Harry J. Hardy was born on May 30, 1922 in Virden, Manitoba and raised in Timmins, Ontario. His father was a WWI veteran and his mother was a nurse during the Great War. Harry had one brother who served in the Royal Canadian Navy during WWII.
He was a decorated Second World War pilot who flew 96 combat sorties in a Typhoon Fighter Bomber winning him the Distinguished Flying Cross and Legion of Honour (France).
He studied Mechanical Engineering through correspondence school, working the last 32 years of his career for MacMillan Bloedel Ltd, seventeen of those as the Chief Engineer of a large sawmill.
He was a renowned aviculturist, a member of the Aviculture Hall of Fame, and a recipient of the American Pheasant and Waterfowl Society's Lifetime Achievement Award. Harry continues to raise birds in his private aviary in Burnaby.
Harry was also an inventor. He volunteered for Tetra Society of North America, designing and building 367 mechanical devices to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities.
Harry married Hazel before he was sent overseas. She was originally from the Vancouver area. After the war, they moved, with their oldest daughter, to Timmins. In 1953, they returned to Vancouver with their two daughters, residing in Burnaby. The family now includes eight grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren.
Harry Hardy provided me (Anne Gafiuk) with many stories of his time as a Typhoon Pilot during the Second World War. Some have made their way to magazines (Esprit de Corps, FlyPast, Flugzeug Classic) and this website. If you would like to learn more about Harry's experiences, feel free to contact me. firstname.lastname@example.org
Progression Through the BCATP and then Overseas
Enlisted in North Bay, Ontario, November 19, 1941.
No. 1 Manning Depot, Toronto, Ontario.
Technical Training School, Toronto, Ontario, December 1, 1941.
No. 6 ITS, Toronto, Ontario, February 14, 1942 - April 10, 1942. Leading Aircraftman.
No. 9 EFTS, May 24, 1942 - July 19, 1942, St Catharines, Ontario.
No. 11 SFTS, Yorkton, Saskatchewan, July 13, 1942 - Nov.6, 1942. Pilot Officer.
123 Army Coop. Sqn. Debert, NS. November 24, 1942 to March 29, 1943
163 Army Coop. Sqn. Vancouver, March 30, 1943 to December 31, 1943, flying Cranes, Bolingbrokes, and Harvards until 163 became a fighter squadron. Hurricanes and Kittyhawks were flown. Flying Officer on May 6, 1943.
January 1, 1944, ordered overseas, with two weeks embarkation leave in Timmins. On January 14, 1944, sailed from NYC, arriving at Greenock, Scotland, January 28, 1944.
No. 61 O.T.U. Rednal, February 20, 1944. Spitfires.
Montford Bridge, April 10, 1944 for gunnery training (20 days).
No. 3 Tactical Exercise Unit, Annan, Scotland, May 21, 1944 for 17 day dive-bombing course on Hurricanes. Graduated June 7, 1944.
No. 3 Tactical Exercise Unit Satellite, Honiley.
Checked out on Typhoons, June 17, 1944, graduating July 18, 1944.
No. 83 Group Support Wing, Bognor Regis, awaiting posting.
440 Squadron, promoted to Flight Lieutenant, November 6, 1944.
Repatriated September 5, 1945 and released October 25, 1945.
Served in RCAF Auxiliary, No. 443 Squadron, February 1, 1954 to September 21, 1962 as a Navigation Officer (59025).