Squadron Leader Harry Pears DFC, passed away just two months before his 93rd birthday. Harry Pears was a former World War 2 and a Royal Air Force fighter pilot after the war, as well as an Air Training Corps Civilian Instructor.
At the young age of 18, Harry began his career by volunteering for service in the Royal Air Force as aircrew which led to pilot training. After training in various places including the United States and Canada, he gained his well-earned pilot wings. He was then successfully commissioned as a Pilot Officer, becoming one of a number of newly trained RAF pilots retained for one year in America, to train and then serve as flying instructors.
Upon his return to the UK in 1943, Harry volunteered to fly the rocket-equipped Hawker Typhoon IB fighter-bomber aircraft on operations. This led to Harry becoming qualified to join the Typhoon-equipped No 175 Squadron,171 Wing, 2nd Allied Tactical Air Force (2 ATAF).
Harry was proudly awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his incredible flying achievements. As the war was near its end in Europe, Harry was posted to India in late 1945 as a Flight Lieutenant and joined No 5 (Army Cooperation – AC) Squadron until disbanded in 1947. The year previous to this, he had been granted a permanent commission in the RAF, and upon his return to the UK he was appointed weapons instructor.
By the end of 1951, Harry was promoted to Squadron Leader, which continued his journey to Cyrus as Officer-in-Charge of No.2 Armament Practice School. Having completed the rest of reforming 111 Squadron 4 years later, Harry was posted to the Air Ministry as Officer-in-Charge Air Weapons Ranges. Find out more about Harry Pears’ life story here.
We have been honoured to work with the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund in creating an online Book of Remembrance, in which, Harry Pears has a page created in his memory, with a lovely dedication from his Granddaughter. If you would like an online book for your organisation, charity, or personal event, contact us and find out how we can help.