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Harold Snowdon Lanyon

Portrait, Mr Lanyon taken in 'Christchurch upon gaining his 'Sparks'after passing out of the Electrical and Wireless School at RNZAF Wigram. - This image may be subject to copyright

Portrait, Mr Lanyon taken in 'Christchurch upon gaining his 'Sparks'after passing out of the Electri …


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Harold Snowdon AWMM
  • Surname
    Lanyon AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    WWII NZ4213194 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi / Hapū / Waka / Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    12 August 1921 AWMM CalcuttaIndia AWMM
    Calcutta, India AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    WW2 Reverend P.F. Lanyon (father) AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Pre 1 February 1944 AWMM Single/WWII AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
    Electrical & Wireless School Wigram, Course R40 (29 March 1943 - 6 September 1943) AWMM
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    WW2 23 October 1942 AWMM
    Age 20 AWMM
    Draughting cadet/Civilian AWMM
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment


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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Radar mechanic (ground)

    Discharged to the General Reserve at the end of the war, 14 September 1945. Discharged from the General Reserve 15 May 1958.

    The 'Sparks' were worn on the right sleeve of the uniform jacket. By the time they returned from overseas they had quite an armful. Starting at the top of the sleeve Mr Lanyon had the following: New Zealand above the eagle, then a propeller for the rank of L.A.C., then Sparks and above the cuff, three inverted chevrons for the three years in the Air Force.' An extract from a letter sent to the Armoury Manager by Mr H S Lanyon, dated 12 Feb. 1999.

    Cenotaph record initially prepared with the serviceman in 1999. The battles for Guadalcanal in 1942 between the American and Japanese navies was the start of the most ferocious campaign in history. The Americans entered this campaign with inaccurate maps and some, including Major-General Alexander Vanegrift who was in command, not knowing where the Solomon Islands were. However they acquired skills which were to prove essential to later victories in the Pacific. It was a difficult campaign due to multiple factors such as the isolation, heat, dense jungle, lack of basic infra-structure and the great distances between base and supplies, and the front line. Though largely a US naval and military struggle, New Zealand's contribution was important. New Zealand was involved in the battle as it was imperative that the Japanese advance on the Pacific be stopped or they would have reached New Zealand. New Zealand's main contribution was in the form of the 3 NZ Division. The Forward Maintenance Centre (advanced base) was joined by the 14 Brigade on 27 August 1943, Divisional troops and units on 2 September and the 8 Brigade on 14 September 1943. New Zealand troops were involved in a number of battles was they moved up the Solomon's gaining control of islands as they went. The 14 Brigade and HQ 3 Division landed on Vella Lavella on 18 September 1943, and on Green (Nissan) Island on 15 February 1944, and the 8 Brigade landed on Mono Island on 27 October 1943. The capture of Mono Island would provide a radar site to cover the Bougainville landings and its harbour was ideal as a staging area for ships during the invasion. At no time did all of New Zealand 3 Division fight together due to the cross over of the battles. Other New Zealand troops were also involved, such as the NZ Engineers in road and airstrip construction (on the very underdeveloped islands, especially Guadalcanal), as well as support from the signals and medical corps and transport and air support. (Guadalcanal To Nissan With the Third NZ Division Through the Solomons). A number of RNZAF squadrons served in the Solomon Islands at various times. The Bomber Reconnaissance Squadron (eg No 3 and No 14 Squadrons) was primarily involved in reporting enemy movements but also escorting American fighters to and from raids. Servicing Units (No 2 and 4) were stationed in the Solomons, as were No 15, 16 ,17 and 18 Squadrons, all of which had a combat role such as carrying out bombing raids prior to troops landing on islands. Other squadrons were the flying boats and Support squadrons which had vital roles in transporting supplies, mail, air and ground crew and equipment. (Wings Over the Pacific By Alex Horn) AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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  • External links
  • References
    Cenotaph record initially prepared with the service person. AWMM

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