Dam Buster raid query

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by robin bird, Apr 5, 2017.

  1. robin bird

    robin bird Well-Known Member

    Prior to the Dams Raid Gibson complained to his commander Ralph Cochrane that Wing Commander Garner, of the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment had shown secret files to junior officers involved. Who was this Wing Commander Garner?

    robin bird
  2. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

    Don't see him shown as RAF except in Bartlett's Dambusters book.

    1933 Who's Who in British Aviation: Name G - Graces Guide

    GARNER, Harry Mason M.A., F.R.Ae.S.; Chief Technical Officer, Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment, Felixstowe, since 1929; b. Leicester, 3 Nov., 1891. Educ.: St. John's College, Cambridge. In aerodynamics department, R. Aircraft Establishment, 191729; contributor to the technical Press on questions of design. Add.: Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment, Felixstowe, Suffolk.

    Harry Garner - Wikipedia
  3. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    I could only find one mention of H.M. Garner in the Flight Global archive between 1942 & 1946 - his RAF rank was not referred to.

    I would surmise that he was given equivalent status of a WGCDR for administrative purposes during the war. Didn't really mean much from a military standpoint except to make sure he was housed in the correct mess when he might have visited a RAF base overnight.

    Attached Files:

  4. robin bird

    robin bird Well-Known Member

    Thank you for the feedback, pretty sure it was not Harry Garner (later Sir Harry) chief technical officer MAEE. He was a civilian. I think he was moving onto the Ministry of Aircraft Production when MAEE was involved with Upkeep and Highball. I know both Barnes Wallis and Gibson had close links with the MAEE at RAF Helensburgh as there was a simultaneous race to develop these bouncing bombs. Both Gibson and MAEE pilots took part in the trials on Loch Striven. My reference to Wing Commander Garner comes from a passage in the book The Dam Busters in the words of bomber crews by W.B. Barlett. I have since come across a Wing Commander Donald Garner, who flew a number of Lancaster bombing raids over Europe and was awarded the DSO in 1944. So, he may fit the bill as someone who had knowledge of the proposed Dam Buster raid and spent some time at Helensburgh. If it was Wing Commander Donald Garner it does not stop him being awarded the DSO.
  5. Blutto

    Blutto Plane Mad

  6. robin bird

    robin bird Well-Known Member

    Thanks Blutto. The reference in the book is to a Wing Commander Garner and his junior officers. Harry(later Sir Harry) was a civilian post, His staff were. Although he was chief technical officer I have no record of him being involved in Lancasters and the Dam Buster raid. He was more a seaplane/flying boat expert. Wing Commander Garner, however, was an experienced bomber pilot. I therefore think it more likely that he is the Garner referred to because of the reference to RAF rank. Wing Commander Garner might have been at RAF Helensburgh for a relatively short time in a consultancy role. He is not on my list of MAEE test pilots. Also I think Gibson's remarks would have been about Mr Garner if he was referring to Harry Garner not Wing Commander and the implication is that Gibson knew Donald Garner.
  7. barnsley

    barnsley Junior Member

    W/Cdr Donald Garner DSO was in India from 1941 to June 1943 so not likely to have been involved in the Dams raid.
  8. robin bird

    robin bird Well-Known Member

    Got my man now, Squadron Leader Robert Henry Garner, one of Churchill's back room boys. Thanks for the interest
  9. Seroster

    Seroster Canadian researcher

    Did Gibson's complain simply because secrecy had been breached or did this somehow affect the morale of the crews?

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