Guy de Laval HARVIE

Serial Number: RAF 36112
RAF Trade: Pilot
Date of Enlistment: 1938
Rank Achieved: Squadron Leader
Flying Hours: 680 hours
Operational Sorties: 6 Ops

Date of Birth: 1st of December 1913, in Cambridge, New Zealand
Personal Details: Guy was the second son of the Reverend Frank G. Harvie, and C. Kathleen Harvie. The Rev. Harvie had formerly been in charge of the parishes of St Mary's Church, New Plymouth, and also St Barnabas' Church at Mount Eden in Auckland. At the time of Guy's death his parents were back in their home country of England, living at Milton Rectory, Berkshire.

Guy was born in Cambridge, and although educated at New Plymouth Boy's High School during 1926 and Wanganui Collegiate from 1927, he spent a lot of his childhood in Cambridge under the guardianship of his uncle, Alan Willis, and his aunts, the Misses Willis. Guy was the brother of two other Cambridge airmen, Ted Harvie and Monty Harvie. Guy's grandfather was the Ven. Archdeacon Willis.

He passed his Matriculation at Wanganui Collegiate, and then went on the attend Auckland University. In 1934 Guy went to the UK to further his education at Oxford University, graduating from Christ Church at Oxford in 1937 with a Bachelor of Arts (with Honours in History).

In 1940 Guy married Isolda Kingsley Harvie, of Clevedon, Somerset, who was the daughter of Air Marshall C.E. Havers, and he and his wife had a son, Nigel, and a daughter

Service Details: Whilst studying Guy had the Oxford University Air Squadron, becoming a Pilot Officer on the 22nd of September 1936. This rank was made permanent on the 25th of October 1937. He began pilot training on Hawker Hart and Hawker Audax aircraft in 1937, and he gained his flying wings on passing his training on the 15th of February 1938. On the 25th of April 1938 Guy was promoted to Flying Officer. He completed his Service Flying Training on the 1st of June 1938.

Guy then joined the Royal Air Force in June 1938 with a permanent commission, and on the 13th of that month commenced a course at the School of Air Navigation at RAF Manston in Kent. He completed this course on the 20th of August 1938, and was posted to No. 98 (B) Squadron based at Hucknall in Nottinghamshire. Here he was flying the Fairey Battle monoplane single-engined light bombers.

Guy was promoted to Acting-Flight Lieutenant on the 3rd of March 1939, and on the 14th of September 1939 he was transferred to No. 207 Squadron at Cranfield in Buckinghamshire, flying Avro Anson twin-engined light bombers.

In April 1940 he moved again to No. 12 Operational Training Unit at RAF Benson in Oxon, where he was made an Acting-Squadron Leader on the 15th of May 1940. He was very busy as an instructor at the OTU until December 1940, when he then converted to flying Vickers Wellington bombers.

In Jack West's book on past pupils of New Plymouth Boys' High School (title cited below) he wrote, "It is evident from a close reading of the message between the lines of Guy Harvie's record sheet that his knowledge and practical expertise, not only in navigation but also in the general handling of twin-engined light bombers, was such that he was used extensively as an instructor during the first year of the war. It is fairly clear also, that by December 1940 'enough was enough', and he had to get into a Squadron actively taking the war to the enemy. But it appears that during 1941 that ambition had to be postponed yet again. The simple fact was that he was far too valuable an asset in the training establishment of the RAF to be spared without very good reason."

Throughout most of 1941 Guy was the Chief Ground Instructor at RAF Benson, till the OTU began to move. The first move took place on the 1st of September 1941 to RAF Chipping Warden, Oxfordshire, and then on the 31st of October 1941 they moved again to Moreton-on-Marsh in Gloucestershire.

On the 14th of February 1942, after crewing up, Guy finally got the posting he'd craved, to No. 57 Squadron at RAF Feltwell in Norfolk. Here he was flying Wellingtons again, but this time he'd be operational. He completed six ops, the targets being Essen, Lubeck, Hanau, the Renault Works at Paris, St Nazaire and Le Havre.

Details of Death: Guy took off at 21:20hrs on the 2nd of April 1942, from RAF Feltwell, Norfolk, in a Vickers Wellington III (coded X3410) of No 57 Squadron, RAF. He was making low level attacks on railway targets at Hanau and Lohr, Germany (in a raid by 49 aircraft, 13 of which were lost) and was brought down over Frettenheim in Germany. All six crew in the Wellington were killed. Guy was aged 28
Buried at: Guy at his crew were buried in a collective grave at the British War Cemetery at Rheinberg, 12km west of Wesel, Germany. (Another source states Augsberg Cemetery in Germany, perhaps they were re0interred from here to Rheinberg after the war).

Connection with Cambridge: Guy was born and grew up (off and on) in Cambridge, New Zealand

Note: Details of this airman have been sourced from official RNZAF Records, the Waikato Independent and Waikato Times newspapers, plus the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website, with a substantial amount information came from the excellent book "Lest We Forget : Commemorating the Men of New Plymouth Boys' High School, New Zealand, Pupils Once, Who During the World Conflict of 1939-1945 Gave Their Lives for Their Country That Freedom, Democracy and Decency Should Prevail" by Jack West, which was published in 1995 by the Centennial Trust NPBHS Old Boys' Association.

Further details of Guy's death were sourced from the excellent volumes of 'For Your Tomorrow' by Errol Martyn. See more details on these highly recommended books here



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