O'Hara, Herbert


O'Hara, Herbert
Paddy O'Hara
H F O'Hara


59 items. The collection concerns the wartime career of Flight Sergeant Herbert Frederick O'Hara (1917 – 1968, 655736, 195482 Royal Air Force). Herbert O'Hara served on 12 Squadron at RAF Wickenby between February and May 1944. His aircraft was shot down over France in May 1944 and he evaded until he was liberated in September 1944. He was then commissioned. The collection contains service records and two logbooks, notification of him missing as well as correspondence from and photographs of French people who helped him evade. In addition there is an account of travelling across the Atlantic for flying training in Florida as well as notes from his aircrew officers course at RAF Credenhill. Finally there are a number of target and reconnaissance photographs and six paintings.

The collection has been loaned to the IBCC Digital Archive for digitisation by Brian O'Hara and catalogued by Nigel Huckins and IBCC staff.




IBCC Digital Archive


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O'Hara, HF

Collection Items

Herbert O'Hara's pilot log book
Herbert O'Hara's pilot log book from the Lincoln School of Aeronautics, Lakeland Florida, from 21 July 1941 to 12 December 1942. Aircraft flown were Stearman, Anson and Oxford. He was taught landings, take offs, spins and stalls.

Vertical aerial photograph of Rouen. Street pattern just visible but most of the image is obscured by bombs, smoke and anti-aircraft fire. Captioned at top right ‘4B 4B’. Captioned '646 WKY 18/19.4.44 // NT 8” 9000’ [arrow] 029° 0021 Rouen Q…

Flowers in front of tombstone
Collection of flowers laid in front of a tombstone surrounded by trees. On the reverse 'Tombe des Aviateurs de la R.A.F tombes a Verrieres le 24 Julliet 1944, 1. Melville (sans Renseiguement), 2. Kenneth Dove. No. 544055, 3. Monk. No. 52571, 4.…

Man and woman in front of a brick building
A man and woman dressed in long overcoats and hats standing in from of a brick and stone building. Man has hand in pocket and woman is holing a handbag. On the reverse 'Monsieur et Madame Maurice Cochois, Verrieres, par Clérey, Aube, France'.

French village church
Pencil sketch of interior of Saint-Liébault church in Estissac, captioned 'French Village Church' signed 'HOH'.

Seven aircrew in front of a Lancaster
Seven aircrew in flying suits and boots wearing Mae Wests with four parachutes on the ground in front of them. Behind is the front and part of the starboard wing of a Lancaster. The letter 'Z' is painted on the port nose. In the background buildings…

Lancaster in flight
Lancaster in flight with a lighthouse on the end of a break water visible below it with a ship to the left. On the far left searchlights and bursts of anti-aircraft fire. Captioned 'Danzig'.

Return from Stuttgart
Lancaster and a Ju 88 night fighter in flight over a meandering river with tracer fire between them. In the background on the left of the image are a set of searchlights and a large fire in the distance. Captioned 'Return from Stuttgart' and is…

Lancaster with a German night fighter
Lancaster with a German Dornier 217 night fighter in the foreground. Another Lancaster caught in searchlights at the top right with other Lancasters and flames in the background. Captioned 'Augsburg 44', and signed by 'HOH'.

Herbert O'Hara's South African Air Force observers or air gunners log book
Log book for Sergeant Herbert O'Hara from 7 November 1942 to 9 September 1962. He was stationed with 12 Squadron at RAF Wickenby, where he flew Lancasters as navigator. The log book shows 14 night operations over France and Germany, with one to…

First back - Cologne
Lancaster coming in to land over St Oswald’s Church at Rand near Wickenby. Captioned, 'First Back! – Cologne 44', and signed, 'HOH' Additional information on this item was kindly provided by the donor.

Lancasters in flight
Painting of two Lancasters in flight, in the bottom left of the image is a fire with green target indicators bursting above it. Captioned 'Aulnoye' and signed 'HOH'.

Herbert O'Hara record of service
Contains personal details as well as all postings and promotions on wartime service from May 1939 when he joined the army up to May 1945, notes his transfer to the Royal Air Force in April 1941 and his reserve service up to his death 4 Feb 1968.

Herbert O'Hara RAF personnel record
Contains personal details and record of postings between April 1941 and May 1945. Includes recommendation for commission.

Aerial photograph of large military camp, showing it before and after bombing. A railway line runs in from the right centre of the photograph and terminates in upper centre, having split into three lines. There is a train in situ on the main line.…

Herbert O'Hara diary and account of Atlantic crossing in 1941
Lambeth notebook with daily diary covering 25 to 30 June 1941 during journey from Iceland towards Canada on HMS Ranpura. Followed by account crossing from Greenock, Scotland to Iceland on ship Royal Ulsterman, stopover in Iceland, journey on HMS…

28 aircrew officers
28 aircrew officers in four rows all wearing tunic, 27 wearing peaked cap and one a side cap. Herbert O’Hara is second row from the front fourth from the right. In the background left part of a building and telegraph pole, on the right open…

Notes for officers course
A note book belonging to Herbert O’Hara containing his notes on Royal Air Force rules and regulations, organisation and management.

No. 12 (Bomber) Squadron Reunion Dinner, 1950
A programme and menu relating to the 1950 reunion of 12 Squadron personnel held in the Lord Raglan hotel, London.

Escape and evasion warning against giving information document
A notice by Intelligence School 9 (Western European Area) for members of the armed services repatriated after escape or evasion with instructions as to what statements should be made. Signed by Herbert O’Hara on 1 September 1944.

Letter from Jean Roulon to Herbert O’Hara
Expresses happiness that Herbert had made it back to England, and informing him that the man he had been sharing a room with was an agent of the Gestapo who had managed to compromise their resistance network, leading to Jean and his wife having to…

Telegram from the Air Ministry to Herbert O’Hara’s mother
Informs Herbert O'Hara's mother that he is missing as a result of air operations on 3/4 May 1944.

Letter from the Air ministry casualty branch to Herbert O’Hara’s mother
States that Herbert O’Hara was missing following an operation against Mailly-Le-Camp on 3/4 May 1944, and informing her that efforts were being made to ascertain his condition through the International Red Cross.

Letter from Jean Éblé to Herbert Frederick 'Freddy' O’Hara
Thanks for the letter and the souvenir attached to it. Says he is happy to know he got back safe and sound to England. Describes the situation in France, where life is slowly restarting: there is no electricity and continual breakdowns. Mentions his…

Letter to Herbert O'Hara from Air Ministry enclosing certificate of service and release
A letter from the Air Ministry to Herbert O’Hara enclosing a certificate summarising Herbert O’Hara’s military service. The certificate notes that he served in the army from May 1939 to April 1941 before transferring to the Royal Air Force,…
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