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Grouping of Captain Leonard Harmon


LYONSJ9

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The grouping of US Navy Captain Leonard Harmon: 1938 graduate of the USNA, Navy Pilot, and one of only 217 US Naval personnel awarded decorations by the Soviet Union during WWII, having earned the Order of Glory 3rd Class for severely damaging the German Submarine U-966, which was eventually scuttled by her crew off the Spanish coast.

 

After spotting U-966, Harmon and the crew of his B-24 (along with another B-24) immediately began their attack, making several strafing runs over the U-Boat while encountering heavy flak from her anti aircraft gun. This flak severely damaged the B-24’s Bombay doors, rendering her unable to bomb the German vessel, and her primary armament useless. In spite of this heavy damage, and the ongoing barrage of flak from the enemy submarine, Harmon continued his attacks until running dangerously low on fuel, which forced him to return to England. Later on, more allied planes continued to attack the U-Boat, continuing to inflict massive damage which eventually forced her commander, Eckehard Wolf to scuttle her.

 

For his relentless bravery, Harmon and his crew were highly decorated, with Harmon receiving the US Distinguished Flying Cross, the British Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Soviet Order of Glory 3rd Class.

 

Though Harmon refused to wear his Soviet Award during his post war career due to the tensions of the Cold War, he continued to wear the ribbon until his retirement from the Navy in 1968. He would pass away in 1998, and would be buried with full military honors at the Calverton National Cemetery in New York.

 

This grouping features his: Theater Made Ribbons and Wings, Cap, original photographs, Command at Sea Badge, and his Uniform (not pictured), with the Ribbon bar having been prominently featured in the Dave Schwind book “Blue Seas, Red Stars”.

 

 

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Featured below are the original photos and report filed by another crew involved in the attack:

 

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