The line was first climbed in 1966 by Chris Bonington, Dougal Haston and Don Whillans alongside a team of German climbers, who named the route after American mountaineer and US Air Force pilot John Harlin, who was killed while making an attempt at a direct line up the face earlier that year when he fell 2000ft from the summit and his rope broke.
A few corrections here.
The line was climbed by Jorg Lehne, Gunther Strobel, Roland Vottelor, Sigi Hupfauer and Dougal Haston. Much of the difficult artificial climbing was led by Layton Kor who didn’t summit. Bonington was there with a commission from the telegraph for photographs. He did some climbing on the face but had already backed out of the climb out of misgivings with Harlin. Harlin was killed during the climb when a fixed rope broke while jumaring. He was not an airforce pilot at this stage but had set up a climbing school in Leysin which still exists as ISM. The German and Scot/American teams began separately and then joined forces during the climb. Whillans had little to do with the climbing and was assisting Bonington and Peter Gillman. The climb was reported as being a race between the two teams. When asked about it, Whillans laughed, “If it’s a race, it’s the slowest race in the world.”
Utterly unenviable challenge of collating 'news' in the climbing world (I think your making a good effort Nick!) but a pedantic comment from me would be that Will's extension of 'Zero', 'Below Zero" looks like a lower standing/crouching start rather than a sit.