Laden with two 500-pound bombs and adorned with black and white invasion stripes, a model of Harry Hardy’s Hawker Typhoon IB “Pulverizer II” hangs proudly in the “Road to Victory” room at the Juno Beach Centre in Courseulles-sur-Mer, France. There is a certain fierceness in its profile, especially looking up into the four-bladed propeller, four 20 mm cannons, and the large under-fuselage chin radiator scoop. This Typhoon is a scale model, but you can begin to understand the fear the “Tiffy” squadrons inspired amongst German troops in Normandy and Northwest Europe.
Flight Lieutenant Harry Hardy, DFC was one of six Typhoon pilots who visited the Juno Beach Centre before the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy in 2014. He was gracious enough to donate his prized Typhoon model for permanent display.
Today’s episode is about The Typhoon Project, a collaboration between a storyteller and a veteran to commemorate Canadians who served in Typhoon squadrons during the Second World War.
We’ve organized this episode into two parts. In part one, our storyteller, Anne, explains the background behind The Typhoon Project. She also relates her experiences researching and interviewing veterans who flew the Tiffy. In part two, Typhoon pilot veteran Harry Hardy joins us to explore the war from the cockpit.
Part I: Anne Gafiuk
3:04 Origins of The Typhoon Project
7:30 The Typhoon Fighter-Bomber
13:13 Uncovering Personal Stories
23:49 Typhooners and other Aircrew
Part II: Harry Hardy
35:20 Typhoon Squadron Operations
45:29 The “Pulverizer”
47:55 The Battle of the Bulge
50:03 Remembering the Tiffy Boys
Anne Gafiuk is the researcher and author behind The Typhoon Project, a website chronicling the stories of over 200 Canadians who served with Typhoon squadrons during the Second World War. Anne is also the author of three books: Wings Over High River (2012), She Made Them Family (2016) and Quietus: Last Flight (2017), all published by the Bomber Command Museum of Canada in Nanton, Alberta.
Harry Hardy is a Second World War Typhoon pilot. After a tour that spanned the Battle of the Falaise Gap to beyond the Battle of the Bulge, Flight Lieutenant Hardy received the Distinguished Flying Cross. At 97 years old, Harry has worked since his retirement to raise awareness of the Typhoon — giving his beloved plane its due.
The following links offer more information on the topics discussed in this episode:
Weapons & Formations
Juno Beach & Beyond is hosted and edited by Alex Fitzgerald-Black, the centre’s Digital Projects Coordinator.
Garth Webb’s quote about D-Day from the Testaments of Honour Historical Archive and the Defining Moments Canada website: https://definingmomentscanada.ca/jbc75/dday/webb/
Mackenzie King’s speech to British Parliament from the British Pathé YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SlEvclY5LE&t=48s
Artillery firing sounds from the CBC News: The National YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsCSQ4uWR1Y
Winston Churchill’s “Finest Hour” speech from Jonathan Thomas’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jB5wZtV1MWM
Spitfire sound effect from Jason Kirby’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgZI4tAoMN0
Dramatic Interlude by Alexander Nakarada | https://www.serpentsoundstudios.com
Music promoted by https://www.free-stock-music.com
Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Dispatches from Juno shares all the news, events, and stories from the Juno Beach Centre in France and Canada. Interested in contributing a story to the blog? Email the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.