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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. D A Helcke


Denis Arnold Helcke was born on 3rd September 1916 in Herne Bay, Kent, the son of Walter Arnold Helcke (1873-1947) and Marjory Helcke (nee Simkin 1884-1964).

His parents took him to South Africa as a child and he was educated at King Edward VII School, Johannesburg. He returned to England in 1935 and entered the Chelsea College of Aeronautical Engineering.



Helcke graduated with a diploma and passed Air Ministry examinations. He obtained his 'A' license and had done a considerable amount of flying before joining the RAFVR in 1938.

Called to full-time service on 1st September 1939, Helcke was serving with 504 Squadron at Castletown in early July 1940.

Flying from Hendon on 7th September he claimed a He111 destroyed.



On the 17th Helcke was killed, when he baled out after losing control following dummy attacks during a practice flight over Faversham. He may have struck the aircraft and he fell dead near Selling. His Hurricane, V7529, crashed at Shepherds Hill, Selling.

Helcke was 24. He is buried in Herne Bay Cemetery, Kent.





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