Friday, October 10, 2008
John(Jack) Arnold Hillman was born January 10, 1920 to William Wallace Hillman and Corlena Peckham. He joined the R.C.A.F. on the 5th December, 1941. He trained as a wireless air gunner with bomber command. He arrived in England towards the end of 1943 and joined the 426th (Thunderbird) Squadron based in Linton-on-Ouse, Yorkshire.
On the night of 15/16th March, 1914, Lancaster DS829/OW”U” developed engine trouble and went down on a raid over Stuttgart. John Hillman found himself a prisoner of war at Stalag Luft 6 after his second mission over Europe.
The interesting part of the war started for John Hillman after his was a prisoner as he remembered for the “London Free Press, June 4, 1984”. As the Russians advanced the Germans moved the prisoners west towards the Ally lines. For a man who says that he joined the air force so that he would not have to walk so much he must have logged more miles on foot than any army veteran. He was liberated at the British lines 0n the Rhine on 3 May, 1945.
John Hillman, needless to say is my father, and still hale and hearty at 88.
Photos are from my personal collection. Photo one was taken in 1943 before Jack went overseas. The second is of his Lancaster crew. Jack Hillman is third from the left.