Categories: Cheltenham, Gloucestershire | Royal Flying Corps, World War I | Royal Air Force, World War II | Knights Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath | Officers of the Order of the British Empire | Air Force Cross | Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire | English Notables.
Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Arthur Travers Harris, 1st Baronet, GCB, OBE, AFC (13 April 1892 – 5 April 1984), commonly known as "Bomber" Harris by the press and often within the RAF as "Butcher" Harris, was Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C) RAF Bomber Command during the height of the Anglo-American strategic bombing campaign against Nazi Germany in the Second World War. In 1942, the British Cabinet agreed to the "area bombing" of German cities. Harris was given the task of implementing Churchill's policy and supported the development of tactics and technology to perform the task more effectively. Harris assisted British Chief of the Air Staff Marshal of the Royal Air Force Charles Portal in carrying out the United Kingdom's most devastating attacks against the German infrastructure and population, including the Bombing of Dresden.
Harris emigrated to Southern Rhodesia in 1910, aged 17, but returned to England in 1915 to fight in the European theatre of the First World War. He joined the Royal Flying Corps, with which he remained until the formation of the Royal Air Force in 1918, and he remained in the Air Force through the 1920s and 1930s, serving in India, Mesopotamia, Persia, Egypt, Palestine, and elsewhere. At the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, Harris took command of No. 5 Group RAF in England, and in February 1942 was appointed head of Bomber Command. He retained that position for the rest of the war. After the war Harris moved to South Africa where he managed the South African Marine Corporation.
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