Gramps and myself in Arras, France. May, 2004.

A bit about the Mighty Typhoon Pilots

The following is a excerpt from Harry J. Hardy's autobiography "Canoist to Typhoon Pilot" describing his experiences as a young fighter pilot, flying a total of 96 combat sortis from the beaches of Normandy inland to the crossing of the Rhine in March of 1945.

The Hawker Typhoon was a British Fighter plane that flew in close support of ground troops during W.W. II. It was primarily used for bombing trains, bridges, tanks and other ground targets, but also had the ability to do a lot of damage strafing.

Comprised of 438, 439, and 440 Squadrons, 143 Wing 83 group of 2nd T.A.F. (Tactical Air Force) was the only "all canadian" Typhoon Wing in the war, all three R.C.A.F. Squadrons flew in close support to the British Army throughout their push into France, Holland, and eventually crossing the Rhine to Germany.

Hardy flew with 440 Squadron until completing his tour in March, 1945.

H.J. Hardy: Canadian Typhoon Fighter Pilot ( .pdf download / 24.5mb)

In May 2004, I had the opportunity to travel with Gramps and a number of other well decorated veterans to the historic airfields and landmarks which they had been stationed at a generation ago.

I documented the event, and journeyed with the group from Juno beach, through Normandy to Dieppe, Vimy Ridge, finishing in Arras, France. It was an amazing trip, for all involved; special thanks to the drivers who guided us through the countryside, Chris, Bill, Marilyn and Andre.

Also to all the Clifford boys, thanks for a beer and a good laugh while my luggage was sitting in Calgary... I'll buy you all one bowl of french chili someday.

Frank and Rob, here is a link to some full size photos I've set aside for you. Also check the archives for any other shots you may want but didn't see on the other page.