Battle of Britain London Monument – Sgt. S E Lucas

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Privacy Statement The Airmen’s Stories – Sgt. S E Lucas

 

Sidney Edward Lucas joined the RAFVR about November 1938 as an Airman u/t Pilot. He was called up on 1st September 1939 and completed his flying training at 8 FTS on No. 20 Course, which ran from 10th June to 31st August 1940.

He arrived at 6 OTU Sutton Bridge on 31st August and after converting to Hurricanes was posted to 32 Squadron at Acklington on 21st September.

Lucas moved to 257 Squadron at North Weald on 15th October. Two days later he became lost in poor visibility and made a forced-landing at Colliers End, near Ware, in Hurricane V6604.

He claimed a CR42 destroyed during the raid by the Italians on 11th November and a Me109 damaged in an earlier sortie.

 

Above: 257 Pilots after engaging the Italian raid.

L to R: P/O G North, Sgt. LD Barnes, P/O SE Andrews, P/O B Davey, P/O PA Mortimer, P/O JK Kay, Sgt. SE Lucas, F/Lt. HP Blatchford, P/O K Pniak

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Lucas was posted away to 2 CFS Cranwell, possibly for an instructors course, on 29th December 1940. His subsequent service is currently undocumented until February 1944 when he was commissioned. By this time he had transferred to Bomber Command, serving with 149 Squadron and operating Stirlings from Methwold in Norfolk.

One night in June 1944 Lucas was captain of an aircraft detailed for a mine-laying operation. When nearing the target, the aircraft was illuminated in a cone of searchlights and came under heavy anti-aircraft fire. Lucas flew on and released his mines in the designated area. The aircraft was hit in many places and the flight engineer seriously wounded.

In order to escape the barrage, Lucas dived, almost to sea level. As the course was set for home, the engineer asked to return to his instrument panel but collapsed immediately, the crew only then becoming aware of the extent of his injuries.

Eventually Lucas reached an airfield. On landing, the brake pressure failed, the aircraft overshot the runway, crashed and caught fire. The petrol tanks exploded and Lucas was hurled backwards for some distance. He quickly recovered and assisted in rescuing the wounded engineer from the burning aircraft.

He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 8th August 1944).

Lucas was released from the RAF in 1946 as a Flying Officer.

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