Reginald Russell WICKS

Poppy

WICKS, Reginald Russell

Service Number: 409356
Enlisted: 15 August 1941
Last Rank: Warrant Officer
Last Unit: No. 156 Squadron (RAF)
Born: Caulfield, Glen Eira - Victoria, Australia, 12 May 1922
Home Town: Caulfield, Glen Eira, Victoria
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Not yet discovered
Died: Night Bombing raid - lost to night fighter, Germany, 2 December 1943, aged 21 years
Cemetery: Becklingen War Cemetery, Germany
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, International Bomber Command Centre Memorial
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World War 2 Service

15 Aug 1941: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Aircraftman 2 (WW2), SN 409356, Aircrew Training Units
15 Aug 1941: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Warrant Officer, SN 409356, No. 156 Squadron (RAF)
15 Aug 1941: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Warrant Officer, SN 409356, No. 156 Squadron (RAF)
23 Nov 1943: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Warrant Officer, SN 409356, No. 156 Squadron (RAF), Air War NW Europe 1939-45
Date unknown: Discharged Royal Australian Air Force, Warrant Officer, SN 409356, No. 156 Squadron (RAF)

Death of a Lancaster - No. 156 Squadron

From Flight Sergeant Norman MacDonald, only survivor of JB472

The crew of Lancaster JB472 with Reginald Wicks as pilot, joined the Squadron on 23 November 1943. They flew their first mission on 23 November - a night raid on Berlin. This was closely followed by another night mission to Berlin on 26 November.

On 2 December JB472 took off from Warboys airfield for their third raid on Berlin. In a report given by Flight Sergeant Norman Macdonald after the war he describes what happened to their aircraft as they flew over eastern Germany:

'Attack by enemy fighter reported by rear gunner - pilot acknowledged, took evasive action and just then we were hit. Crew put on chutes, aircraft in steep dive. At approx between 17 and 15, 000 feet violent explosion. I was sucked out the starboard side of aircraft. Regained consciousness at approx 4,000 feet opened 'chute landed ok. I believe pilot jettisoned bombs endeavouring to save crew and aircraft but aircraft crashed 20 miles north of Hannover. The next day I was captured in the goods yard of the village railway station by 2 German soldiers who were searching for me and taken to identify wreckage of aircraft from which German officials had removed the bodies of my 6 colleagues. Taken to Frankfurt for interrogation put into solitary confinement then to Stalag IVB.'

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