Recorded interview of Dick Wickham by Peter Foulsham (MC 376/506a)
Document Information

Recorded interview of Dick Wickham by Peter Foulsham


MC 376/506a

1 compact cassette

nd [1998]

2nd Air Division Memorial Library/Oral History Project

Peter Foulsham, Dick Wickham

Glen Miller music at start and end of recording (00mn 02s to 00mn 27s and 44mn 17s to 44mn 48s) has been redacted for rights reasons.

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Starts and finishes with Glenn Miller's 'String of Pearls'. Dick Wickham outlines his background and education. Reflects on the impact of the construction of the airfield. Recalls visiting Hardwick airfield, seeing first B-25 and the arrival of the B-24s [93rd Bomb Group]. Recalls the B-24 'Shoot Luke' and being invited by ground crew to have a closer look. Recalls his mother did laundry for some officers in honour of her six brothers in the forces, with discussion of payment in food. Recalls visiting museum at Hardwick. Describes and reflects on visiting airfields at Hardwick, Flixton, Thorpe Abbots, Metfield and Horham. Describes witnessing air crashes. Discussion of experiences of machine gun fire. Describes airbase parties for children. Discussion of bicycle use by American servicemen, with humourous anecdotes including the 'pubmobile' tandem. Describes baseball played at Harleston. Describes the American Red Cross Clubmobiles, and Dick Wickham describes his job cleaning and making doughnuts. Reflects on being in the Air Training Corps [ATC] and flight experience including 'air experience' flight on a B-24. Recalls witnessing German fighter intrusion ['Night of the Intruders', 22 April 1944]. Refers to being Chairman of the control tower association at Seething and getting to know veterans. Recalls reluctance to enter air raid shelters and his mother's war work making camouflage nets. Describes the naming of Ted's Travelling Circus [93rd Bomb Group]. Story of a damaged aircraft and crew trying to rescue one of ther members stuck in wreckage. Recalls the B-24s 'Eager Beaver' and 'Wham Bam' which became formation ships, with explanation of aircraft formation. Recalls stories of air crashes, including his mother's experience trying to help a downed crew and a B-17 which crash-landed at Starston from which he received a Perspex landing light as a souvenir. Short comments on local girls' interest in Americans on airbase. Recalls dances at the Corn Hall, Harlesden, and on airbase. Discusses reunions and reflects on emotions of veterans when visiting airbases. Refers to visit to the Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial at Madingley. Describes attempts to helping a woman find out about her uncle and Pat [Patricia] Everson's memorabilia collection [at Seething]. Recorded on side A only. For tape insert, see MC 376/506b. For administrative records relating to interview, see MC 376/512. For a copy of Dick Wickham, 'The War at My Door' (privately printed) see SO 247/226. For sound recordings compiled by Wickham during his research for this publication, see MC 376/561-572.