John Wilbert Edmund "Webb" Harten


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200 RCAF Men Commissioned for Efficiency

Ottawa, March 10, 1943 – (CP) – Air Force headquarters today announced that more than 200 members of the RCAF aircrew serving overseas, all graduates of the combined (air) training organization, have been commissioned in the field for efficiency, meritorious service and the display of qualities of leadership. Those commissioned include – from Ontario:

Sgt. Stuart Allan Corbett, Alton
F/Sgt. Thurne Parks, Oshawa
Sgt. John Wilbert Edmund Harten, Sault Ste. Marie


Born 21 May 1918 in Sault St. Marie Ontario
Son of Robert Forest Harten and Aimee May Harten
Joined the RACF in April 1941
Winged in November 1941 as a Sergeant
Posted overseas and to 3 PRC
Posted to 9 SFTS, January through March 1942
Posted to 52 OTU until May then
Posted to 66 Squadron
Promoted to F/Sgt
Posted to 421 Squadron in June (ish) 1942
Commissioned in October
Made Flying Officer in April 1943
And Flight Lieutenant in October 1943
Instructed at 61 OTU, January to August 1944
Took leave in Canada after that
Back to UK in October 1944
Posted to 443 Squadron (UK) temporarily
Then to 416 Squadron in France as F/C
KIA, 19 April 1945 while attacking a train
Hit by flak, he crashed near Kiebitzreihe
He is buried at Hotton War Cemetery, grave XI-C-7


Four Fighter-Bombers Raiding English Coast Downed and Destroyed
RAF and RCAF Planes Resume Their Assaults on Nazi-Held Europe

London, June 1, 1943 - (CP) - R.A.F. and R.C.A.F. fighter squadrons sped through broken clouds over the southeast coast today to resume attacks on the Nazi-held Channel Coast. Many formations were seen from the ground and others, flying too high to be seen, were heard. The daylight stabs by fighter planes followed what was presumed to be night attacks by bombers, as residents on the English side of the Channel reported the sound of bomb explosions from the Calais region.

Down Four of Foe
German fighter-bombers attacked the southeast coast of England this afternoon and four of them were reported destroyed.
Two enemy aircraft, penetrating Britain's southeast defences and setting off London's sirens for the first time in a week, killed four persons and injured three others today with a direct bomb hit on a suburban shelter and six others were killed in another suburb, it was reported authoritatively.
"We heard a bomb strike the shelter and then a second bomb came whistling down," said a nearby resident. "We rushed out and found the brick and concrete shelter completely demolished."
A number of persons were buried under a mass of debris and a crane was needed to clear a path for rescuers. A woman was found dead in a wrecked house, lying over her three-year-old son, who was still alive. Her 24-year-old daughter was seriously injured.
A man taken from another house kept pleading with rescue workers to "save my wife." She was later found dead, while her 28-year-old son is missing.

Bombs wrecked several homes
Britain's own bombers apparently were active earlier in the night harrying the French coast, for residents on this side of the channel reported the sound of explosions from the Calais region.
In two long sweeps yesterday over northern France and the Low Countries, R.A.F. medium bombers and escorting Spitfires blasted airports, communications, docks and factories at Zeebrugge, Nieuport and Brugge in Belgium, Vlissingen in the Netherlands and Caen and Cherbourg in France.
The Spitfires downed two Focke-Wulf 190's in a running battle with about 30 enemy planes over Nieuport. One of the fighters was lost.
Credited with these two kills were four Canadian pilots – F/O N.R. Fowlow of Windsor, N.S., getting one, while Pilot Officers R.W.M. Isbister, 317 Belsize drive, Toronto; Webb Harten, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., and Sgt. David Small, Copper Cliff, Ont., shared the other.
An RCAF communique said one Canadian Spitfire was missing.
This was final day-time assault of May on Germany, and German held Europe. Canadian Spitfires also provided part of the fighter protection for United States medium bombers attacking enemy targets at Flushing in Holland the same day.


