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|Air Marshal Sir John "Win" Harris|
From the Daily Telegraph, Monday 16th July.
AIR MARSHAL SIR JOHN “WIN” HARRIS
Expert on anti-submarine operations a ‘champion of the maritime air force’
Air Marshal Sir John ‘Win’ Harris, KCB, CBE, RAF, who has died aged 81, had a career dominated by service in the RAF’s maritime forces where his experiences made him a leading authority on anti-submarine operations.
In May 1968 Harris began a two-year exchange posting with the United States Navy (USN). Based at Key West in Florida, he joined the Test and Evaluation Squadron where his duties were as a trials project officer on the Lockheed P3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft. The appointment introduced him to the advanced equipment and techniques in anti-submarine warfare.
His return to Britain in October 1970 coincided with the introduction into RAF service of the Nimrod, an aircraft based on the Comet airliner and equipped with the latest technology. The aircraft provided a quantum leap in capability as an anti-submarine aircraft.
Harris was posted to the Central Trials and Tactics Organisation at Northwood where his recent experience with the USN provided the ideal platform for him to write the tactics manual for the Nimrod. This subsequently was adopted as the standard manual for the whole of the RAF’s maritime force.
After three years, Harris took command of one of the first Nimrod squadrons, No 201, at Kinloss in Morayshire. Under his dynamic leadership, the squadron tracked and monitored the increasingly capable surface and sub-surface Soviet naval forces in the North Atlantic and Norwegian Sea.
This also included monitoring regular movements of the Soviet Northern Fleet based in Murmansk, as it made regular transits to and from the Mediterranean and Cuba. The squadron’s professionalism was reflected in one of Harris’s crews winning the Aird Whyte Trophy, an anti-submarine warfare competition between the best crews from each of the Nimrod squadrons.
John Hulme Harris, known throughout the RAF as Win, was born on June 3 1938 in Stranraer and educated in Egypt, where his father was serving in the RAF, then at King Edward VII School, Kings Lynn. He joined the RAF as a trainee pilot in March 1957.
His burning ambition to be a fighter pilot was thwarted by the rapid rundown of Fighter Command following major defence cuts and he went to Kinloss – where he met his wife in Inverness – to train on the Shackleton maritime patrol aircraft. In January 1960 he joined No 224 Squadron based at Gibraltar. By the end of his two years he had been made captain of his own crew.
He trained as flying instructor and was awarded the Central Flying School Trophy as the best all-round student on his course. He went to No. 3 Flying Training School at Leeming in North Yorkshire where he was made a flight commander and led the aerobatic team flying the Jet Provost.
After a brief ground tour he left for the United States, the prelude to a series of increasingly important appointments in the maritime air role.
After his time in command of No 201 Squadron, in July 1976 he joined a joint Royal Navy-RAF team on a special project to introduce computer programmes for the maritime force. This was followed by an appointment as the senior air staff officer at the HQ Northern Maritime Region based at Pitreavie Castle in Scotland where he was also appointed as an ADC to the Queen.
Harris returned to Kinloss in December 1979, this time as the station commander responsible for three squadrons of the new Mark 2 Nimrod. The tracking of Soviet warships and the provision of support for the UK strategic deterrent force of Polaris submarines remained the main tasks of the station. Harris was a “hands on” commander and continued to fly on patrols and keep abreast of the latest tactics. At the end of his tour he was appointed CBE.
The following two years were spent at Nato headquarters in Brussels where he served as the Military Assistant to the United Kingdom’s Military Representative.
After spending almost three years in MoD responsible for all flying training, his next appointment, in December 1987, provided a very different experience when he was made Commandant General of the RAF Regiment and Director General Security.
During this latter appointment he was determined to win the annual air officers’ shooting competition at Bisley. He spent several days before the event receiving intensive training from the Queen’s Colour Squadron. He won, much to the chagrin of his fellow air officers, and he was particularly pleased for the Regiment.
By April 1991 Harris returned to the maritime role as the Chief of Staff at HQ 18 (Maritime) Group at Northwood. In addition to his Nimrod squadrons, he controlled two Buccaneer strike attack squadrons and the search and rescue helicopter force. Within a year he had been appointed the Air Officer Commanding, a post that carried with it the senior Nato appointments of COMMAIREASTLANT and COMMAIRCHAN (Commander of the maritime air forces in the East Atlantic and Channel regions).
At Northwood he worked in a joint headquarters alongside his Royal Navy and Nato compatriots where his reputation and deep understanding of the maritime air role was greatly valued and respected.
Over decades, the RAF’s maritime squadrons had developed into a particularly close-knit force and Harris’s long-standing experience and expertise made him a particularly effective commander in his various appointments. Those under his command appreciated and acknowledged his pedigree and he was never more comfortable than when he was mixing with all ranks in the RAF’s maritime community.
