Remembering Richard Emerson Harmer

Remembering Richard Emerson Harmer

Act of heroism

A tribute to Richard "Chick" Harmer and US Navy Night Fighter Squadron VF(N)-101

How could I have been remembering Richard Emerson  Harmer before Flight Lieutenant John Kelly’s son sent me this picture in 2015, and got me writing this blog remembering unsung heroes?


Collection John Kelly (courtesy Gunnar Kelly)

Or Robert Brunson for that matter…


Richard Emerson  Harmer was just smiling as well as other night fighter pilots from VF(N)-101 aboard the Enterprise…


This is what I found this morning on the Internet about Richard Emerson Harmer, and got me thinking  and writing this post.

Dec 41 to Aug 42 – LTJG (Lieutenant (junior grade), VF-5 USS Wasp

Aug 42 to Oct 42 – LT, (Lieutenant)VF-5 (XO) USS Saratoga

Oct 42 to Mar 43 – LT, Project AFFIRM NAS Quonset Point

Mar 43 to Dec 43 – LT, VF(N)-75 (XO) NAS Quonset Point

Dec 43 to Feb 44 – LCDR (Lieutenant commander), VF(N)-101 (CO) NAS Barbers Point

Feb 44 to…

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The Development of Night Fighters in World War II

The Development of Night Fighters in World War II

Navy night fighters in WWII

A tribute to Richard "Chick" Harmer and US Navy Night Fighter Squadron VF(N)-101


Modern warfare took on a new dimension with the innovation of radar; one of its most effective applications was in aerial combat.

Radar was in its infancy at the beginning of World War II, but already an essential part of Britain’s air defense system. When England’s small, but gallant, force of Hurricanes and Spitfires made daylight bomber attacks too costly, the Luftwaffe turned to night raids. To counter this, the Royal Air Force (RAF) employed hastily modified Bouton-Paul Defiant aircraft to fly at night. This handful of planes-cooperating with radar-equipped ground control intercept (GCI) stations, antiaircraft fire, and searchlights- was the key element of the infamous “Killer Belt” night defense system. With darkness no longer a safety screen for German bombers, night attacks against Britain were curtailed. The men of the RAF who fought and won the desperate Battle of Britain in the latter half of 1940—hailed by…

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About the start of a journey into the past of Gerald Thomas Padden


Sergeant Gerald Thomas Padden

My name is Graham Padden. I’m 50 years old and recently embarked on a mission to familiarise myself with the life of my Uncle “Bunty”. A man I never had the pleasure to meet, that was taken from us on the evening of 17th December 1942.

 He was the son of a Headmaster, my grandfather, Gerald Luke Padden (B.E.M.) and the brother of 4 others. Brian, Norah, Dennis (my father) and James (Jim) His mother Janetta ( My grandmother) died following the complications of childbirth during the delivery of Jim in 1934 and the family were brought up by their father, Aunty and a housekeeper.
My father Dennis is the only remaining sibling and whilst he can of course remember his brother Bunty he left these shores in 1941 when my dad was only 11 years of age to begin pilot training in Canada and America.

 My father is now…

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Les souvenirs de guerre de Bobby Laumans

Most interesting Website where the author has interviewed WWII veterans.

Souvenirs de guerre

Un site Internet intéressant à découvrir.

L’auteur a interviewé plusieurs anciens combattants.

Ici c’est Bobby Laumans.   L’entrevue est en langue anglaise.


I entered the Cavalry school and 6 months later, I was  a sergeant and everything went quite fast. Then I met a pilot who came every day to eat at the…

Source: Translation “Bobby Laumans”

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The Other Pearl Harbor Story – Kimmel and Short


Pacific Paratrooper


People around the nation, including some vocal congressmen, asked why America had been caught off guard at Pearl Harbor.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt said he would appoint an investigatory commission. Supreme Court Justice Owen Roberts — a pro-British internationalist friendly with FDR — was selected to head it. Also appointed to the group: Major General Frank McCoy, General George Marshall’s close friend for 30 years; Brigadier General Joseph McNarney, who was on Marshall’s staff and chosen on his recommendation; retired Rear Admiral Joseph Reeves, whom FDR had given a job in lend-lease; and Admiral William Standley, a former fleet commander. Only the last seemed to have no obvious fraternity with the Washington set.

The commission conducted only two to three days of hearings in Washington. Admiral Standley, arriving late, was startled by the inquiry’s chummy atmosphere. Admiral Harold Stark and General Marshall were asked no difficult or embarrassing questions. Furthermore…

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Vintage Wings – The Maltese Falcons

Great article by Dave O’Malley on Vintage Wings

The Smith Brothers



Rod Smith (left) shared an aerial victory over Malta with his brother Jerry (right), perhaps the only brothers in history that were fighter pilots who combined their skills to shoot down a single adversary. Following Rod’s death in 2002, his younger sister Wendy took his ashes to Malta and a visiting Spitfire pilot deposited them in the Mediterranean Sea over the spot where Jerry was thought to have crashed. The ashes were delivered in much the same way as the flaps were set for takeoff on club runs. They were placed inside the flap cavity and the flaps were lowered in flight allowing Rod’s ashes to fall away into the sea to join his brother. 

maltaaces11Click here

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Housing, Hygiene, Laundry, and Food — IHRA

This excerpt comes from a memoir written by 1/Lt. Robert Mosely of the 89th Squadron, 3rd Bomb Group. Given the mention of the Philippines, the events below would have taken place in late 1944 or 1945. As described earlier, our tent, up on a wooden floor, was a great improvement over out “housing” in […]

via Housing, Hygiene, Laundry, and Food — IHRA