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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
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264 Squadron crest
31.05.1940 No. 264 Squadron Defiant I L6968 P/O. Guy L. Hickman

Operation: Patrol, Dunkirk - Calais

Date: 31st May 1940 (Friday)

Unit: No. 264 Squadron

Type: Defiant I

Serial: L6968

Base: RAF Duxford, Cambridgeshire

Location: North Sea, Off De Panne, Belgium

Pilot: P/O. Guy Lewis Hickman 42225 RAF Age 19. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: L.A.C. Alfred Fidler 743039 RAFVR Age 27. Killed


Another disastrous day for 264 Squadron. During this patrol the squadron lost 5 aircraft with another damaged but landed at Manston and repairable.

L6968 was shot down by Bf109’s off De Panne at 14:40 hrs. Both crew members are understood to have bailed out, but were lost.

264 Squadron pilots - early May 1940. L to R (rear): P/O. G.L. Hickman (Killed 31st May 1940 - age 19), Fl/Lt. N.G. Cooke D.F.C. (Killed 31st May 1940 - age 26), Sq/Ldr. P.A. Hunter D.S.O. (Killed 24th August 1940 - age 27), P/O. M.H. Young, P/O. G.H. Hackwood (Killed 20th November 1940 - age 20), P/O. E.G. Barwell, P/O. S.R. Thomas, P/O. D. Whitley (Killed 28th August 1940 - age 21). (front): Fl/Sgt. E.R. Thorn, P/O. D.H.S. Kay (Killed 19th October 1944 - age 25), Sgt. A.J. Lauder, P/O. R.W. Stokes (courtesy Johny Recour)

In June 2007 relatives were invited over to remember their lost ones at a memorial service in Belgium. Johny Recour with Sq/Ldr Doug Tidy had been the instigators for this touching ceremony. Wreaths were laid at the graves by both the Belgium’s and the Squadron representatives and families.

L-R: André Santy (Chairman of the West Flemish Association of R.A.F. and S.A.A.F. Veterans), Johny Recour, Anthony Hickman and family behind the crew graves 2007. (courtesy Johny Recour)

Crew graves at Coxyde (Koksijde) Military Cemetery, Belgium (courtesy Johny Recour)

Burial Details:

P/O. Guy Lewis Hickman. Coxyde (Koksijde) Military Cemetery, Belgium. Grave IV.M.16. Son of John Lewis Hickman and Elsie Kate Hickman, of Bicester, Oxfordshire, England.

LAC. Alfred Fidler Coxyde (Koksijde) Military Cemetery, Belgium. Grave IV.M.15. Son of Alfred and Mary Fidler, husband of Dorothy Grace Fidler, of Godalming, Surrey, England.

Researched for relatives of the pilot with thanks to the following for further information, Johny Recour in Belgium, Peter Cornwell - 'Battle of France Then and Now', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses' Vol. 1, Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

KTY 26.07.2017 Map updated

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Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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