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Wings Over Wick Index

Wings Over Wick
1939 - 1945

Dane Dunnett,  Great Sutton, South Wirral
I belong to Wick, and in August ‘39 I went to the drome to have a last look at progress being made in building the facilities there. I joined the RAF a few days later. I was posted back to Wick in May ‘41 where I served until early January ‘43. I was an aero engine fitter working on Headquarters Flight. This entailed servicing the flight’s planes and also attending to the technical requirements of all visiting aircraft. This included refuelling and on occasion even cleaning runways etc. of damaged and crashed planes.

Our aircraft included an Avro Anson, a Percival Proctor, an Avro Tutor, and a De Haviland Rapide air ambulance. The Rapide was a gift from the Silver Thimble Club of America (ladies) to the British people. This plane carried south the survivor of the Sutherland crash in which the Duke of Kent perished. The Tutor was an old single engined bi-plane, often used for training the air (guns) defences situated around the airfield. In some of the winter snows of that period the Tutor had an unusual role of dropping some supplies to the train stuck in the drifts on the railway line, in the section between Scotscalder and Kinbrace.

Wick was a major coastal command base and home to two Lockheed Hudson squadrons. These were 608 and 269. Also stationed there, was 612 squadron of Armstrong Whitworth Whitley bombers. These machines were packed with all the latest radar equipment, and were unusual in being painted white except for the top of the planes. We always suggested this was because on the ground they looked, from a plane in the air, like another white washed croft.

Our first American Air Force Bomber (a Liberator) landed at Wick, just after the Americans entered the war. We really enjoyed that, as the Americans who had been diverted to Wick because of bad weather were very generous with Babe Ruth candy bars. We of course at that time had no sweets or chocolate.