Helmut Wick
Major

Helmut Wick

    Helmut Wick was born on 5 August 1915 at Mannheim. On completion of his schooling, he began training as a forestry worker. Wick joined the new Luftwaffe in 1935. By April 1936, he had received the rank of Fahnenjunker and by July 1937, he had been promoted to the rank of Fähnrich. On completion of his training, Wick was assigned to II./JG 134 flying Arado Ar 68 biplane fighters. He was commissioned with the rank of Leutnant on 1 September 1938. In January 1939, Wick was transferred to 1./JG 53, flying the Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighter under the command of Werner Mölders (115 victories, RK-Br, killed in flying accident 22 November 1941). Wick was transferred to JG 2 on 30 August 1939. Leutnant Wick was assigned to 3./JG 2 and served with the unit in the air defence of Berlin during the Polish Campaign. He recorded his and the Geschwader’s first victory on 22 November 1939, when he shot down a French Hawk 75 fighter near Strasbourg, piloted by ace Adjutant Camille Plubeau (14 victories) of GC II/4, Armée de l’Air, who crash-landed, wounded. On 10 May, 3./JG 2 was relocated to the western front but Wick remained behind while his aircraft underwent an engine change. He finally arrived at the front on 21 May. Wick was particularly successful during the French campaign recording 12 confirmed and two unconfirmed victories, including four French fighters shot down on 5 June to record his fourth through seventh victories and his 10th victory shot down on 8 June. The two unconfirmed victories related to two Royal Navy Swordfish torpedo bomber biplanes shot down at the end of May for which he had no witnesses.Wick was to have continued success during the Battle of Britain. He was appointed Staffelkapitän of 3./JG 2 on 1 August 1940, although he had been leading the unit since 23 June. He recorded his 19th and 20th victories on 25 August and on 26 August claimed a further two to take his score 22. For this feat, Oberleutnant Wick was awarded the Ritterkreuz on 27 August 1940. On 4 September 1940, Wick received promotion to the rank of Hauptmann and took command of 6./JG 2.

    He added six further victories with this unit to raise his victory total to 28. Wick was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of I./JG 2 on 9 September. On 5 October, he shot down five RAF fighters in the Isle of Wight area (37-41). This gained him the immediate award of the Eichenlaub (Nr 4). Further promotion followed and, at 25 years of age, Wick was the youngest Major in the Wehrmacht. Wick was appointed Kommodore of JG 2 on 20 October 1940, succeeding Major Wolfgang Schellmann (25 victories, RK) who had left to command JG 27. On 6 November, Wick claimed five RAF fighters shot down (48-52). On 28 November 1940, Wick achieved his 55th victory during an early sortie to become the leading fighter ace in the world. Later in the day, on a "Freie Jagd" over the English Channel, Wick scored his 56th victory, a Spitfire. In turn, his aircraft was shot down by British ace Flight Lieutenant John Dundas (13.333 confirmed, 2 probable and 4.5 damaged victories) of 609 Squadron, RAF. Wick was seen to bale out of Bf 109 E-4 (W.Nr. 5344) “Black < - + -“ over the Channel, his “Geschwaderstab Schwarm” mate Hauptmann “Rudi” Pflanz (52 victories, RK, killed in action 31 July 1942) circled the area calling over the radio that a “Spitfire was down” hoping to attract the British air/sea rescue. Pflanz continued to circle until his fuel was almost empty, crash-landing at landfall on his return over the Channel but Wick was never found.
    Helmut Wick was credited with 56 victories achieved flying 168 combat missions. In his score are 24 Spitfires.
 
