The Aerodrome Home Page
Aces of WWI
Aircraft of WWI
Books and Videos
The Aerodrome Forum
Sign the Guestbook
WWI Web Sites
Medals & Decorations
The Aerodrome News
Search The Aerodrome
Today in History

Name: Arthur Travers Harris
Air Force Cross (AFC) Arthur Travers Harris
Country: England
Rank: Major
Service: Royal Flying Corps
Royal Air Force
Units: 44, 45, 51, 70
Victories: 5
Born: 13 April 1892
Place of Birth: Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
Died: 05 April 1984
Place of Death: Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire
Educated at public school, Arthur Travers Harris moved to Rhodesia where he worked as a gold digger and a cattle breeder. When the Great War began, he served as a bugler with the 1st Rhodesian Regiment before returning to England where he joined the Royal Flying Corps in November 1915. After receiving Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 2015 on a Maurice Farman biplane at military school, Brooklands, Harris served with Home Defence squadrons and was involved in the destruction of the first Zeppelin shot down over England. In 1917 he was posted to France where he joined 45 Squadron as a flight commander. In 1918, after scoring five victories, he returned to England where he assumed command of 44 Squadron in the Home Defence and was awarded the Air Force Cross. With the end of the first world war, Harris remained in the Royal Air Force and served in several colonial posts throughout the British Empire.

During World War II, Harris served as Commander-in-Chief of Bomber Command from 1942 to 1945. A controversial figure, "Bomber" Harris believed that strategic bombing would force Germany into submission. On the night of 30 May 1942, he ordered a massive attack by more than a thousand bombers against the city of Cologne. Under Harris, Bomber Command carried out the destruction of German cities until the final months of the war.

Sir Arthur Harris retired as Marshal of the Royal Air Force and published his memoirs, Bomber Offensive, in 1947.

Great Britain, Royal Aero Club Aviators' Certificates, 1910-1950
Date Time Unit Aircraft Opponent Location
1 05 Jul 1917 1720 45 Sopwith Strutter 1 Albatros D.V (OOC) W of Ypres
2 07 Jul 1917 1315 45 Sopwith Strutter 1 Albatros D.III (DES) NW of Comines
3 12 Jul 1917 1500 45 Sopwith Strutter 1 Albatros C (OOC) Kortewilde
4 27 Aug 1917 1215 45 Sopwith Camel (B3875) Albatros D.V (OOC) Moorslede
5 03 Sep 1917 1500 45 Sopwith Camel Albatros D.V (DESF) Ledeghem-Dadizeele

1 Observer 2Lt P F Webb
Aces · Aircraft · Books · Forum · Guests · Help · Links · Medals · News · Search · Today