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Thread: 99 Squadron Flt Lt John Patrick Dickinson - Stalag 3 and Colditz

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    Default 99 Squadron Flt Lt John Patrick Dickinson - Stalag 3 and Colditz

    Hi I hope someone can help me,

    I am looking for more info on my grandfather Flight Lieutenant John Patrick Dickinson RAFVR. He was flying Wellingtons with 99 Squadron from Waterbeech when he was shot down 7th November 1941. He was captured and one member of the crew died when his chute failed to open. I am really trying to find out some more details about that last flight and also his life in the RAF during and after the war. I am assuming he was taken to a Dulag Luft after being caught but can only find details from stalag 3 and colditz. He was in Stalag 3 in March 1942 and involved in 3 escapes with Vincent "Bush" Parker. He was subsequently transferred to Colditz with Bush Parker in May 1942 and I have some details about his various escape attempts in Colditz. He is listed as " Bag " Dickinson - apparently because he sewed his red cross trousers up the wrong way!! He is listed in 4 escape attempts at Colditz and helped in a 5th. There is also a large cardboard cut out of him sitting with Sqd Ldr Stephenson and Bush Parker in the courtyard at Colditz Museum!! He was one of the 3 directors of the British Distilling Monopoly in Colditz along with Bush Parker and Peter Van Rood. After being liberated from Colditz he stayed in the RAF until the late 1950s....1958 according to my Mum ( his daughter). They were in Egypt and Cyprus and Malta after the war. Apparently he was involved in building RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus. There is a mention in dispatches but I have no further details.....his family think it was for being on 30 sorties prior to being shot down? Would this be right? He was obviously a good shot because we still have some cups from Bisley ...for tri-service shooting comps I think!.

    I finally managed to get the family together this weekend to ask some questions about his life after the war. My grandmother was 6 months pregnant when he was shot down and he first met my aunt when she was nearly 4. He went on to have 6 children with his wife Maisie. Sadly he really struggled with alcohol after leaving the RAF and I was really saddened to find he died penniless in 1971 and is buried in an unmarked paupers grave in Slough. Apparently no one was at his funeral. My mum had given birth to my sister the day before and so was in hospital, my granny and my uncle arrived to find he had already been buried! I am also slightly confused because apparently he did not get a pension despite being in the RAF for 19 years. The family tell me he wasn't kicked out of the RAF or dishonourably discharged ( not sure if that is the right term for the RAF..apologies if it is not! ) but resigned his commission. Is that why he didn't get a pension? My Aunt ( his oldest daughter ) thinks it is because he was given an adverse report for imitating Group Captain Tremble's lisp while pissed in the officer's mess at Raf Bridgnorth??

    I would love to know a bit more about him. Where was he between November 1941 and March 1942 after being shot down? What happened to his crew after being shot down? What was his MID for? Is there any record of him in Ismalia in Egypt or Cyprus ?
    If anyone from Squadron 99 has any info I would be hugely interested to know more!!
    Many thanks in advance
    Dr Dave Clark

    I have some info on his last flight
    "T2554 was one three No.99 Sqdn Wellingtons lost on this operation. See: T2516; X9739. Airborne 1721 7Nov41. Cause of loss and crash-site not established. P/O Bell is buried in Becklingen War Cemetery, Soltau. F/L J.P.Dickinson PoW Sgt R.J.Bell RAAF KIA F/O P.R.Searcy RAAF PoW Sgt R.B.Martin RCAF PoW Sgt A.Featherstone RCAF PoW Sgt J.H.Bowman PoW Sgt J.H.Bowman was interned in Camps 8B/L3/L6/357. PoW No.24498, with Sgt A.Featherstone, PoW No.24493. F/L J.P.Dickinson in Camp 04C, PoW No.670. Sgt R.B.Martin in Camps 8B/L3, PoW No.24516. F/O P.R.Searcy in Camps L1/L3, PoW No.683."

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    DevonDoc, Hi - and welcome to the Forum,

    Brief history of yr man from the LG

    Enlisted 903304 at Uxbridge some time after 1 Sep 1939 (possibly near Mar/Apr 1940?)

    Commissioned from Leading Aircraftmen to be Plt Off (Prob) 30 Nov 1940.
    903304 John Patrick DICKINSON (88863). (Seniority 14th Nov. 1940.)

    Plt. Offs. (prob.) confmd. in appts. and to be Flg. Offs. (war subs.): —
    J. P. DICKINSON (88863). 30th Nov. 1941. (Seny. 14th Nov. 1941.)

    To Flt Lt 30th Nov. 1942.
    J. P. DICKINSON (88863). (Seny.14th Nov. 1942.)

    Air Ministry, 7th January, 1947.
    The KING has been graciously pleased to give orders for the publication of the names of the following personnel who have been mentioned in despatches: —
    Acting Squadron Leaders.
    J. P. DICKINSON (88863), R.A.F.V.R.

    Air Ministry, 17th February, 1948.
    ROYAL AIR FORCE. GENERAL DUTIES BRANCH
    Appointment to commission
    As Flight Lieutenants, short service (five years on the active list) —
    John Patrick DICKINSON (88863) 20th Oct 1947 (seniority 14th Nov. 1946) (and transferred to the Secretarial Branch on appointment).

