The Airmen's Stories - F/Lt. H A G Comerford
Harry Alfred George Comerford was born on 13th August 1905 in Wandsworth. His father was a music hall and variety comedian and actor, whose stage name was Harry Ford.
HAG Comerford joined the RAF on a short service commission in January 1927. He was posted to 2 FTS Digby for flying training. Having qualified, he joined 16 Squadron at Old Sarum on 19th December 1927, equipped with Bristol Fighters.
On 20th October 1928 Comerford was posted to 28 Squadron at Ambala, India. He served on the North-West Frontier in 1930/31. He moved to 31 Squadron at Quetta on 18th March 1932 and became Adjutant. On 20th December 1932 Comerford went to the UK on leave. He returned to India and was then posted back to the UK on 22nd November 1933.
Comerford joined 40 Squadron at Abingdon on 15th March 1934 and with his term of service completed he went on to the Reserve of RAF Officers on 7th October 1934.
He was recalled on 13th January 1940 and posted to 7 FTS Peterborough as a flying instructor and 'C' Flight Commander.
He was remanded for Court Martial on 5th July 1940 on a charge of becoming unfit for duty due to excessive consumption of alcohol. He was tried by General Court Martial on 24th July 1940 and acquitted.
Comerford was then posted from 7 FTS to 6 EFTS Sywell and it was from there that he joined 312 Squadron at Speke on 1st October 1940 as 'B' Flight Commander. He flew operational sorties on the 11th, 12th and 13th.
On 13th October Blenheims K7135 and L6637 of 29 Squadron were aloft from Tern Hill when they were attacked in error by S/Ldr. J Ambrus, F/Lt. Comerford and Sgt. J Stehlik over the Point of Ayr, SW of Liverpool.
Despite firing the colours of the day L6637 was shot down with the loss of Sgt. RE Stevens, Sgt. OK Sly and AC2 A Jackson.
K7135 with F/O JD Humphreys, Sgt. EH Bee and AC1 JF Fizell was able to break off and return to base.
On the 15th Comerford, together with S/Ldr. J Ambrus and P/O T Vybiral, were flying as Yellow Section on a routine patrol. They lost their bearings and were soon low on fuel. Comerford, in Hurricane V6542, made a forced-landing near Carnforth, writing off the aircraft. Ambrus crashed near Dalton-in-Furness and Vybiral baled out in the same area.
Comerford was posted non-effective sick on 20th October and declared fit for light duty only on the 26th. He did not fly again operationally.
On 13th November 1940 Comerford was posted away to the Air Ministry for attachment to Vickers at Weybridge. He was awarded the AFC (gazetted 30th September 1941) and left the RAF when he resigned his commission on 19th April 1943.
He died in September 1956 in Leicester.