No
Date
Time
A/c Type
Unit
Location / Comments
1
22.11.1939
12:20
Hawk-75 3./JG 2 Bitsch-Phalsbourg-Saare / Possibly H-75A (No 95) of GC II/4 flown by Adj Camille Plubeau (14 victories), crash-landed, wounded
2
20.5.1940
14:00
LeO 451 3./JG 2 Cambrai-St. Quentin
3
20.5.1940
14:05
LeO 451 3./JG 2 Cambrai-St. Quentin
4
5.6.1940
17:17
Bloch 151 3./JG 2 Ham-Péronne
5
5.6.1940
17:20
Bloch 151 3./JG 2 Ham-Péronne
6
5.6.1940
17:25
Bloch 151 3./JG 2 Ham-Péronne
7
5.6.1940
17:30
Morane 406 3./JG 2 Ham-Péronne
8
6.6.1940
12:17
Bloch 151 3./JG 2 Ham-Péronne
9
6.6.1940
12:26
Bloch 151 3./JG 2 Ham-Péronne
10
8.6.1940
21:00
Bloch 151 3./JG 2 SW Soissons
11
8.6.1940
21:10
Morane 406 3./JG 2 SW Soissons
12
9.6.1940
21:35
Blenheim 3./JG 2 NE Soissons / Blenheim of 107 Sqn, RAF
13
13.6.1940
21:10
Battle 3./JG 2 Montdidier-Provins
14
17.7.1940
15:07
Spitfire 3./JG 2 Hailsham (Brighton) / Spitfire (P9507) of 64 Sqn, RAF flown by F/O D Taylor, crash-landed
15
11.8.1940
11:30
Hawk-75 3./JG 2 E Weymouth / Hurricane I (V7233) “LV-K” of 87 Sqn, RAF flown by P/O JR Cock (10.75/4/5 victories), baled out
16
11.8.1940
11:34
Spitfire 3./JG 2 -
17
11.8.1940
11:45
Hurricane 3./JG 2 40km in front Portland
18
16.8.1940
14:35
Hurricane 3./JG 2 E Portsmouth
19
25.8.1940
18:25
Hurricane 3./JG 2 Portland
20
25.8.1940
18:30
Spitfire 3./JG 2 Portland
21
26.8.1940
17:30
Hurricane 3./JG 2 Portsmouth
22
26.8.1940
17:35
Hurricane 3./JG 2 Portsmouth
23
5.9.1940
16:10
Spitfire 6./JG 2 -
24
6.9.1940
9:50
Spitfire 6./JG 2 -
25
7.9.1940
18:25
Spitfire 6./JG 2 -
26
8.9.1940
13:20
Hurricane 6./JG 2 -
27
8.9.1940
13:30
Hurricane 6./JG 2 -
28
8.9.1940
13:40
Hurricane 6./JG 2 -
29
25.9.1940
14:30
Spitfire Stab I./JG 2 -
30
26.9.1940
17:40
Spitfire Stab I./JG 2 -
31
27.9.1940
13:00
Spitfire Stab I./JG 2 -
32
28.9.1940
14:40
Hurricane Stab I./JG 2 -
33
30.9.1940
12:30
Spitfire Stab I./JG 2 -
34
30.9.1940
12:35
Spitfire Stab I./JG 2 -
35
1.10.1940
11:40
Spitfire Stab I./JG 2 -
36
1.10.1940
11:45
Spitfire Stab I./JG 2 S Swanage
37
5.10.1940
14:58
Hurricane Stab I./JG 2 S Bournemouth / Hurricane of 607 Sqn, RAF
38
5.10.1940
15:00
Hurricane Stab I./JG 2 Bournemouth / Hurricane of 607 Sqn, RAF
39
5.10.1940
15:03
Hurricane Stab I./JG 2 Bournemouth / Hurricane of 607 Sqn, RAF
40
5.10.1940
18:35
Spitfire Stab I./JG 2 E Isle of Wight / Hurricane of 238 Sqn, RAF
41
5.10.1940
18:40
Spitfire Stab I./JG 2 E Isle of Wight / Hurricane of 238 Sqn, RAF
42
15.10.1940
13:45
Spitfire Stab I./JG 2 Portsmouth
43
29.10.1940
15:29
Hurricane Stab/JG 2 Portsmouth
44
29.10.1940
15:33
Spitfire Stab/JG 2 Portsmouth
45
5.11.1940
14:35
Hurricane Stab/JG 2 NE Portland
46
5.11.1940
14:37
Hurricane Stab/JG 2 NE Portland
47
5.11.1940
14:40
Spitfire Stab/JG 2 NE Portland
48
6.11.1940
15:35
Hurricane Stab/JG 2 Southampton / Hurricane (V7602) “AD-D” of 151 Sqn, RAF flown by Sgt HH Adair, killed
49
6.11.1940
15:37
Hurricane Stab/JG 2 Southampton
50
6.11.1940
15:45
Spitfire Stab/JG 2 E Isle of Wight
51
6.11.1940
15:46
Spitfire Stab/JG 2 E Isle of Wight
52
6.11.1940
15:48
Spitfire Stab/JG 2 E Isle of Wight
53
7.11.1940
15:25
Hurricane Stab/JG 2 S Portsmouth
54
10.11.1940
15:43
Spitfire Stab/JG 2 E Portsmouth
55
28.11.1940
15:10
Spitfire Stab/JG 2 NE Isle of Wight
56
28.11.1940
17:13
Spitfire Stab/JG 2 Bournemouth / Spitfire I (R6631) “PR-O” of 609 Sqn, RAF flown by P/O PA Baillon, killed

Victories : 56
Awards : Ritterkreuz (27 August 1940)
                Eichenlaub (6 October 1940)
Units : JG 134, JG 53, JG 2

Home