- Name: Harold Evans Hartney
- Country: United States
- Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
- Service: Royal Flying Corps, United States Army Air Service
- Units: 20 RFC – 27th Aero, 185th Aero, 1st Pursuit Group
- Victories: 7
- Boran: 19 April 1888
- Place of Birth: Pakenham, Ontario, Canada
- Death: 5 October 1947 at Washington, D.C.
Born in Canada, Hartney worked as a clerk in his brother's law firm in Saskatoon after graduating from Toronto University in 1911. After obtaining a graduate degree from the University of Saskatchewan, he became a barrister, joined the Saskatoon 105th Fusiliers, and played the cornet in the town's band.
Married in 1914, he shipped out for England with the Canadian Expeditionary Force less than a year latter. As he trained with his battalion on Dibgate Plains, Hartney's visit to an aerodrome near Folkstone and a chance meeting with William Bishop led to his request for transfer to the Royal Flying Corps. On 21 October 1915, Hartney entered the RFC at Norwich. The following day, he survived a near fatal first flight in a Maurice Farman longhorn. By the following year he was grasping the stick of an F.E.2, flying reconnaissance missions over the Western Front. After scoring 5 confirmed victories, he was shot down for the fourth time on the afternoon of 14 February 1917.
In his autobiography, Up And At ‘Em, Hartney claimed Manfred von Richthofen shot him down that afternoon, northeast of Zillebecke Lake. On 21 September 1917, Hartney was promoted to Major and ordered back to Toronto to assume command of the American 27th Aero Squadron. As a member of the United States Air Service, he scored two more victories by the end of the war. In 1923, Hartney became a citizen of the United States and published an autobiography, “Up and at ‘Em,” in 1940.
Distinguished Service Cross
“For extraordinary heroism in action near Fismes, France, 13 August 1918. Major Hartney voluntarily accompanied a reconnaissance patrol. Realizing the importance of the mission, Major Hartney took command and although
five enemy planes repeatedly made attempts to drive them back, he continued into enemy territory, returning later to our lines with important information. The cool judgement and determination displayed by Major Hartney furnished an inspiration to all the members of his command.”
Colonel Hartney was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery. His son, Harold E. Hartney, Jr., Second Lieutenant, United States Army Air Corps, (23 February 1923-13 May 1944) was apparently killed in World War II and is buried in the same gravesite.
HARTNEY, HAROLD E
- LT COL AIR CORPS AUS
- DATE OF DEATH: 10/05/1945
- BURIED AT: SECTION SOUTH SITE 1377A
- ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
HARTNEY, HAROLD E JR
- 2ND LT USA AF 56 FIGHTER GP AC
- DATE OF BIRTH: 02/23/1920
- DATE OF DEATH: 05/13/1944
- BURIED AT: SECTION 3 SITE 1377-A
- ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
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Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard