From Margaret Copley
Re 86 Squadron
Could you please tell me if it is still possible to add messages to
your "Wings over Wick" web page where information about former RAF
personnel is displayed?
My uncle Sgt Walter Duckworth was a Wireless Operator / Air Gunner
flying aboard Beaufort AW368 of 86 Squadron on March 28th 1942. He was
quartered at RAF Skitten, but flew from Wick.The aircraft never
returned from its ROVER mission. Two crew members were never found, but
the bodies of Sgt Duckworth and the other W/Op/Air Gnr, Sgt E.W. Martin
were washed ashore in Norway and are now buried in the War Graves
section of Sola Churchyard, Stavanger, Norway. I should like to get in
touch with anyone else whose relatives served in 86 Squadron at around
this time I must say, how good it was to find the "Wings over Wick"
website, with its comprehensive content. Congratulations to Hillhead
school and its Headmaster. I would like to contact him directly, if
possible, to express my thanks,
With All Good Wishes,
Southwood Tel.01646 636295
Dale, HAVERFORDWEST, Pembrokeshire SA62 3RE
some more information for your site "Wings Over Wick" My Uncle Mr Harry Varley
now in his 90th year spent almost the entire duration of the war at
Wick as a radio operator - he was not attached to the "flying boys" at
the aerodrome, but in a little hut set away from the main RAF Depot -
it was here he says he spent time eavesdropping on the enemy. The
section was called "Y" section and I think I am right in saying this
was a very secret affair that even today he feels that he should not be
talking about it.
From D Preston
RAF "Y" Section -
I have not seen
information as to this section of the RAF at Wick but if anybody has
any recollections of this or pictures perhaps. It would be good for me
to show him on my next visit to him. I do have some pictures of him in
uniform with the special insignia on his arm relating to his section
and I can send them to you if they are of interest.
I can also tell
even now at 90 years old - he has not forgotten the Morse code that he
learned at Bletchley Park nor indeed his love of Caithness
he has visited many times over the years.
The radio shack was a wooden hut affair and there would be around 30
operators working on a three shift system. The whole setup was at FOSS
HEAD FARM - he recalls several radio aerials there and has fond
memories of the farmer that owned the land - he says he was a perfect
Kind Regards D Preston
12 February 2010
From Joe Daly email@example.com
Good afternoon Bill,
I am trying to gather as much information together as I can on my late
Uncle, Flt Sgt M J Daly
(RAAF), a pilot who lost his life along with his entire crew of 4 in
Wick. I am aware he is buried in the War Graves Section of one of the
I did notice that the Caithness Field Club has some
research with regard to what remains of the military installations from
WWII are in the Caithness area and I will try to get in contact with
them unless you can forward this email on to them as their email
contact details do not appear on their web page.
The very unfortunate accident was as follows:
On 27 May 1942 after a routine patrol near the
fjords of Norway, my uncle and his RAF crew from 86 Sqn Wick, were
returning home in bad weather.
After returning from patrol, and over home soil,
the aircraft, Beaufort AW345 collided with the 225 foot Tannach Chain
Home Radar Station tower. The collision removed a wing and 50 feet of
the tower taking the life of all the crew.
I am trying to gather as much information together
as possible. I am looking for any remnants, records or photographs of
RAF Wick and the Tannach Chain Home Radar Station and any reports from
the radar crew or the RAF. I am also trying to trace any local news
paper reports of the accident, as it was an unusual occurrence for both
Wick and 86 Sqn.
As no-one from my family have ever visited the
grave site, any information on this tragedy would be priceless to my
family. I do intend to travel to Wick in the not too-distant future to
pay our family’s well overdue respects.
Very kind regards,
22 Bethlehem Tce
Yeppoon, Queensland, 4703
22 November 06
From Alfred Catling -
Sergeant Robert William Catling
the 8th March 1941 he took off from Wick airfeild with three other crew
in a Hudson T9334. Sometime later the plane came down. My uncle and
another man were drowned and the other two were picked up by a patrol
boat. Can you offer any help in finding more information about this and
anything that will tell me about how the airmen lived at that time.
It would be wonderful if anyone is alive to remember anything.
was my uncle, probably known as Bobby or Bob. The other crew members,
serving in 269 squadron, were sergeants N Child, W Dodds and Deacon,
who was lost with my uncle. The patrol boat was 'Northern Chief'.
9 April 04
Is British Helmet connected To Wick Asks
I am a collector of military antiques. I have
a British helmet dated 1941 which has the number "1" and the word
"WICK" painted on its front. I am wondering if this helmet is
related to the Wick RAF airbase. Did aircrews or ground
personnel paint "WICK" on their helmets in this way? Any
information is greatly appreciated.
Jeffrey P. Magut
Trumbull, Connecticut, U.S.A.
4 February 2004
am looking for information about my father Robert Dickie who was with
269 Squadron at Abbotsinch at the start of the war. I know he was at
Sumburgh, Iceland, Pembroke and eventually Castle Archdale in N.Ireland
where he died in 1945 just before the end of the war. I was just one
year old so never knew him and it would be great to find someone who
did. I know 269 went to Wick, but I do not know if he was with them.
Any information from any ex 269 squadron who knew him would be great.
He was a sergeant when he died so in '39/'40 he would probably have
been no more than a corporal.
Robert Dickie email Transportraining@aol.com
10 December 03
Wellington Akey (J/19916) 519 squadron
name is Wesley Spafford I live in Picton, Ontario, Canada. I am
wondering if you could please post this message for me on the request
page on your website ? I am looking for anyone who might have known my
great uncle Ross Wellington Akey(J/19916) who was part of the 519
squadron and lost his life October 10, 1944 when his crew had engine
trouble (Hudson III L/519) and the went down position 60o41’N 01o30’W,
about 8 miles from Scatsta.
No.519 Squadron was formed at Wick on 15 August 1943,and disbanded on
May 31 1946.
The info I have on My great Uncle's Last Flight is -
Hudson V9195, coded L, took off from RAF Skitten at 14:03 hrs on the
10th October 1944 tasked with a Recipie sortie, it’s mission was to
head due north from RAF Wick/Skitten to about 69N then to return on
course due south.
At 23:00 hrs an engine cut, the aircraft lost height and was ditched 15
miles north west of Yell, Shetland, in position 60 41N 01 30W.
The crew was:
F/O T N McNulty RCAF
F/O R W Akey RCAF
Lt W S Helms USAAF
P/O J Blair RCAF
If anyone has any information on RW Akey please email Wesley Spalford firstname.lastname@example.org
16 November 03
Command Hudson lost over Åndalsnes, Norway
The search for a name of an umarked grave in
Norway. does anyone have any information on this RAF man who
died on a mission. Check the web site and let them have any
31 March 03
Hudson P5132 269 Squadron -
From Tina Watters
These are photos of my uncle Jack Sharvin and other
crew members of Husdon p5132,of 269 Squadron RAF, Coastal Command,
5 February 03
From Andrew Dawson
Regarding Fl. Lt David Walker 608 Squadron
I am writing a book about the Oxford University and Norfolk cricketer
Flt. Lt. David Walker who was stationed at RAF during January and
February of 1942. He was killed off the coast of Norway when flying
with 608 Squadron. If you have any memories of this man, pls. e mail