Flying Officer Horace William HARLER

Service No: 436325
Born: Randwick NSW, 31 March 1924
Enlisted in the RAAF: 5 December 1942 (at Perth WA)
Unit: No. 3 Lancaster Finishing School (RAF), RAF Feltwell, Norfolk
Died: Aircraft Accident (Lancaster aircraft R5674), Norfolk, 18 December 1944, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Cambridge City Cemetery, Cambridgeshire
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Horace Jones Harler and Edith Maud Harler, of South Perth, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Perth WA
Remembered: Panel 123, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

On the 18th December 1944, Lancasters R5674 and R5846 took off from RAF Feltwell, at 1855 hours and 1850 hours respectively, detailed to carry out a night cross country Bullseye exercise. Nothing further was heard, but at 2150 hours two aircraft were seen flying close together to the south of the airfield, and a minute later explosions were seen to the east of the airfield. Investigations revealed that the two aircraft crashed just south of the village of Hockwold-cum-Wilton there being about 500 yards between the scenes of both crashes. It was assumed the aircraft collided while coming in to land, although from the evidence obtained both aircraft had their navigation lights on at the time of the collision.

The crew members of R5674 were:

Flight Sergeant Percy Alfred Ewins (19883) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant Cyril Frank Farley (1594250) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner)
Sergeant James Foster (1558684) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Sergeant Peter Aspinall Gledhill (1623866) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Flying Officer Horace William Harler (436325) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Dennis William Harris (1580053) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Flying Officer Douglas Edwin Parsons (154808) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber)

The crew members of R5846 were:

Sergeant James Duffin (1568139) (RAFVR)
Sergeant John Watson Hutton (1822192) (RAFVR)
Flight Sergeant Thomas George Jacobs (428122) (Pilot) (RNZAF)
Sergeant Frank Albert Oxlade (3031334) (RAFVR)
Sergeant Leslie Arthur Raymond Potter (3006136) (RAFVR)
Sergeant Cyril Symonds (2235152) (RAFVR)
Flight Sergeant George Ridley Telford Taylor (1521681) (RAFVR)


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/17/909

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