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Thread: 35 sq. Halifax HR799 TL-R 22 June '43

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    HansO Guest

    Default 35 sq. Halifax HR799 TL-R 22 June '43

    Are there any interrogation reports/questionnaires available of the crewmembers who survived (Hickson, Maltas, Hutchinson, Croft, Graham and Dowling).

    Thanks in advance,
    Hans

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    Default

    Hi Hans,

    I read with interest your request for information about HR799 and her crew.

    As my grandfather (Hickson) was the pilot of this aircraft I am also interested in any records or information you would be able to share. I have quite a bit of information which you may also be interested in.

    It is now 65 years since this incident and 2 members of this crew are still with us (including my grandfather)

    Regards
    W

  3. #3
    Eddie Fell Guest

    Default

    Hi

    In case you are not aware, your Grandfather's crew were posted from No. 24 Operational Training Unit, Honeybourne to 158 Squadron at East Moor on 19/10/42 but were soon posted on to No. 1652 Heavy Conversion Unit at Marston Moor on 22/10/42. At this time there was only 5 of them

    Hickson, Hutchinson, Croft, Graham and one who wasn't with them later named Petiphar.
    I suspect the reason for them going to 1652 was to collect a Flight Engineer and another gunner, as 158 were operating the Halifax II.

    Can you assist with the christian names of the above mentioned of this crew?

    Eddie

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    Default

    Hello W. Hickson,

    This is the entry on the loss of HR799 in my forthcoming book The Nachtjagd War Diaries:

    Maj. GŁnther Radusch: 23 Stab II./NJG3, det. I./NJG1 Halifax Klein Oirlo, N.N.W. Venlo: 5.500 m. 01.34 35 Sqn Halifax HR799

    I would be very interested to know if your grandfather has recorded his experiences of his final op. and also if you have a photo of the crew and of the Halifax that they flew, for use in my research for a planned 2nd edition of the Nachtjagd War Diaries?

    My email is theoboitenATversatel.nl

    Cheers, Theo

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    Default Halifax HR799

    My son has asked me to reply to the recent queries about my father, pilot William (Bill) Hickson, RNZAF & his crew. They were leading the 35 PFF Halifaxes from Graveley, being a very experienced crew having been with the squadron for 5 months. It was a moonlight night, the shortest of the year and about 10 mins from the target, Krefeld when they were attacked by the fighter, and their port inner immediately caught fire. They never saw the fighter but took immediate evasive action. Bill undertook the actions of feathering the engine before pushing the extinguisher button as trained, but in the biggest frustration of his life, NOTHING HAPPENED. The flames rapidly increased in intensity and he ordered the crew to bail out. Sgt Krohn, an Australian pilot along on a familiarisation flight, was first out, but was killed as his parachute didn't open. F/sgt Brown, the rear gunner was also killed, possibly being trapped in his turret. Immediately after the crew jumped there was an explosion and the aircraft started to break up, becoming uncontrollable. Bill was conscious that the TIs were still on board and of the screaming noise, but somehow he managed to grab his parachute and jump as trained. Lucky for me he survived.
    35 squadron lost 6 of it's Halifaxes that night.

    We do not have a photo of this Halifax, HR799 but would be grateful if anyone could provide one as I am writing a book on his experiences. Other significant aircraft he flew on ops were Whitleys Z9437, Z9484, Z9482, BD293, AD671 (Antisub patrols with 10 OTU St Eval), and Halifaxes W7861 (51 Sq , Snaith ), W7881, W7779, DT488, W7823, W7874, HR795 (35 PFF Sq, Graveley) So if anyone has any photos of any of these machines or other information about them I would be very interested. Cheers Pete

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    Default Bil Hickson

    Hi All,

    Bill Hickson passed away on the 2nd of September.

    An obituary was recently published in the Dominion Post, you can read it here:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/obituaries/5641401/Bacon-and-eggs-and-the-Great-Escape

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    Default Hickson

    Pete,
    Very sorry to hear of your father's passing. Please give my condolences to your family.
    My friend, F/L Tommy Lane DFC, 35 sqdn. was one of the 6 - 35 sqdn Halifax's (HR685) hacked down this night, on the Krefeld op. Lane's crew all survived to become guests of the Luftwaffe.
    Tom was also a senior pilot on the sqdn. @ this time, only 2 more ops to go to finish his 2nd tour with the PFF.
    I'll let Tom know of your father's passing, and the details of his downing.
    Re. TL-R:
    I have a photo of a 35 sqdn. Halifax 2 (TL-R), it's on the cover of my friend's book: "We Band of Brothers"
    The author, S/L Bill Grierson DFC AFC, was 35's Nav leader for a time. This is a wonderfull acount of the way these airmen lived and fought on 35 sqdn during this period of the war.
    R-Robert was "owned" by Bill's skipper on 35, S/L Peter Cribb DFC.
    After Cribb's screening R-Robert was "passed" to Bobby Plutte, and along with Bill Grierson, they flew "Robert" untill the end of their respective tour(s).
    Cheers.
    Paul

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