Harold Henry AWMM
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Mr R.B. and Mrs M.E. Sheather (Parents), Whakatane, New Zealand AWMM
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Harold Sheather was educated at Whakatane School, Tolaga Bay School and Gisborne High School. His sporting activites included rugby, swimming, tennis, rowing and cricket. Before enlistment he was a telephone operator with the Post and Telegraph Department. He was interested in flying prior to the outbreak of hositilites, having flown as a pupil in the Rotorua Aero Club and carried out eight hours dual instruction.
He applied for enlistment in the RNZAF early in March 1940 and was provisionally accepted. To this end he studied at home and was later ntoifed that he was requied for service as an Air Gunner. He was enlisted as such on 5 October 1941 at the ground Training School, Levin.
Six weeks later he embarked for Canada for training under the Empire Air Training Scheme, arriving at No 2 Wireless School, Calgary, Alberta, Canada on 12 March 1942. After two months he passed on to No 3 Bomber and Gunnery School, where he was awarded the Air Gunner's Badge and promoted to Sergeant on 22 June 1942. At the completion of the course he embarked for New Zealand and was posted to No 8 General Reconnaissance Squadron, Gisborne. For the following twelve months he was employed as an Air gunner in Vincent and Oxford aircraft of No 8 General Reconnaissance Squadron carrying out local patrols. He was promoted to Flight Sergeant on 15 May 1943.
In September he was transferred to No 30 (Bomber) Squadron located at the same station and there participated in operational exercises and patrols in Vincent, Harvard, Oxford and Grumman Avenger aircraft until 24 January 1944 when he proceeded overseas with the Squadron to Espiritu Santo. He became a Pilot Officer on 1 November 1943.
February and March was spent at Espiritu Santo carrying out patrols and operational exercises and on 4 April, he moved forward to Bougainville. As an Air Gunner he participated in bombing raids on Talili Bay and Rabaul in Gruman Avenger aircraft.
Pilot Officer Sheather was a member of the crew of an aircraft engaged on operations in the vicinity of Vunuakanu Runway, New Britain, when it was shot down by enemy anti-aircraft fire. All the crew were classified as missing beleved killed in action. The other members of the crew were Flying Officer R D Gardner (Pilot), and Pilot Officer C Nicholls (Navigator).
Pilot Officer Sheather had flown 474 hours as an Air Gunner. AWMM
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Harold Henry Sheather
|08 April 2017||Doreen||hastings||Researcher||
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