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…

View original post 44 more words

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…

View original post 2,018 more words



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…

View original post 339 more words

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”

View original post

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…

View original post 907 more words

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

View original post

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

Canadian-Chinese in the C.B.I. 1944-45

Something I didn’t know about World War Two

Pacific Paratrooper

Force 136 Force 136

Rumble in the Jungle: The Story of Force 136 is on at the Chinese Canadian Military Museum in Vancouver Canada until the end of 2016.  More information at:

Ironically, while these men were agents for the Allies, back home in Canada they were not considered citizens. Although born in Canada, these soldiers could not vote, nor could they become engineers, doctors or lawyers. Many were forced to live in segregated neighborhoods. In some cities, they were forbidden to swim in public pools and were forced to sit in the back of theaters.

In late 1941, Japan entered the war. It quickly invaded large swathes of Southeast Asia. Many of these areas had been British, French and Dutch colonies.

Britain was desperate to infiltrate the region. They had had some success in occupied Europe when Special Operations Executive (SOE.) trained and dropped secret agents into France…

View original post 717 more words

“Thin” Revisited – Robert Lawrence Yeadon?

“Thin”, that’s the nickname my wife’s uncle had used in 2009 when his daughter showed him the picture of the crew.

Old photo - WW 11-2_mod

With this information I then decided to write this post.


My wife’s cousin wrote me again about her father and the Athabaskan…

I had told her that I did not want to bother her with the story of Athabaskan.

I can be quite obsessive sometimes.

Hi Pierre,

You don’t cause me any problems, it’s a real pleasure to dive into history. On the contrary, I’m deeply grateful because I now know a lot more about my father’s involment in the war..

Yesterday, while talking to dad, I noticed that he was a little bit confused, consciously or unconsciously; this disurbs him. I decided that I was to respect that. On the other hand, I bought with me the picture you gave me of the crew of the Athabaskan taken in April 1944. He recognized someone. He is the sailor in the middle between the two cannons in the third row; he is chubby. He did not recall his name, but he recalls his nickname: “Thin”… something like that. He met him once after the year.

He was happy to see the picture and I promised him to print a copy.

I started looking for pictures of my dad… When I am done, I will contact you again.

Have a nice day.

This is “Thin…”



I wonder if my wife’s uncle had a nickname on the Athabaskan…

When I look at that picture, I think of all those brave men who gave their lives for their country and all those who survided the war but have to live now with their memories of the sinking.


I thought this morning I had finally found who “Thin” was on this Website.


But if my wife’s uncle did meet “Thin” after the war then he can’t possibly be Robert Lawrence Yeadon…


Able Seaman Robert Lawrence Yeadon