Harry Day attended Haileybury and joined the Royal Marines Light Infantry in 1916. He was awarded the Albert Medal for rescue work on the HMS Brittania when the vessel was torpedoed. In 1924 he joined the Fleet Air Arm and transfered to the Royal Air Force in 1930.
At the beginning of WW2 he served with No. 57 Squadron RAF in France as part of the Air Component of the British Expeditionary Force. He volunteered to carry out the squadron's first operational mission, a flight from Metz to reconnoitre Hamm-Hannover-Soest on 13 October 1939,. His Blenheim was however shot down. Day managed to bail out, suffering burns to his face and hands, but otherwise landed safely by parachute. He was immediately captured by the Germans. His two crew-mates, Sgt E.B. Hillier and AC1 F.G. Moller were both killed.
He was held in several Prisoner-of-War camps but escaped by tunneling a total of six times, always being recaptured. Later he was sent to Sachsenhausen, Flossenberg and Dachau Concentration Camps. In 1945 with the end of the war in sight he was taken to the Austrian Tyrol with other VIP prisoners from all parts of Germany, from where he made a successful escape and met the American Forces at Bolzano. In later life he acted as technical advisor for the films Reach for the Sky and The Great Escape.
Harry Day lies buried on Ta Braxia Cemetery, Malta
September 26th, 1917: Lieutnenant (RM)
June 16th, 1924: Flying Officer (RAF)
September 1st, 1927: Captain
July 1st, 1928: Flight Lieutenant
June 21st, 1930: Permanent commission
August 1st, 1936: Squadron Leader
July 1st, 1939: Wing Commander
January 1st, 1946: Temporary Group Captain
October 1st, 1946: Group Captain
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