This group is to Squadron Leader Richard Henry Hardy, D.F.C., D.F.M., Royal Air Force.
Distinguished Flying Cross (1945) unnamed as issued
Distinguished Flying Medal named to 580825 F/Sgt. R.H. Hardy. R.A.F.
1939-45 Star unnamed as issued
Air Crew Europe Star (Clasp - France and Germany) unnamed as issued
WW2 Defence Medal unnamed as issued
1939-45 War Medal unnamed as issued
King's Commendation for Valuable Services in the Air Oak leaf mounted on ribbon
The group comes with his gold Caterpillar club badge engraved on the reverse Sgt. R. Hardy. Pres. by Irving Co., three log books, D.F.C., D.F.M. medal ribbon bar, Observer brevet, pilots wings, pathfinders breast badge, bullion wings and original photographs.
580825 Flight Sergeant Richard Henry Hardy, No.15 Sqn.
L.G: 9/1/1942. Sorties 38, Flying hours 210. Air Observer. Air2/8464.
This N.C.O. has done 38 operational sorties, 6 since joining this squadron for his second tour of operations in September, 1941. During this period, his keenness and experience have been of notable use to the squadron. On 18th December, 1941, he was Observer in the leading aircraft of the third section of Stirlings detailed for a daylight attack on the battle cruisers at Brest. Although delayed at the rendezvous some 200 miles from the objective, he succeeded in bringing his aircraft over the target at the exact pre-arranged time. During the run-up, his aircraft was subjected to intense heavy flak and fighter interference but in spite of this, Flight Sergeant Hardy guided the aircraft and aimed the bombs with such precision that a direct hit was obtained on both of the battle cruisers. His coolness and efficiency under the most difficult conditions resulted in a remarkable example of precision bombing.
19th December, 1941
Remarks by Station Commander
Flight Sergeant Hardy showed great coolness and tenacity of purpose under very adverse conditions. I fully endorse the Squadron Commander's recommendation. The zeal and efficiency which has always been shown by this Observer throughout his operational record is a credit to his squadron.
Remarks by A.O.C.
This N.C.O. has always proved himself to be a Navigator of outstanding ability. On this occasion, it was essential that no aircraft arrived in the area before zero hour and Section Leaders had been briefed to err on the late side and increase their cruising speed as necessary. The section led by this Navigator was delayed at the start and yet by skilful navigation and accurate information to his Captain, he enabled time lost to be made up and the section arrived over the target exactly at the pre-arranged time. He then succeeded in carrying out an excellent run-up and aimed his bombs with the greatest coolness and precision. Recommended for special recognition.
48418 Flight Lieutenant Richard Henry Hardy D.F.M., No. 635 Sqn.
L.G: 4/12/1945, Sorties 84 (46 since last award), Flying hours 379 (212.20 since last award). Pilot.
This officer has participated in a total of 84 operational sorties against the enemy. He has completed 46 of these since he was awarded the D.F.M.
As captain and pilot of aircraft Flight Lieutenant Hardy has taken part in attacks against some of the most heavily defended German targets. He has shown himself to be a skillful pilot and capable captain, spite of the worst opposition. It is considered that he is worthy of the highest praise.
20th May 1945
Hardy was a pre-war R.A.F. regular who started his navigator training in March 1939. He qualified and was posted to 115 Squadron operating Wellington bombers in August of that year and flew his first war raid on the 8th September 1939 with a sweep over the Danish coast.
The first log book was lost as the first entry is for the 2nd April 1940 and is signed as certified correct, 12 ops carried forward. The previous ops are recorded in the back of the log book and states '24th December 1939 sweep Danish coast a/c hit baled out' thus earning the Caterpillar club badge. The log also shows that he again baled out on the 15th May following a raid on the Rhur.
He completed his first tour of 32 ops on the 27th July 1940 and after a period of instructing he was posted to 15th Squadron operating Sterling bombers. Nearing the end of his tour in September 1942 he volunteered for Pathfinder duties, joining 7 Squadron. He completed his tour in October with 65 ops.
He was selected for pilot training and posted to the United States. When he returned to the UK he converted to the Mosquito and joined 608 Squadron, flying his first op as pilot on the 25th September 1944 to Mannheim. He completed 11 ops before being posted to 635 Squadron now flying Lancasters in the Pathfinder Role. He completed 7 trips during March, with the last on the 24th, making a total of 84 ops.
He remained in the R.A.F. after the war and in June 1946 was posted to 35 Squadron where he was selected for Operation Goodwill, touring the USA with Lancaster Bombers. In 1947 he converted to the Avro Lincoln Bombers, flying with the Central Bomber Establishment at R.A.F. Marnham until 1949. This resulted in the award of the King's Commendation for Valuable Services in the Air. In 1951 he was posted to 15 Squadron flying Boeing Washington (Super Fortress). He then went on to fly the Meteor and Vampire Jets until November 1956.
The logs record 2,556 flying hours.
A fantastic group. Comes with a quantity of copy research.
The medals are in good condition and are swing mounted for wear.