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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
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218 Squadron Crest
28/29.04.1943 No. 218 Squadron Stirling I EF356 HA-O Sgt. Hailey

(Cont)

The family was also told that Harry made several escape attempts during his time as a pow. In letters home dated December 1943 and January, February and September 1944, to his sister, Olive from Stalag III, Harry tells her that letters from home are getting through but that- “ he would like to mention that this place is no holiday camp”.

He also writes that he is keeping busy, playing chess, and drawing and as he is a Sergeant- “ we don’t have to work. I am doing haircutting and learning French as a past time”. He was to spend his twenty- fourth birthday as a prisoner of war and in a postcard home thanks Olive for her Birthday wishes.

Left: Sgt. Harry Bliss

Harry had originally hoped to become a pilot but was diagnosed with colour blindness and trained as an air gunner instead. After attending 1651 Conversion Unit, he was posted to 218 Squadron on the 4th of February 1943.

(1) Sadly the brother of Sgt. Harry Bliss, Pte. Raymond Dennis Bliss 6402922 4th. Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment, Age 28 Taken POW, died on the 14th April 1946 after contacting T.B. Buried in Dover (Charlton) Cemetery.

(2) Oblt. Günther Rogge this was his 2nd confirmed victory during the war. He eventually claimed a further 4, making him an ace – Günther survived the war but we have no details on his history since the end of WW2.

Burial details:

Sgt. Kenneth Sidney Hailey. Aadum Cemetery. Coll. grave A.27. Son of Sidney Laurence and Violet Hailey of Southgate, Middlesex, England.

Sgt. Andrew George Surtees. Aadum Cemetery. Coll. grave A.27. Son of Ernest Dickinson and Annie Alice Surtees of Morpeth, Northumberland, England.

Sgt. Arthur George Sindrey. Aadum Cemetery. Coll. grave A.27. Son of William and Fanny Elizabeth Sindrey of Cheltenham, Gloucester, England.

P/O. Sidney Michael Holliman. Esbjerg (Fourfelt) Cemetery. Grave A.92. Son of Sidney and Margaret Holliman of Cockfosters, Middlesex, England.

Sgt. Ronald James Barton. Aadum Cemetery. Coll. grave A.27. Son of Robert James and Sarah Isabella Barton of Bethnal Green, London and husband of Maisie Rose Barton of Bethnal Green, London, England.

Sgt. Harry Bliss. Becklingen Cemetery, Germany. Grave 16. DII. Further information: Son of Henry and Lilian Bliss of 154 Mayfield Avenue, Dover, England. Harry was born on the 26th October 1919, one of three children, a sister Olive and brother Raymond. He also had a girlfriend who worked as a hairdresser.  

Sgt. James Alfred Head. Esbjerg (Fourfelt) Cemetery. Grave A.III.7.15. Son of Mr and Mrs J.R.H.Head of Hurstpierpoint, Sussex, England.

Researched by Aircrew Remembered, researcher and specialist genealogist Linda Ibrom for relatives of this crew. Information and photo credits to Maggie Booth and the family of Harry Bliss. Additional info to Soren Flenstead (Air War over Denmark) and the 218 Squadron Site. Thanks to Oliver Clutton-Brock – ‘Footprints On The Sands Of Time’, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie – ‘Nightfighter War Diaries Vol’s. 1 and  2’,  Commonwealth Graves Commission.

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Acknowledgements: Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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