The Airmen's Stories - P/O H R Sharman
Herbert Ronald Sharman was born in Wood Green, London on 22nd October 1907 and educated locally at Eldon Road School and Trinity County School. He joined the RAFVR in February 1939 at the age of 31 as an Airman u/t Observer.
Sharman was called up at the outbreak of war and sent to Blackpool for further navigation training. He later went to 5 BGS Jurby for a bombing and gunnery course.
Sharman passed out and was commissioned in March 1940 and joined 248 Squadron at North Coates on 30th March. He was posted away in late May and rejoined 248 from No. 1(C) OTU on 25th June.
The squadron served with Fighter Command in the Battle of Britain on fighter/ reconnaissance duties.
In March 1941 Sharman was posted to 31 Air Navigation School, Port Albert, Ontario, Canada for a Specialist Navigation Course after which he was posted to 33 ANS at Mount Hope, Ontario as an instructor.
Sharman returned to the UK in February 1943 and spent some months going round to operational squadrons, instructing pilots and navigators in the use of new navigational aids.
Sharman then joined 297 Squadron, flying in Whitleys engaged in dropping secret agents into enemy-occupied territory. In September 1943 he was posted to 511 Squadron, Transport Command at Lyneham. He flew to many countries, carrying VIPs to the various theatres of war and conferences, including those at Casablanca, Teheran and Yalta.
Sharman also made a number of Atlantic crossings, ferrying Liberators from Montreal to the Near and Far East.
In March 1944 he went to HQ Transport Command as Deputy Chief Navigation Officer. He made a number of special flights, including over the Himalayas into China, as well as to India, Ceylon and Africa.
Sharman was awarded the AFC (gazetted 7th September 1945).
Sharman was released from the RAF in September 1945 as a Squadron Leader. He had been on flying duties for his whole six years of service.
He returned to work for the Shell Oil Company.
He died aged 100 in Poole on 31st December 2007.