Harris retired from the RAF in June 1996 having been appointed CB in 1991 and KCB in 1992.
Harris has been described as the “champion of the maritime air force”. He was appalled at the loss of the RAF’s maritime capability following the scrapping of the Nimrod 4A and he joined other senior retired RAF officers in publicly lamenting the loss of this capability. While welcoming the eventual decision to purchase an American aircraft, the P-8 Poseidon, he publicly expressed concern that these had been ordered in insufficient numbers for an island nation that continued to have a strategic nuclear capability.
Throughout his long time in the maritime force, he had maintained a friendly banter with the navigators – many would claim them to be the key members of a Nimrod crew – and when he retired his navigators commissioned a stained-glass window with the navigator’s flying badge as the centrepiece, which he installed in the downstairs lavatory of his house as a constant reminder.
In July 1962, Harris married Ina Murray. After his retirement they retired to Morayshire where he enjoyed fly-fishing for salmon on the River Findhorn and tending his garden. His deteriorating physical health impacted on his two great interests, and the loss of his caring wife in 2018 affected him deeply.
He is survived by their two sons.
Air Marshal Sir John “Win” Harris, born June 3 1938, died July 2 2019.
|Air Marshal Sir John "Win" Harris|
It is with deep regret the Coastal Command and Maritime Air Association announce the passing of Air Marshal Sir John “Win” Harris KCB, CBE, RAF. “Win” as he was known through most of his career was a Shackleton Pilot, a Nimrod Squadron Commander, No. 201 Squadron RAF, and Station Commander of RAF Kinloss, the UK’s major Nimrod Maritime Patrol Aircraft base. His career thereafter included many senior executive roles, and culminated in the position of the Air Officer Commanding 18 Group at the height of the Cold War where a great deal of the Nimrod force actions policing Russian Naval activity went largely unseen and unheard. A close member of the RAF family even in retirement he was able to keep in close touch with his former colleagues. A great Coastal and Maritime man who will be sadly missed by all his family, friends, RAF colleagues and former subordinates alike.
Remembrance Parade at the Cenotaph in
11 Nov 2018
A record number of association members attended the Remembrance Sunday
parade at the Cenotaph on the 11th November 2018.
Peter Hill had prepared a brief for the BBC some weeks ago, and remarked it was nice to hear Mr Dimbleby referring to the CCMA within his commentary. "We did appear briefly on the TV, but the WRAF’s in front stole the show, a great bunch of ladies. A long but rewarding day."
|The Association was represented at the RAF 100 commemoration on the 10th July 2018, at both Westminster Abbey and the Reception at Horse Guards Parade, by both the Vice President AVM Andrew Roberts, Chairman John Cairns and five members.|
|‘The Association reunion this year took place in Newquay over the weekend of 12th and 13th May 2018. The Maritime Dinner was held during the evening of the 12th May 2018 at the Kilbirnie Hotel Newquay This was followed on Sunday 13th May by a service of Remembrance held at St Eval Church the spiritual home of those who served in RAF Coastal Command and subsequent maritime air formations’. (Click on the images to enlarge.)|
|Formation of the Royal Air Force Commemoration Service|
The Association was represented both at the Commemoration Service to
celebrate the formation of the Royal Air Force (99 years) on the 2nd April
2017 , at St Clement Danes Church, followed by the Air Force Board reception
held in the Royal Courts of Justice' .
Photo : Left to right : Evelyn Hendrie, John Cairns (Chairman) Linda Bulloch, and Andrew Roberts (Vice President)
|2017 Battle of the Atlantic Commemorations|
The Act of Commemoration for those who lost their lives while operating from Scotland during WWII was held at 1400 on Sunday 7th May at the Coastal Command Memorial in the grounds of the Scottish Sea Bird Centre, North Berwick. The Memorial, located with spectacular views towards Bass Rock, is exposed to real Coastal Command weather.
Remembrance Parade at the Cenotaph in
13 Nov 2016
|The Association was well represented at the Cenotaph in Whitehall on the 13th November 2016, following the British Legion Service of Remembrance members took part in the march past, the salute being taken by HRH the Prince of Wales.|
|(Names are on the enlarged images.)|
Act of Commemoration
Atlantic Campaign was the longest of the Second World War and the battle
against German U-boats cost tens of thousands of lives, including almost
11,000 of RAF Coastal Command. To commemorate this sacrifice, the Maritime
Air Trust erected a Tribute to those who died in the South Cloister of
Westminster Abbey, which was unveiled by Her Majesty The Queen in 2004.
