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William Douglas Bickle
Name : William Douglas Bickle
Died : 23rd September 1943
He was Wireless Operator of Lancaster ED924 AJ-Y of No.617 Sqn for the Dambusters raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. His aircraft did not find a target for their Upkeep mine due to weather and navigation difficulties. The aircraft returned safely with the mine still attached. He was later killed in action on 23rd September 1943.
Known Service Details :
Start of Service
End of Service
Known Individual Aircraft :
|Aircraft for : William Douglas Bickle|
|A list of all aircraft associated with William Douglas Bickle. A profile page including a list of all art prints for the aircraft is available by clicking the aircraft name.|
Manufacturer : Avro
Production Began : 1942
Retired : 1963
Number Built : 7377
The Avro Lancaster arose from the avro Manchester and the first prototype Lancaster was a converted Manchester with four engines. The Lancaster was first flown in January 1941, and started operations in March 1942. By March 1945 The Royal Air Force had 56 squadrons of Lancasters with the first squadron equipped being No.44 Squadron. During World War Two the Avro Lancaster flew 156,000 sorties and dropped 618,378 tonnes of bombs between 1942 and 1945. Lancaster Bomberss took part in the devastating round-the-clock raids on Hamburg during Air Marshall Harris' Operation Gomorrah in July 1943. Just 35 Lancasters completed more than 100 successful operations each, and 3,249 were lost in action. The most successful survivor completed 139 operations, and the Lancaster was scrapped after the war in 1947. A few Lancasters were converted into tankers and the two tanker aircraft were joined by another converted Lancaster and were used in the Berlin Airlift, achieving 757 tanker sorties. A famous Lancaster bombing raid was the 1943 mission, codenamed Operation Chastise, to destroy the dams of the Ruhr Valley. The operation was carried out by 617 Squadron in modified Mk IIIs carrying special drum shaped bouncing bombs designed by Barnes Wallis. Also famous was a series of Lancaster attacks using Tallboy bombs against the German battleship Tirpitz, which first disabled and later sank the ship. The Lancaster bomber was the basis of the new Avro Lincoln bomber, initially known as the Lancaster IV and Lancaster V. (Becoming Lincoln B1 and B2 respectively.) Their Lancastrian airliner was also based on the Lancaster but was not very successful. Other developments were the Avro York and the successful Shackleton which continued in airborne early warning service up to 1992.
|Squadrons for : William Douglas Bickle|
|A list of all squadrons known to have been served with by William Douglas Bickle. A profile page is available by clicking the squadron name.|
No.617 Sqn RAF
Country : UK
Founded : 23rd March 1943
Apres mois, le deluge - After me, the flood
|No.617 Sqn RAF|
Full profile not yet available.
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|RECENT UPDATES TO OUR AVIATION HISTORY DATABASES|
|Updates made to Airframes database for : Hampden X3001 : Airframe notes updated (added 10-02-1941 : Hampden was shot down by a night-fighter and crashed north of Alkmaar in Holland.)|
|Updates made to Aircrew database for : Clarke :|
|New victory claim added : Me109 (Probable victory) claimed on 2nd June 1940 by James Baird Coward of No.19 Sqn RAF|
|Updates made to Aircrew database for : Warrant Officer Stanley F Paddy Hope : First name updated (now Stanley F Paddy), Squadron service dates updated|
|Updates made to Airframes database for : Whitley P4974 : Airframe notes updated (added 11-02-1941 : Whitley was ordered to divert course but misunderstood order and subsequently ran out of fuel, successfully abandoned. )|
|Updates made to Aircrew database for : Hoy : Squadrons updated (added No.115 Sqn RAF), Squadron service dates updated|
|Updates made to Aircrew database for : R. Bradbury : Squadrons updated (added No.78 Sqn RAF), Squadron service dates updated|
|Sergeant I H Norris added to aircrew database :|
On 4th July 1943 he was rear gunner in Stirling BK718 WP-M of No.90 Sqn when it was shot down and crashed near Cologne. He managed to escape from the doomed aircraft and parachute to the relative safety of captivity, reportedly 'through' his turret. The rest of the crew did not make it out of the aircraft and were killed. It is known that he visited at least some of the families of his lost crewmates some time after the war.
|Updates made to Aircrew database for : R. Clark : Squadrons updated (added No.78 Sqn RAF), Squadron service dates updated|
|Wellington Mk.IC T2888 of No.99 Sqn RAF added to the airframes database.|
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