A Collection of Medals to Second World War Royal Air Force Casualties

Date of Auction: 17th July 2019

Sold for £300

Estimate: £300 - £400

Three: Sergeant (Observer) P. R. Harris, 18 Squadron, Royal Air Force, who was killed in action when his Blenheim was shot down and crashed into the sea after bombing operations on aerodromes in Belgium and Holland, on 16 July 1940

1939-45 Star; Air Crew Europe Star; War Medal 1939-45, with named Air Council enclosure and medal tickets, in card box of issue, addressed to ‘Mrs. Lily Harris, 11 Thornton Lodge Road, Huddersfield, Yorks.’, extremely fine (3) £300-£400


Peter Raymond Harris served during the Second World War as an Observer with 18 Squadron. His first operational sortie was on 6 July 1940, when he flew on bombing sorties to various targets in Calais, Le Touquet and Boulogne, and during the remainder of the month he took part in bombing the concentrations of invasion barges in preparation for ‘Operation Sealion’.

Harris was killed in action when Blenheim P6933, piloted by Sergeant A. St. J. Bunker, was presumed to have crashed into the sea having been shot down by a Bf 109 of JG54, whilst on bombing operations on aerodromes in Belgium and Holland, on 16 July 1940.

The Other Few by Larry Donnelly contains a more detailed account:
Peter Harris was the observer in Blenheim P6933 of No. 18 Squadron when it took off from R.A.F. West Raynham, Norfolk, on a sortie to attack French airfields – the aircraft was shot down, 10 km northwest of Vlissingen, south-west Holland, by a Messerschmidt BF 109 flown by Feldwebel Georg Kiening of 06/Jagdeschwader 54 – “Grunherz” (The Green Hearts). It is not known why the pilot is buried so far from his crew and it was suggested that perhaps he survived the initial incident and died later from wounds, or as a Prisoner of War. However, Dutch air investigators later confirmed that Bunker's body was found washed ashore at Heist-aan-Zee and initially buried there. Harris and Hatch were recovered from the sea by the German Navy (Harris 25 July and Hatch 27 July).’

Harris is buried in Flushing (Vlissingen) Northern Cemetery, Holland. His medals were presumably sent to his mother, Mrs. Lily Harris.

Sold with copied research.