In May 1943 the battle against the U-boat threat finally swung in the Allies favour, and this turning-point is marked annually by a short Act of Commemoration at the Coastal Command Tribute. This May, the Service was led by The Reverend Professor Vernon White of Westminster Abbey, with ushers provided by No 291 (Westminster & Chelsea) ATC Sqn under the command of FS Fernanda Lewis, and Last Post and Reveille was played by Cpl Connie Willis, from 1475 (Dulwich) ATC Sqn."
The Association held its 21st Reunion/AGM at the Royal Beach Hotel,
Portsmouth over the weekend 3rd to 5th June 2016. The Chairman said that it
had been a good year for events and activities and the Association would
continue for the foreseeable future. Indeed there is a good prospect of
recruiting new members if we put more emphasis on advertising our presence.
The next reunion is to be held in Chester, based on the Crowne Plaza Hotel, over the weekend 5 - 7 of May and NOT the 12th to 14th May 2017 as previously published. The reunion will be a combination with the Air Sea Rescue and Marine Craft Section.
|Extract from National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015.|
The provision of ‘Nine new Boeing P8 Maritime Patrol Aircraft to
increase further the protection of our nuclear deterrent and our new
aircraft carriers. These aircraft will be based in Scotland and will also
have an overland surveillance capability’.
|Daily Telegraph Letter|
|Squadron Leader Terry Bulloch,|
Squadron Leader Terry Bulloch, who has died aged 98, was a pilot in Coastal
Command who made the greatest number of sightings and attacks against German
U-boats during the Battle of the Atlantic.
Daily Telegraph Obituary : Squadron Leader Terry Bulloch,
Members of Coastal Command and Maritime Air Association in conjunction with their US Navy colleagues gathered at the RAF Club in London on Saturday 25th April 2015 to honour the late Squadron Leader Terrence Bulloch DSO and bar and DFC and bar.
The late Squadron Leader Terrence Bulloch DSO and Bar, DFC and Bar, was nominated and has been successfully ‘inducted’ into the United States Navy Hall of Honour. Pictures from the ceremony can be found here.
|Wing Commander Derek Dudley Martin OBE RAF|
was born in Cheam, Surrey on the 4th of July 1920 and as soon as age
permitted joined the RAF as a pilot. Early on in his training he suffered
from Mumps and was withdrawn from training. Luck was on his side however and
he was later reinstated and went on to successfully complete his training as
pilot. Early in 1939 Derek was introduced to the new RAF aircraft, the
Sunderland, and so began a long and fruitful connection with this famous
Derek’s early training was on the rather older Scapas and Singapores
however he graduated from the Flying Boat Training Squadron at Calshot and
set off for Oban to begin his operational acquaintance with the Sunderland.
Changed Your E-Mail Address Recently?
Have you let the membership Secretary know about it? It is not to late....
|Royal Air Force Service Records - Personnel Records|
As the years progress we receive an increasing amount of requests from
individuals concerning either family or friends "Service History"
requests. As an Association we do not have access to these records.
The following is an extract from the MOD RAF Website:
Royal Air Force personnel records are held at RAF Cranwell. If service number and details are known, please quote it in correspondence. Cranwell will only divulge information to the person to whom it refers or, if he or she has died, to his or her immediate next of kin. Anyone else must obtain written permission from the person about whom they are enquiring, or from his or her next of kin, before any information will be given to them.
Cranwell make a charge of Ł30.00 for any information they provide;
cheques made payable to 'MOD Funds'. The only people exempt from charge are
the person to whom the records refer or their widow or widower."
|The Cinderella Service|
This book reveals the vital contribution that RAF Coastal Command made to the Allies war effort. Although often referred to as the 'Cinderella Service' because by its nature, it did not gain the recognition it deserved and was overshadowed by Fighter and Bomber Commands and considering that it was not given priority in terms of aircraft and equipment, its wartime record was second to none. The two main roles of Coastal Command were anti-submarine work in the Atlantic and anti-shipping operations against enemy warships and merchant vessels. This work looks at every aspect of the command's work, equipment and aircraft and draws upon many first-hand accounts. Lengthy and comprehensive appendices cover Orders of Battle, Commanders, U boats sunk, ships sunk aircraft losses and casualties.
A message from our Newsletter editor. Could the person who contacted him
enquiring about Sgt John Howitt please get
in touch again. Ian suffered some over exuberant clearing out of a
RMS Queen Mary "Met" in the post war era.
Escort of Independent Merchant Vessels was a procedure during WWII, where aircraft were sometimes called upon to escort independently routed merchant vessels including "Monster Liners."
This exercise continued into the Sunderland Era. It was not unknown for an exchange officer returning to the USA or similar to be "Intercepted" on his cruise home. Have you an amusing "Met" or "Not Met" Story?
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