The Airmen's Stories - F/O T P Harnett
Thomas Patrick Harnett of Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada joined the RCAF on 3rd January 1938 and transferred to the RAF on 6th November 1938.
His first posting after flying school was to 5 Armament Training Station, Penrhos on 1st April 1939. 5 ATS was redesignated 9 Air Observer School on 9th September 1939.
Harnett joined 219 Squadron, equipped with Blenheims, at Catterick on 5th December 1939.
He was appointed 'B' Flight Commander on 13th September 1940 and promoted to Acting Flight Lieutenant on the 22nd.
Harnett was posted away to 14 FTS Cranfield on 25th November 1940 as an instructor.
He was posted back to Canada in January 1941, again as an instructor. Later that year he married Rhian Williams, from Pwllheli in Gwynedd, Wales. Sadly she became ill and died aged 24 in 1943.
Above: Rhian and Thomas.
Above image courtesy of David Roberts (nephew of Rhian).
On 11th November 1943 he transferred back to the RCAF.
In September 1944 Harnett went to India, to form and command 435 (RCAF) Squadron, which flew Dakotas on supply drops to the 14th Army.
He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 19th October 1945).
Harnett was released from the RCAF on 10th September 1946 as a Wing Commander. He died in Vancouver, Canada in 1991.