Harry Leo Abrin
Electrical Engineer, Ferry Command
Died 7 Apr 1943
Buried Bayeux War Cemetery
Son of George and Rebecca Abrin; husband of Bernice M. Abrin, of Hartsdale, New York, U.S.A.
‘MY BELOVED HUSBAND WHOM I SHALL ALWAYS LOVE. GOD BLESS HIM’
Harry was born on 30 January 1907 in Manhattan, New York to Russian born parents George and Rebecca Abrin. George and Rebecca became American citizens in 1907. Harry married Bernice Orcutt on 5 March 1938 in Staten Island, New York.
On 7 April 1943, Abrin was serving as First Officer on a ferry flight from North Carolina to Scotland to deliver PBY-Catalina FP138. Flying with two British airmen, and 3 Canadians, Abrin’s aircraft received a message to divert to Portsmouth en route, but ended up flying near the coast of Normandy. Running low on fuel, the Captain chose to down the aircraft in a coastal inlet, but came under fire from anti-aircraft guns. After regaining height the aircraft was then attacked by two Luftwaffe fighters and Abrin shot in the back and legs. The pilot then downed the damaged aircraft near a rocky outcrop, 2 miles off shore. Abrin’s body washed ashore two-days later on 9 April 1943. Two other members of his crew also perished, and the remaining three were taken Prisoner of War.
Abrin was reported Missing In Action by the American Consulate in Canada in May 1943, before being declared dead. He is the only American buried in the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in Bayeux France.