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Wings Over Wick Index

Wings Over Wick
1939 - 1945
Others

G G Lang, Glasgow
I served four and a half years as a Flying Control Assistant at Wick Airport. Wick was 18 Group Coastal Command and our aircraft escorted convoys in the North Sea.  We also bombed fish and ammunition factories in Norway.

At that time I lived with an ex-champion boxer, Walter Lemmon, who had settled in Wick - when one night a Jerry plane got through, he straffed Henrietta Street with thousands of bullets. My wife went out to the verandah of the house with a brush thinking she could hit the Jerry flying low.  This caused a great laugh. Another time a Jerry straffed the drome killing one of my flarepath party.

We had our good times as well.  I boxed for the RAF in shows in the Breadalbane Cinema. As a pro I had to sign as a service amateur as I took 3 savings certificates as prizes.  There was a farm up Noss Road - George Clynes.  It was overridden with moles.  Walter and I in our spare time would set traps and he paid us 3p each one.  We stretched and dried skins and sent them south for 1/3d each.  By now I moved digs to McAuley's farm, one and a half miles from Wick and over the wall from the drome.  I never booked in I just went over the wall.  My son was christened at the farm along with Peggy McAuley's son, George.  My wife worked in Wick Laundry so I only had 21/- living out allowance and had also a house in Glasgow let out with low rent so it was hard going but Peggy McAuley would give us eggs, pieces of a pig, chicken and butter (crowdie), it saw us through.  We had to go and buy milk in town as the cows' milk was too strong and my young son came out in boils through it.

Wick was straffed and bombed several times but we survived.  Among some who served in Wick was Johnny Johnstone of Dambuster fame, Sqn/Ldr Kitching who owned racehorses, Flt/Lt Rickaby horse jockey and many footballers of Scots and English fame.  There was a gym at the bottom of Henrietta Street the RAF used for boxing and training.