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The Airmen's Stories - P/O R Hardy


Richard Hardy joined the RAF on a short service commission in February 1939. After completing his training he was posted to the newly-reformed 234 Squadron at Leconfield on 6th November 1939.

In combat with enemy fighters off Swanage on 15th August 1940, his Spitfire, N3277, was severely damaged. He was forced to land by Me109's near Cherbourg and was captured.


In May 1941 Hardy is believed to have been on the permanent staff at Dulag Luft (Transit Camp - Air), a temporary holding centre for captured Allied airmen at Oberursel, near Frankfurt.

On 1st June 1941 18 PoWs, including 14 British members of the camp's permanent staff, tunnelled their way out of Dulag Luft. All were recaptured after an extensive search by 3,000 police and security personnel. Hardy was probably one of these escapees.

At some time he was held in Stalag Luft III at Sagan. Freed from captivity in May 1945, he was released from the RAF in 1946 as a Flight Lieutenant.

Hardy died in September 1997.

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