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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. O A Hardy


Oswald Anthony Hardy was born on 23rd August 1911 in Dalhhousie, India. He was educated in England and returned to Bombay in 1933 where he was employed as a clerk.

Back in the UK once more he joined the RAFVR in September 1939 as an Airman u/t Air Gunner. With his training completed he joined 264 Squadron at Kirton-in-Lindsey in early August 1940.

On the 28th he was in Defiant N1569, flying with P/O JRA Bailey, when it was severely damaged in combat with Me109s of JG26. Bailey made a forced-landing at Court Lodge Farm, Petham. In the engagement they damaged a He111.





On the night of 16th/17th April 1941 he was aloft in Defiant N3369, flown by F/O WRA Knocker, when it was hit by anti-aircraft fire over Crowborough, Sussex. They baled out safely. The aircraft came down at Redbridge Farm, Crowborough.

On the night of 31st August, this time in N3453, they were engaged in a searchlight co-operation exercise when the aircraft became uncontrollable. Both baled out but at low altitude and suffered leg injuries, Hardy's being both broken. The Defiant came down between Slaugham and Cuckfield in Sussex.

He twice became a member of the GQ Parachute Club, baling out on the above occasions using the same GQ Parasuit that had been designed for Defiant crews.

Hardy was commissioned in August 1942 and by 1943 was serving with 515 Squadron. The squadron operated Defiants in the radio counter-measures role, these were replaced by Beaufighters in June 1943.

He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 23rd March 1945) as a Flight Lieutenant with 550 Squadron, operating Lancasters.

Hardy was released from the RAF in 1947 as a Squadron Leader.

It is believed that Hardy subsequently became a manager with the Firestone Tyre Company, based in Karachi, Pakistan, where he died in 1964.


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