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John King Hickey


John Hickey flew on C. Dale Briscoe crew from January 1943 to July 1943. He joined Briscoe's crew as it was formed in Boise, Idaho in August 1942. Reported to the ETO on 15 Jan 1943. He also served in the 2nd Bomb Wing (Col. LeMay's) July-Aug 1943 as a Bombardier instructor.

Most Memorable experience w/306th:
'On May 1, 1943 returning from bombing of sub pens in France our lead navigator apparently mistook Brest Peninsula for England and led the formation in behind it. We flew over a surfaced submarine at about 1,000-1500 ft. I strafed it with my nose gun then passed it to Vic Rose, our BTG. I enjoyed seeing German crew members jumping into the water. We saw German fighters shooting at our formation as their wheels came up on Brest Air Field. When they attacked us we headed out to sea. Machine gun bullets hittings our fuselage sounded like rain on a tin roof.'

'John Roller, our waist gunner, was seriously hit. After administering first aid by injecting morphine, I manned the tail gun position which he had been filling that day. When we landed at the first available base our crew was pleased just to be alive. It was necessary to leave our plane there and catch a ride back to Thurleigh. Since my guns had good barrels I took them with me, thinking I was doing our squadron a favor. Instead I caught some flak from Lt. Aronson, our squadron armaments Officer. It seemed my volunteer action deprived him of securing new replacement barrels. All in all it was a very interesting day. '

DFC w/1OLC; Bronze Star; AM w/3OLC;



  • Carroll Briscoe

    Military | Colonel | Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    He reported to group on 15 Jan 1943. He was the 35th Officer to complete 25 missions. Reported on 05 Feb 1945 with the 2AF weather scouts. Retired as a Colonel from the USAF in 1972. ...

  • Fred Sherman

    Military | Colonel | Pilot & Co-Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    He was the 32nd officer to complete a 25 mission tour. Joined group in 15 January 1943. He flew 13 missions as C. Dale Briscoe's Co-pilot and then received his own crew in May 1943. He flew the JERAVAD "Un Petite Peu." His last mission was on 28...

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Units served with

  • 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    Constituted as 306th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942. Activated on 1 Mar 1942. Trained for combat with B-17's. Moved to England, Aug-Sep 1942, and assigned to Eighth AF Eighth Air Force in September 1942 Station 111 Thurleigh. During combat,...

  • 369th Bomb Squadron


Associated Place

  • Thurleigh

    Military site : airfield
    Built for RAF use in 1941-42, Thurleigh was initially used by RAF Bomber Command before being handed over to the Eighth Air Force. Its runways and hardstandings were improved, and the B-17s of the 306th Bomb Group began using the base. It was their...


Event Location Date
Born Mt. Sterling, KY 15 October 1920


Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:16:21 AAM AAM ingest

306th BG Association Directory, 1 September 1999 Edition, First Over Germany pg. 91, 306th BGA Collection, Russell Strong Index Cards, / Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia /