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The Airmen's Stories - P/O H A R Prowse


Harry Arthur Robin Prowse was born on 27th February 1921 and educated at Emanuel School, he joined the RAF on a short service commission in May 1939.

He began his initial training at 8 E&RFTS Woodley on 30th May then moved to 13 FTS Drem on 11th August and finished his training at 15 FTS Lossiemouth.

On 6th January 1940 Prowse was posted to 9 BGS Penrhos as a staff pilot. He went to 4 Ferry Pilot Pool on 16th May and was engaged in ferrying aircraft out to the AASF in France.




On 8th June 1940 he crash-landed in a Hurricane at Marseilles-Marignane. He was still waiting there for the aircraft to be repaired when the armistice came into being and he had to make his own way back to the UK, it is thought via Cherbourg.

On 3rd September 1940 Prowse went to 7 OTU Hawarden and after converting to Spitfires he joined 266 Squadron at Wittering on the 16th. On 20th October he went to 603 Squadron at Hornchurch.

He probably destroyed a Me109 on 11th November.

Prowse destroyed two Me109's over St. Omer on 4th July 1941 but his Spitfire Va R7339 was then shot down by flak. He crash-landed in a field and set his aircraft alight with his Very pistol before being captured. He spent most of his captivity at Stalag Luft 3. Prowse was freed on 2nd May 1945 and returned to England on the 8th.

After a long leave he did a flying refresher course at 5 (P) AFU at Atcham on Harvards, from 16th October 1945 to 23rd January 1946.

Prowse was released from the RAF but decided to return to flying duties for a year. He went to 61 OTU Keevil on 18th June for a refresher course on Spitfires and from 18th July 1946 until released again on 6th June 1947 he instructed at Keevil.

In September 1947 Prowse and his wife sailed for Brazil, where he managed a 17,000 acre farm until his retirement in December 1983.

He died there on 31st July 2010.


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