Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: John Bicknell DFC 226 Squadron and Operation Jubilee

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Near Cambridge
    Posts
    7
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default John Bicknell DFC 226 Squadron and Operation Jubilee

    Reading Martin Bowman's excellent 'The Reich Intruders' I stumbled across mention of my Mother's first husband, John Conway Bicknell flying sweeps in his Boston at Dieppe in Operation Jubilee 19th August 1942. (Page 112 mentioned as Flight Sergeant JC Bicknell, air gunner).

    I know as a Pilot Officer he subsequently transferred to Mosquitoes and moved to 21 Squadron at RAF Hunsdon, and flew as a Navigator for P/O Bill Adams, but when and where did he receive his DFC ? Was it with 226 or 21 ?

    ... I have a photograph of him walking out of the gates of Buckingham Palace with his mother, proudly wearing the medal, but no date on the picture ?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Stockholm
    Posts
    1,032
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 8 Times in 7 Posts

    Default

    Mark,

    The replies to your 2003 enquiry may help:

    http://www.rafcommands.com/archive/03656.php

    Regards,

    Dave

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Near Cambridge
    Posts
    7
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default

    Thanks Dave... I know that John Bicknell flew with 226 Squadron in 1942 but I don't know for what action he was awarded his DFC on 20 April 1943 ?

    Presumably the change from Air Gunner in Bostons to Navigator in Mosquitoes was when he transferred from 226 to 21 squadrons, and from Swanton Morley to Hunsdon

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Dublin
    Posts
    4,421
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 22 Times in 22 Posts

    Default

    Its stated in the 2003 thread. It was a DFC for his service over time not for one particular action.

    Read over the old thread.
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    6,405
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 34 Times in 33 Posts

    Default

    Mark,

    Re your post #1. You state that Martin Bowman, on page 112 of his book "The Reich Intruders" (P.S.L.,1997), mentions a F/S J C Bicknell. I can't find any mention (in my copy) of Bicknell at all - sure, his pilot, F/L Don Smith is mentioned several times (and pictured), but not Bicknell.

    Are you sure about your source?

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 20th August 2018 at 05:20.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Wiltshire
    Posts
    2,497
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts

    Default

    You've not provided any indication of what, if any research you have undertaken so it is difficult to know how to advise you, but it might benefit you, Mark, to obtain his service record rather than rely on secondary information - which might, or might not, be valid. Details as to how to do this can be found in #3 of http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/sho...in-Middle-East. Equally you could download the 226 Sqn ORB from the National Archives at Kew to see what details it provides for the operation.

    Brian

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Near Cambridge
    Posts
    7
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default

    Hi Col... yes, page 112 in Martin Bowman's 'Reich Intruders" and tenth line down says : ' The fifth Boston of Flying Officer Donald T. Smith received flak hits that shattered his windscreen and embedded shards of plexiglass in his right eye. Despite his injuries Smith continued on and laid smoke. On the return flight his left eye filled with the powdered Perspex which still filled the cockpit but he managed to land safely at Thruxton. Flight Sergeant JC Bicknell, Air Gunner, and pilot officer GB Tolputt, Observer, were uninjured.
    Smith was awarded the DFC. "

    I am assuming therefore that John Bicknell's DFC was a 'cumulative' award for many ops including operation Jubilee on 19th August 1942...and thanks to all for the assistance which is helping me get closer to the story...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    6,405
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 34 Times in 33 Posts

    Default

    Mark,

    I can see what has happened here. Martin W. Bowman is a prolific author, having published many books, some with similar titles. The book you are quoting from is actually:

    The Reich Intruders RAF Light Bomber Raids in World War II
    Martin W. Bowman.
    Barnsley:Pen & Sword Aviation,2005 .

    The book I consulted was:

    The Reich Intruders Dramatic RAF medium bomber raids over Europe in World War 2
    Martin W. Bowman.
    Sparkford:Patrick Stevens Limited,1997.

    Bowman had completely re-written "The Reich Intruders", retaining the original structure of the book (the chapter titles (10), are identical), and changing the sub-title. I did not purchase the book assuming it was a rehash/reprint of the earlier title. Bowman had a need to do that - things change - new sources, deaths of contributors, new photographs etc. I have no problem with that!

    I have most of Bowman's works and it is amazing to see them all together (some covering the same topic), yet he rarely repeats himself.

    No criticism of Bowman intended, his output is staggering!

    One more book to purchase for my sagging shelves.

    Cheers,

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 13th March 2019 at 07:16.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Near Cambridge
    Posts
    7
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default

    Thanks, Col, for helping me to clear that up - as it is the 75th anniversary in July of John Bicknell's death, I want to prepare a suitable commentary / obituary for St Mary's Church Standon, who don't know the story of the brave airman buried in their churchyard and commemorated by a CWGC gravestone...

    Thanks for assistance... Regards...Mark

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •