Sqn Ldr W E Bill Lucas DFC
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Born in 1917, Bill Lucas volunteered for aircrew early in 1940 and after training as a fighter pilot he became, due to the high demand, a bomber pilot and joined 9 Squadron (Wellingtons) in August 1941. After 14 missions over Germany Bill converted to Stirlings and completed a further 26 operations, this time with 15 Squadron at Wyton. After two years instructing at 19 OTU Kinloss he was selected to join Pathfinder Force in October 1944 to fly Mosquitoes with 162 Squadron at Bourn, Cambridgeshire, where he remained until war end to complete 41 more missions making 81 in total. Bill attained the rank of Squadron Leader and was awarded the DFC and a Mention in Despatches. The most memorable of his missions must be the first 1000 bomber raid on Cologne on May 30 1942, as this seems to have struck a lasting memory in the minds of the general public. After the war Bill pursued a career in the insurance industry and also began to pick up the pieces of a serious athletic activity with the Belgrave Harriers which resulted in selection for the 5000 metres at the Olympic Games at Wembley in 1948, but at the age of 32 he was not in his own words “very successful”. Bill says his greatest regret was missing the games in Helsinki in 1940 and the cancelled games in 1944. “These should have been the best athletic years of my life.”
Items Signed by Sqn Ldr W E Bill Lucas DFC
| ||The Night Shift by Philip West. (AP)|
Price : £125.00
|The Short Stirling was the RAFs first four-engined bomber to enter service and it served throughout WWII in many roles including bomber, minelayer, troop carrier and glider-tug. The lack of power produced by its engines severely limited the loads ca......|
|Pathfinder Force by Philip West. (AP)|
Price : £240.00
|Passing low over Norwich Cathedral on this wintry evening, Pathfinder Mosquitoes begin to transit east from their bases on yet another dangerous night-time mission over enemy territory. They will take the lead on this bombing mission and their role ......|
Packs with at least one item featuring the signature of Sqn Ldr W E Bill Lucas DFC
Sqn Ldr W E Bill Lucas DFC
|Squadrons for : Sqn Ldr W E Bill Lucas DFC|
|A list of all squadrons known to have been served with by Sqn Ldr W E Bill Lucas DFC. A profile page is available by clicking the squadron name.|
No.15 Sqn RAF
Country : UK
Founded : 1st March 1915
|No.15 Sqn RAF|
On 1st March 1915, the officers and men who made up No.1 Reserve Squadron and the Recruits Depot, all of whom were based at South Farnborough, Hampshire, were brought together to form No.15 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps. Initially, the new squadron was equipped with a diverse range of flying machines, including Henri and Maurice Farmans, Avros, Bleriots, Moranes and BE2c aircraft. Having relocated to an airfield at Hounslow, west of London, where the squadron was allowed time to work up to operational status, it was, on 11th May, relocated to another airfield at Swingate Down, to the east of Dover, on the Kent coast. On 23rd December 1915, No.15 Squadron, RFC, deployed to France for operational duties. Throughout its time on the Western Front, during the First World War, the squadron was engaged in observation and reconnaissance duties, initially using BE2c aircraft but later, during June 1916, upgrading to R.E.8s. The work undertaken by the squadron, in its reconnaissance role, was recognised by higher authority, on a number of occasions, in the form of telegrams or communiqués. On 1st April 1918, No.15 Squadron became part of the newly formed Royal Air Force, which came into being with the amalgamation of the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service. With the end of hostilities in November 1918, came a reduction in the fighting strength of the RAF and, although not disbanded as a number of squadrons were, No.15 was reduced to a cadre. The axe finally fell on the final day of December 1919, when No.15 Squadron was disbanded.
It was to be approximately five years before No.15s number plate was to be resurrected when, on 20th March 1924, No.15 Squadron was reformed as part of the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE), at Martlesham Heath, Suffolk. Over a period of ten years, No.15 Squadron completed 12,100 flying hours on over seventy-five different types of airframe. Over that same period, it also saw five changes of commanding officer.
On 1st June 1934, No.15 was re-designated as a new unit, equipped with Hawker Hart Mk.I aircraft, undertaking daylight operations flying as part of Bomber Command. The new C.O. was Squadron Leader Thomas Elmhirst, who secured permission for his squadron to change the number plate to Roman numerals and have the XV applied to the fuselage on all the squadrons aircraft. This decision was to have a lasting effect and was only interrupted by the Second World War. Thomas Elmhirst also gave thought to the fact the squadron should have its own badge and motto, both of which were approved, during 1935. In early 1936, the squadron re-equipped with Hawker Hind bomber aircraft. These machines remained in service with No.XV until 13th July 1938, when the unit converted to Fairey Battle bomber aircraft. It was with the latter aircraft that the squadron prepared for war when, on 27th August 1939, a state of emergency was declared.
History repeated itself when the Squadron returned to France on a war footing, but it was forced to return to England in order to re-equip with the Bristol Blenheim bomber. The new aircraft was initially seen as a wonder aircraft, but No.XV Squadron was virtually decimated in strength following the German invasion of the Netherlands in May 1940. With the Blenheim being designated unsuitable for the task, the squadron began converting to the Vickers Wellington bomber, designed by Barnes Wallace, on 7th November 1940. This was really a stop-gap measure as on 30th April 1941 No.XV began converting to the Short Stirling, four-engine, heavy bomber. During the next couple of years, night after night, the squadron carried the fight back to the enemy, enduring many losses and exploits of valour in the process. It participated in all the 1,000 bomber raids against Germany.
As 1943 drew to a close, No.XV prepared to continue the fight with new equipment. Having converted to the Avro Lancaster bomber in late December 1943, the squadron went operational in mid-January 1944 with its new aircraft. By the time the war came to an end, No.XV was flying Lancaster B.1 Specials, which were specially adapted to carry 22,000lb Grand Slam bombs. February 1947 saw another change of equipment when the squadron converted to the Avro Lincoln bomber, whilst based at RAF Wyton in Huntingdonshire. However, by the end of that same year, No.XV found itself deploying aircraft to Shallufa, Egypt, as part of Operation Sunrise.
Another change of occurred at the end of November 1950, when No.XV Squadron was disbanded but immediately reformed with Boeing B29 Washington bomber aircraft. It was during the Washington period, in March 1951, that the squadrons code letters ‘LS’, which it had been adopted during late 1939, were removed from the aircraft fuselages. The new scheme called for a natural metal finish, adorned with only the RAF roundel, fin flash and aircraft serial. With technology advancing all the time, No.XV entered a new phase in its history in June 1953, when it was declared fully operational flying English Electric Canberra bombers. During the next couple of years, the squadron continued to train and undertook many navigational and bombing exercises, which proved fruitful in 1956 when the Suez crises erupted. No.XV was deployed to Nicosia, as part of Operation Accumulate, on 23rd October. During the short period of fighting that followed, No.XV dropped a higher concentration of bombs than any other squadron. Following a cease-fire, the squadron returned to England where, on 15th April 1957, it was disbanded.
The 1st of September 1958 saw the re-formation of No.XV as a V-Bomber squadron, equipped with Handley Page Victor B.I bombers. These aircraft were not only adorned with the official RAF insignia described above, but were also permitted to carry the squadron badge, together with the Roman XV numerals. The squadron retained these aircraft until 1964 when it was again disbanded. For a period of five years No.XV Squadron ceased to exist. However, this changed on 1st October 1970, when the squadron number plate and badge were resurrected and No.XV was reformed at RAF Honnington, in Suffolk. Equipped with Blackburn S.2B Buccaneer aircraft, the squadron departed for RAF Laarbruch, where, during January 1971, it officially became part of Royal Air Force Germany. After thirteen years service with the squadron, the Buccaneers were replaced with Panavia Tornado, swing-wing, bombers. On 1st September 1983, No.XV became the first RAF Squadron in Germany to be equipped with this type of aircraft. During the latter quarter of 1990, No.XV had deployed two flights, totalling twelve crews, to Muharraq Air Base, on Bahrain Island, in readiness for operations against the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. During the following conflict, two aircraft crewed by XV Squadron personnel were shot down, resulting in the loss of Flt Lt Stephen Hicks and the capture of Flt Lts John Peters, John Nichol and Rupert Clark.
The squadron returned to RAF Laarbruch at the end of March 1991, where a number of awards, for service in the Gulf War were announced. Wing Commander John Broardbent was awarded a Distinguished Service Order, whilst Sqn Ldr Gordon Buckley and Sqn Ldr Nigel Risdale were both awarded Distinguished Flying Crosses. Senior Engineering Officer S/L Rob Torrence was awarded the Member of the British Empire. Following disbandment in January 1992, No.XV was reformed a few months later on 1st April, at RAF Honnington, where it took on the role of the Tornado Weapons Conversion Unit. It was also granted the status of a Reserve Squadron. No.XV (R) Squadron remained at Honnington until 1st November 1993, when it re-located to RAF Lossiemouth, Moray, Scotland. During January 1998, it was re-designated as the Tornado GR1 Operational Conversion Unit and equipped with the up-graded Tornado GR4 variant. In 2011, just four years away from its 100th anniversary, No.XV (R) Squadron still operates from RAF Lossiemouth, providing refresher crews and new crews to the front line squadrons.
Text by kind permission of Martyn Ford Jones
No.162 Sqn RAF
Country : UK
Founded : 1st June 1918
Fate : Disbanded 14th July 1946
One time, one purpose
|No.162 Sqn RAF|
Full profile not yet available.
No.9 Sqn RAF
Country : UK
Founded : 8th December 1914
Per noctum volamus - Through the night we gly
|No.9 Sqn RAF|
Full profile not yet available.
|Aircraft for : Sqn Ldr W E Bill Lucas DFC|
|A list of all aircraft associated with Sqn Ldr W E Bill Lucas DFC. A profile page including a list of all art prints for the aircraft is available by clicking the aircraft name.|
Manufacturer : De Havilland
Production Began : 1940
Retired : 1955
Number Built : 7781
Used as a night fighter, fighter bomber, bomber and Photo-reconnaissance, with a crew of two, Maximum speed was 425 mph, at 30,300 feet, 380mph at 17,000ft. and a ceiling of 36,000feet, maximum range 3,500 miles. the Mosquito was armed with four 20mm Hospano cannon in belly and four .303 inch browning machine guns in nose. Coastal strike aircraft had eight 3-inch Rockets under the wings, and one 57mm shell gun in belly. The Mossie at it was known made its first flight on 25th November 1940, and the mosquito made its first operational flight for the Royal Air Force as a reconnaissance unit based at Benson. In early 1942, a modified version (mark II) operated as a night fighter with 157 and 23 squadron's. In April 1943 the first De Haviland Mosquito saw service in the Far east and in 1944 The Mosquito was used at Coastal Command in its strike wings. Bomber Commands offensive against Germany saw many Mosquitos, used as photo Reconnaissance aircraft, Fighter Escorts, and Path Finders. The Mosquito stayed in service with the Royal Air Force until 1955. and a total of 7781 mosquito's were built.