Attack Kiel U-Boat Slips, Heinkel Plant; R.C.A.F. as Escort

London, July 29, 1943 (CP) — Strong formations of four-motored American bombers, hacking their way through Nazi fighter packs deep inside Germany, rained explosives on the Kiel U-boat slips and the Heinkel aircraft factory at Warnemuende on the Baltic today and shot down more than 30 enemy planes.
"Good bombing results were observed on both targets," the United States Army Headquarters communique said. Ten American bombers were lost.
"Fairly strong fighter opposition was encountered by the unescorted Fortresses at Kiel, but there was little opposition at Warnemuende," the bulletin added. "Preliminary claims totaled more than 30 enemy fighters destroyed by the bombers."
Returning crewmen said the tight-flying bombers encountered most of their opposition on the homeward flight.
R.A.F., R.C.A.F. and Allied fighters supported the big bombers part of the way to and from Germany, and Canadian fighters knocked down three German planes.

Power Station Hit
Late today medium bombers attacked a power station near Rouen and an airfield at Mervinne in France, and United States medium bombers struck an airfield at Fort Rouge near St. Omer.
Escorting Norwegian Spitfire pilots knocked down two enemy fighters.
From these subsidiary operations three Allied fighters were missing.
A Canadian Spitfire fighter squadron destroyed three enemy fighters during operations over Holland in support of the American attacks. The enemy machines were shot down by P/O Karl Linton of Plaster Rock, N.B., F/O W. Harten of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., and F/L Norman Fowlow of Windsor, N.S.
One Canadian fighter failed to return from the day's operations, an R.C.A.F. communique said.


Grimsby Flyer Says River Elbe Choked With Fleeing Ships

(By John Dauphinee, Canadian Press Staff Writer) London, 20 April 1945 - (CP Cable) - Canadian Spitfires took off soon after dawn today in an all-out assault on the transport lines of Germans withdrawing in northern Germany and within a few hours nine locomotives, 25 railway cars, 105 motor and horse-drawn vehicles were written off in the areas around Luneburg and Cuxhaven.

All Heading Fast
R.C.A.F. headquarters said City of Oshawa Squadron pilots got the biggest bag of locomotives in one show when one each was destroyed by sections led by F/O Steve Straub, of San Jose, Cal., and P/O Larry Spurr, of Middleton, N.S., and two were damaged by a section led by F/L Webb Harten, of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.
The same squadron damaged five railway cars, destroyed five vehicles and damaged nine.
"There were all sorts of trains around Luneburg," said F/O Gordon Hill, of Regina. "They've all got steam up and are heading east."

Hamburg Burning
The Wolf Squadron, which damaged three locomotives and 12 rail cars, led in the transport attacks this morning, with 14 vehicles destroyed and 26 damaged.
The Red Indian Spitfire Squadron added another 12 vehicles destroyed and 19 damaged, as well as destroying one locomotive, damaging one and damaging eight rail cars.
"The River Elbe from Hamburg down is full of shipping," reported F/L L. Foster, of Grimsby, Ont., after leading a Wolf Squadron reconnaissance flight. "We saw warships, a convoy and a submarine.
There are a lot of fires burning in Hamburg."


Air Force Casualties

Ottawa, 20 Dec. 1945 - The Department of National Defense for Air today issued casualty list 13061 of the Royal Canadian Air Force, showing next of kin of those named from Ontario as follows:

Previously Missing, Believed Killed On Active Service, Now For Official Purposes Presumed Dead

HARTEN, John Wilbert Edmund, F/L. Mrs. R.F. Harten (mother), Sault Ste. Marie.


Victories Include :

31 May 1943
29 July 1943
26 Aug 1943

28 Mar 1944
1/3 FW190
one Me109
1/4 Me109

two FW190s
destroyed [1]
destroyed [2]


3.58 / 0 / 0

[1] Shared with David Small & Robert "Izzy" Isbister
[2] Shared with Robert "Dagwood" Phillip, Andy MacKenzie & William Cook




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