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Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Joseph Melvin Hicks

In memory of:

Sergeant Joseph Melvin Hicks

April 25, 1942

Military Service


Service Number:

R/68516

Age:

21

Force:

Air Force

Unit:

Royal Canadian Air Force

Division:

#420

Citation(s):

1939-45 Star, Air Crew Europe Star, War Medal, Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and clasp, Air Observer Badge.

Additional Information


Born:

December 8, 1920
Fort William, Ontario

Son of Mr. John and Mrs. Emily Hicks of Fort William, Ontario.

Commemorated on Page 81 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page.

Burial Information


Cemetery:

ASSENS (FYN) NEW CEMETERY
Denmark

Grave Reference:

Special Memorial

Location:

Assens is a town and port on the west coast of the island of Fyn. The ASSENS (FYN) NEW CEMETERY is on the east of the town, on the road to Faaborg.

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

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  • Memorial– Sergeant Joseph Melvin Hicks is also commemorated on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, AB … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Memorial– Sergeant Joseph Melvin Hicks is also commemorated on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, AB … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Memorial– Father J P Lardie's comments as inscribed on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, AB … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Photo of Joseph Hicks– Sergeant Observer Joseph Melvin Hicks, RCAF, died at age 21 when his Hampden bomber, P5330, crashed at Sonderby Bjerge, Funen (Fyn) Island, Denmark, early on the morning of 25 April 1942. Only one member of the crew of four, a gunner, survived. The bomber had been participated in a  combined RAF/RCAF area-bombing attack on Rostock, Germany. Following the attack, over the Baltic Sea, the bomber began experiencing engine trouble; a German anti-aircraft unit reported hitting a Hampden bomber near Funen Island at about the same time. The Hampden pilot tried to reach neutral Sweden, but had to attempt a landing in a farmer's field. The aircraft apparently stalled and was destroyed in the resulting crash and fire.
  • Grave Marker– Photo and story courtesy of Airwar Over Denmark www.flensted.eu.com 

On its way to the target, Hampton P5330 of 420 Sqdn was hit by flak from Flakgruppe Küste. The pilot Sgt Jack Potter circled the area south east of Assens and attempted a crash landing at Sønderby Bjerge at 03:00 hours.

The landing failed and the aircraft ended as a total wreck killing Sgt Potter, Air Observer Sgt Joe Melvin Hichs RCAF and Wop/Air Gnr. Sgt James Henry Smith RCAF while Sgt Frank George Webster Adams RCAF survived with a broken leg. He was admitted to the hospital in Assens where the German Wehrmacht later picked him up. He was sent to Dulag Luft at Oberursel for interrogation and then on to Stalag IXC at Mühlhausen, Stalag Luft VI at Heydekrug to end up in Stalag 357 Fallingbostel at the end of war. 
Those who died were laid to rest in Assens cemetery on 28/4 with the German Fieldpriest Vorrath from Odense officiating at the graveside ceremony.
  • Photo of JOSEPH MELVIN HICKS– Submitted for the project, Operation: Picture Me

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