The Airmen's Stories - F/O F W Hillock
Frank William Hillock of Toronto, Canada joined the RCAF Auxiliary on 18th May 1939 and was posted to 400 Squadron, an army co-operation unit. He was called to full-time service on 2nd September 1939 and went with the squadron to England in February 1940 to serve with the 1st Canadian Division.
Hillock volunteered for Fighter Command and in August 1940 he was posted to 5 OTU Aston Down to convert to Hurricanes. He was then attached to 151 Squadron at Digby, who sent him to No. 1 Squadron at Wittering on 9th October to gain experience.
He was posted to No. 1 (RCAF) Squadron at Prestwick on 21st October 1940.
Hillock joined 406 (RCAF) Squadron at Acklington on 5th January 1941 as a Flight Commander. He was given command of 410 (RCAF) Squadron at Ayr on 18th August 1942. The squadron converted from Beaufighters to Mosquitos in October and Hillock flew the unit's first sortie on 6th December.
In a sortie to the Ruhr on 15th April 1943 he found himself in the midst of several radio masts. In climbing out he flew through antennae at Apledoorn radio station. The Mosquito lost a foot off the starboard wingtip and on return, was found to be trailing some 300 feet of thick copper cable. This was sold to a scrap dealer and the money used to finance a squadron party.
In May 1943 Hillock was sent to Staff College after which he returned to Canada on 23rd August. Two months later he came back to the UK to form 143 Wing 2nd Tactical Air Force at Ayr. It moved down to Hurn on 20th April 1944 and across to France on 12th June. A month later he was replaced by a Group Captain when 2nd TAF was reorganised.
Hillock went on a course at the Fighter Leaders School at Milfield and then returned to a staff job in Canada, concerned with Mosquito training.
He held a series of appointments and commands at home and overseas in the post-war RCAF. Hillock retired on 21st November 1965 as a Wing Commander.