George Henry (Harry) AveryMC BSA was born in August 1917, in Ottawa Ontario, the son of Mr. and Mrs. George Avery. He attended Lisgar Collegiate and in 1941 obtained his BSA degree at the University of Guelph. He enlisted in the RCAF in 1942, and, after taking special courses, was attached to the radar division of the 33rd Indian Corps in Burma.
Flight-Lieutenant (F/L) Avery commanded No. 4 Section, Sea Reconnaissance Unit, prior to and during the operation resulting in the establishment of a bridgehead on the bank of the Irrawaddy River in the Myitatha area, in the heart of Burma, now called Myanmar. His job was to scout out landing spots on the other side of the river, specifically to find areas where tanks could be landed. He and his men were about to become legends known as the"Frogmen of Burma". He made several risky reconnaissances by night in view of the enemy and gathered valuable information necessary for the furtherance of the operations.
On the night of February 24-25, 1945, F/L Avery led the first assault party across the three kilometre river, fighting a 10-knot current and guided army equipment to the landing beaches under heavy and deadly fire. His work was arduous and risky, but his remarkable achievements contributed greatly to the successful establishment of the bridgehead through which later the whole Second British Division passed. For his skill and courage under heavy enemy fire, he was awarded theMilitary Cross (MC).
He received hisMC in December 1948 at Government House in Ottawa. His father George Avery, a senior postal administrator in the postal service happened to be at the same ceremony to receive an Order of the British Empire (OBE). F/L George Harry Avery also had a brother Robert, who served overseas with the RCAF in WW2. And, George Harry Avery's son Jeff Avery became a star player with the Ottawa Rough Riders football team.
In 1946 Harry married Muriel Christie, daughter of Robert Christie and Jane (Lamb) Christie. They had four children; Judy, Debbie, Jeff and Kathryn. Harry died in January 1999 and is buried in Capital Memorial Gardens (Ottawa-Nepean). After Muriel's passing, he married, and in 2003 is survived by Barbara Belding, a long time family friend.