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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. H Steere


Harry Steere was born on 7th February 1914, the son of Ernest and Bessie Steere, of Wallasey, Cheshire.

His father was a Master Mariner in the Merchant Navy, he was taken ill when his ship, the ss Oxfordshire, docked at Freetown, Sierra Leone in 1942. He died on 9th April from 'diabetic gangrene'.

Harry Steere was educated at Manor Road Council School from where he was awarded a scholarship to Oldershaw Grammar School School in Wallasey.

He joined the RAF at Halton in September 1930 as an Aircraft Apprentice. Steere signed on for twelve years service and passed out as a Metal Rigger on 18th August 1933, with the rank of Leading Aircraftsman.



After applying for pilot training and being selected, Steere began his flying course on 25th November 1935. He passed out as a Sergeant-Pilot on 22nd August 1936.

On 16th March 1937 he was confirmed as a Sergeant Metal Rigger Group 1. An RAF tradesman who had trained as a pilot was expected to serve on flying duties for three years before returning to his basic trade.

He married Joan Margaret Witter in April 1938 in his home town.

By 13th June 1939, when Steere was promoted to Flight Sergeant, the reversion to the basic trade plan had been dropped, probably in view of the strong likelihood of war. At the outbreak of hostilities Steere was serving with 19 Squadron at Duxford.

On 11th May 1940 Steere shared in the destruction of a Ju88, the squadron's first victory. Over Dunkirk on the 26th he destroyed a Ju87, on the 27th shared in probably destroying a Do17, on the 28th destroyed a Me109 and on 1st June he probably destroyed a Do17 and shared in the destruction of a Me109.

He was awarded the DFM (gazetted 25th June 1940).

On 19th August Steere shared in the destruction of a Me110, on 9th September he claimed a Me110 probably destroyed, on the 15th a Do17 and a Me109 destroyed, on the 18th he shared in the destruction of a He111 and a Ju88, on the 27th he destroyed a Me109 and on 28th November he destroyed another Me109.

On 8th December 1940 Steere was posted to CFS Upavon for an instructors course, after which he instructed at 8 FTS Montrose.

Commissioned in June 1941, he joined 627 Squadron at Oakington at its formation on 12th November 1943, to operate in Mosquitos on Pathfinder duties.

Steere was killed on 9th June 1944 as a Flight Lieutenant with 627 Squadron, aged 30. Mosquito IV DZ353 AZ-B came down near Orgeres during a raid against railway targets at Rennes. F/O KW Gale RAAF was also killed.

Steere is buried in St. Erblon Communal Cemetery, France.

An award of the DFC (gazetted 23rd June 1944) was made after his death. He was the younger brother of Jack Steere, who flew with 72 Squadron in the Battle.





Above images courtesy of DCB of findagrave.



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