Manufacturer : Short
Production Began : 1939
Number Built : 2381
The Royal Air Force's first four engined monoplane Bomber, the Short Stirling first flew in May 1939 and entered front line service in August 1940 with no. 7 squadron. Due to its poor operational ceiling the aircraft sustained heavy losses and by mid 1942 the Stirling was beginning to be replaced by the Lancaster. Improved versions of the Short Stirling were built for Glider towing, paratroopers and heavy transport. also from 1943 many of the Stirling's were used for mine laying. A total of 2381 Stirling's were built for the Royal air Force and from this total 641 Stirling bombers were lost to enemy action. Crew 7 or 8: Speed: 260 mph (MK1) 275mph (MKIII) and 280mph (MKV)Service ceiling 17,000 feet Range: 2330 miles. (MK1) 2010 miles (MKIII) and 3,000 miles (MKV) Armament: two .303 Vickers machine guns. in nose turret, two .303 in browning machine guns in dorsal turret , Four .303 Browning machine guns in tail turret. Bomb Load 14,000 Lbs Engines: four 1150 Hp Bristol Hercules II (MK1) four 1650 hp Bristol Hercules XVI (MK111 and MKV)
Manufacturer : Vickers
Production Began : 1938
Retired : 1953
The Vickers Wellington was a Bomber aircraft and also used for maritime reconnaissance. and had a normal crew of six except in the MKV and VI where a crew of three was used. Maximum speed was 235 mph (MK1c) 255 mph (MK III, X) and 299 mph (MK IIII), normal operating range of 1805 miles (except MK III which was 1470miles) The Wellington or Wimpy as it was known, was the major bomber of the Royal Air Force between 1939 and 1943. The Royal Air Force received its first Wellingtons in October 1938 to 99 squadron. and by the outbreak of World war two there were 6 squadrons equipped with the Vickers Wellington. Due to heavy losses on daylight raids, the Wellington became a night bomber and from 1940 was also used as a long range bomber in North Africa. and in 1942 also became a long range bomber for the royal Air Force in India. It was well used by Coastal Command as a U-Boat Hunter. The Wellington remained in service with the Royal Air Force until 1953. Probably due to its versatile use, The aircraft was also used for experimental work including the fitting of a pressure cabin for High altitude tests. The Vickers Wellington could sustain major damage and still fly, probably due to its construction of its geodesic structure and practical application of geodesic lines. Designed by Sir Barnes Wallis
|Aviation History Timeline : 22nd February|
|22||February||1941||Flight Lieutenant J Scoular of No.112 Sqn RAF shot down a SM79|
|22||February||1941||Former British Battle of Britain pilot, F/O H. Morgan-Gray of 46 Squadron, was Killed.|
|22||February||1941||Former British Battle of Britain pilot, P/O J. H. Rothwell of 601, 605 & 32 Squadrons, was Killed.|
|22||February||1941||Former British Battle of Britain pilot, Sgt. D. S. Wallis of 23 & 235 Squadrons, was Killed.|
|22||February||1941||Former New Zealand Battle of Britain pilot, Sgt R. W. A. Brookman of 253 Squadron, was Killed.|
|22||February||1942||Feldwebel Bruno Sassen of 10./Fallschirmjäger-Regiment 3 was posthumously awarded the Knight's Cross|
|22||February||1942||Former British Battle of Britain pilot, P/O R. I. Chaffe of 245 and 43 Squadrons, was Killed.|
|22||February||1942||General der Flieger Helmuth Förster of I. Fliegerkorps was awarded the Knight's Cross|
|22||February||1942||Leutnant Hans-Joachim Marseille of 3./Jagdgeschwader 27 was posthumously awarded the Knight's Cross|
|22||February||1942||Oberfeldwebel Otto Schulz of II./Jagdgeschwader 27 was awarded the Knight's Cross|
|22||February||1945||Charles Price of 352nd Fighter Group, 486th Fighter Squadron shot down a Me262|
|22||February||1945||David Fox of 366th Fighter Group, 391st Fighter Squadron shot down a Me262|
|22||February||1945||Gordon Compton of 353rd Fighter Group, 351st Fighter Squadron shot down a Me262|
|22||February||1945||Oliven Cowan of 365th Fighter Group, 388th Fighter Squadron shot down a Me262|
|22||February||1945||Wayne Blickenstaff of 353rd Fighter Group, 350th Fighter Squadron shot down a Me262|
|22||February||1945||Flight Lieutenant John Stafford of No.486 Sqn RAF shot down a Me109|
|22||February||1946||Gerhard Michalski, a WW2 Ace with 73.00 victories, died on this day|
|22||February||1946||Knight's Cross recipient Gerhard Michalski of 4./Jagdgeschwader 53 died on this day|
|22||February||1988||Former British Battle of Britain pilot, F/Lt B. Heath of 611 Squadron, Passed away.|
|22||February||2007||Commander Sidney Hal Jim Suthers DSC DFC RN, whose signature is on some of our aviation art, died on this day|
|22||February||2009||Squadron Leader Tom McPhee CB DFC*, whose signature is on some of our aviation art, died on this day|
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