    SECRETARIAL BRANCH.
    The undermentioned (and called up for air force service):—
    Flight Lieutenant J. P. DICKINSON (88863). 20th Oct. 1952.

    SECRETARIAL BRANCH.
    Appointment to commission (permanent) under A.M.O. ,4.628/51.
    As Flight Lieutenant:—
    John Patrick DICKINSON (88863). 13th July 1953.

    SECRETARIAL BRANCH.
    Commission resigned.
    Flight Lieutenant J. P, 'DICKINSON (88863). 7th Jan. 1958.

    HTH

    Peter Davies

    PS Appears to have died:
    Deaths Sep 1971 (89%) DICKINSON John Patrick 29Ja1918 Eton 6a 877.
    The "Informant" on the DC may know where his Log Books, etc, are?
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 5th October 2014 at 16:45.
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Hi and welcome,

    Three things to consider.

    Applying for his service records as you seem to have the family on board, next of kin application.

    Get a copy of his POW Liberation Questionnaire from Kew which will say when and where he was shot down and which camps he was in.

    Get a copy of his Escape and Evasion report or that of one of his colleagues, also from Kew, if it exists.

    I will be at Kew this week so will have a look for you.

    Regards,

    Nick
    KenFentonsWar.com

    .

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    Hello,

    Go to: http://naa12.naa.gov.au/Scripts/SuggestLogon.asp
    Click Login box.
    Enter 407082 in Keywords box, click search.
    Click on Digitised item symbol in Searcy's A9300 file (SEARCY P R ).
    Go to pp.16-23 of 50, for some of the information you require.

    Col.

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    Thanks so much for all that great info!! Have just had an email from a German aviation researcher who says he has details of where the Wellington was shot down and photos of the wreckage!! Will update when he gets back to me,
    Huge thanks to all of you,
    Dave Clark

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    Quote Originally Posted by COL BRUGGY View Post
    Hello,

    Go to: http://naa12.naa.gov.au/Scripts/SuggestLogon.asp
    Click Login box.
    Enter 407082 in Keywords box, click search.
    Click on Digitised item symbol in Searcy's A9300 file (SEARCY P R ).
    Go to pp.16-23 of 50, for some of the information you require.

    Col.

    Dear Col Bruggy,
    Thanks so much for the info we are immensely grateful!! I was really amazed to get that much info about that fateful night, I am really hopeful that we can get even more info from the german aviation researcher about T2554.
    Many thanks.. I can't wait to share this with my aunts and uncles!!
    Dave Clark

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    Default Update on T2554 Wellington shot down 7/11/1941

    Sadly no pics of the wreckage ..apparently the site is underwater. Here are the details I have been sent via email:

    There are only reports of eyewitnesses. These were children during the war, today over 80 yeras old.. The crash site was cleared quickly. It was one of the first downed aircraft in our area. I willsend you an aerial view. With the GPS data. Unfortunately there is no further information what exactly happened. All times witnesses have died. Unfortunately, it is probably impossible to examine the site with the Metalldetekor. The forest is under water. For many years. At that timethere was degraded wood. The wood was sprinkled with water. Because of the beetle. The water is no longer expired. I'll take pictures. I send you the launch message. 2km away was an airfield."Varrelbusch". Nearby Flak units were.
    The GPS coordinates of the Wellington:
    5253'10.94" N- 801'52.13 E
    More info when I get it,
    Best wishes
    Dave Clark

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    Quote Originally Posted by NickFenton View Post
    Hi and welcome,

    Three things to consider.

    Applying for his service records as you seem to have the family on board, next of kin application.

    Get a copy of his POW Liberation Questionnaire from Kew which will say when and where he was shot down and which camps he was in.

    Get a copy of his Escape and Evasion report or that of one of his colleagues, also from Kew, if it exists.

    I will be at Kew this week so will have a look for you.

    Regards,

    Nick
    KenFentonsWar.com

    .

    Thanks Nick,
    Will definitely look into getting his service record as he has 4 surviving children and they are now really curious to know more. He never talked about his escapes or his time as a POW to any of them.....having grilled the family this weekend I was really surprised to find this out.....but he died before a lot of the Colditz hype. How do I get a copy of his escape and evasion details?? Many thanks for your helpful advice, Dave

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    Thanks Resmorph!!! great to have some dates which we didn't have before!!! Please excuse my ignorance but was is LG?
    many thanks
    Dave Clark

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    LG is the London Gazette where all official announcements were made.

    After what these guys went through, passing away early was the norm rather than the exception and it was not unusual to keep their stories quiet, talking to each other, not those who were not in the know.

    I will pull out a copy of his Liberation Questionnaire and Escape and Evasion report if it exists from Kew for you. I was hoping to go on Friday but l think it will be next Friday now.

    Most of the LQ's exist for ex-RAF pilots/aircrew but the Escape and Evasion reports can be scant and difficult to find but also worth looking up his mates. I have the references and will get back to you as soon as l can.

    Regards,

    Nick
    KenFentonsWar.com

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