Belgium, September, 1944. Hardy was flying Typhoon "Pulverizer IV" when the war ended. He had force-landed one & bailed out of two.


There used to be a great collection of his photos online but I can no longer find them.
If you know where they have been moved, please let me know.


No Known Air to Air Victories


Abbotsford Airshow Photo 2016
In this photo taken at the Abbotsford Airshow in 2016 we can see an F-35 in tha back with Charlie Bouchard (a retired Chief of Defence Staff), Billie Flynn (a Canadian ex-CF-18 pilot who is the chief test pilot for the F-35), Harry Hardy and Bud White (a retired RCAF test pilot who holds the Canadian altitude record set in a CF-104 in the sixties - over 113,000’).



Thanks to Neil for the photo and infos !

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