The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. A S Wickins
Arthur Stanley Wickins was born on 12th April 1912 and was educated at Portsmouth Junior Technical School. He joined the RAF at Halton on 23rd July 1927 as an Aircraft Apprentice. After passing out on 28th June 1930 he was posted to 7 Squadron at Worthy Down as an AC1.
On 23rd November 1934 Wickins returned to Halton, for a course to convert him to Fitter I. He joined 261 Squadron at Bircham Newton on 25th November 1935. During his time with the squadron Wickins became an Observer, was promoted to Corporal and later to Sergeant.
He went to 90 Squadron at Bicester on 24th August 1937 and whilst there applied for pilot training.
On 25th July 1938 Wickins began his initial training at 7 E&RFTS Desford. He moved on to 7 FTS Peterborough on 30th September and after completing his training was posted to B&GS Aldergrove as a staff pilot.
Wickins went to Turnhouse on 7th October 1939 to join 141 Squadron at its reformation. He was posted away from 141 on 29th February 1940 but rejoined it on 4th May.
He served with the squadron throughout the Battle of Britain and until 16th May 1941 when he was posted to 54 OTU at Church Fenton as an instructor. He moved on 16th June to 60 OTU East Fortune, where he was commissioned from Warrant Officer in February 1942.
In late October 1943 Wickins was posted to 2 OADU Filton. He flew a Beaufighter out to the Middle East and joined 227 Squadron there on 15th July 1944. The squadron moved to Biferno, Italy on 18th August.
Wickins and his navigator P/O JR Pygram were shot down on 10th September at Polikastro, north of Thessaloniki, Greece and taken prisoner.
He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 9th January 1945).
After returning to the UK on 22nd May 1945 Wickins was treated in various hospitals. He returned to duty on 4th April 1946, when he was sent for an armament course at Henlow.
Wickins stayed in the RAF postwar and held various appointments in the Technical Branch before retiring from the RAF on 12th April 1961 as a Squadron Leader.
He died on 13th October 1993.