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Wings Over Wick Index

Wings Over Wick
1939 - 1945
Torpedo Squadrons

J A Scorey, Walsall, West Midlands
It was during July 1942 when I was first based in Wick with 144 squadron coastal command. We were a torpedo squadron, but we were flying out of RAF Skitten, which was just north west of Wick. Also based was 42 squadron, with Beauforts, which moved to the Middle East in mid July 1942. Also based between Wick and Skitten was a Whitley squadron.

One night in July 1942 during a very heavy rain and sleet storm a squadron based at Wick flying American Hudsons were returning from ops on the coast of Norway and were carrying depth charges, when one crashed on the runway closing the airfield (it was a total loss, burnt out), but the crew escaped. The rest of the squadron was diverted to Skitten and 144 squadron ground crews had to turn out to see the aircraft which had to get down as fuel was running low. During that period we also ran short of gas/fuel for the aircraft which were based at Wick and Skitten and 144 squadrons had to take turns flying on ops.

Is the old ship still out in Sinclair Bay? The aircraft used it for bombing and gunnery practice. It was a long time ago, 50 years, but some things you cannot forget, like the fish packers in the harbour filling the barrels, or digging peat so as to have a fire in our huts at night.