Helmut Paul Emil Wick
Knights Cross with Oak Leaves
Born 5 August 1915 in Mannheim, Germany, Son of Karl Wick, Civil Engineer.
His mother died in February 1922
Joined Luftwaffe in April 1936
Made Lieutenant 1 September 1938
Married Ursel Rolfs on 5 August 1939
They had 2 children, Walter, born in 1939 & a girl he never saw, born in 1941
Promoted to Major (youngest in the Luftwaffe) on 19 October 1940, he
succeeded H. von Bulow as Kommodore of JG-2
Under his command, JG-2 scored it's 500th victory on 16 Nov.
28 October 1940 - In the morning patrol he scored his 55th victory.
During a second patrol, around 5 pm, he claimed his 56th & last victim, Paul Baillon (to become the leading Luftwaffe Ace at the time).
Then, Wick was shot down by John Dundas who was then shot down & killed by Wick's wingman & friend, Rudi Pflanz
Wick was seen to bail out, his shute opened and he hit the water near the Isle of Wight.
Wick was flying Me109E4 #5344. He was never seen again.
(While he was airborn, an order had been recieved by his unit grounding him from futher combat)
Officially listed as MIA by the Germans 4 Dec. 1940
"As long as I can shoot down the enemy, adding to the honor of the Richthofen Wing and the success of the Fatherland, I am a happy man. I want to fight and die fighting, taking with me as many of the enemy as possible." - Helmut Wick
German Air Ace Drowned
BERLIN, Dec. 1 (1940) - (UP) - Major Helmut Wick, Germany's number one air ace, is believed to have drowned in the English Channel after being shot down in a dog fight with a British plane last Thursday (28 Nov -ed).
Major Wick, commander of the Richthofen Wing of the German Air Force and youngest major in the Nazi armed forces, was said to have bagged his 56th plane of the war a few minutes before being forced to parachute into the channel from his flaming plane.
No. 1 Nazi Flier Dies in Channel
(By United Press) Berlin, Dec. 2 (1940) — Major Helmut Wick, Germany's No. 1 air ace, is believed to have drowned in the English Channel after being shot down in a dog-fight with a British plane last Thursday.
Major Wick, commander of the Richthofen wing of the German air force and youngest major in the the Nazi armed forces, was said to have bagged his 56th plane of the war a few minutes before he was forced to parachute into the channel from his flaming plane.
The announcement that the 25-year-old Wick was missing was made by the official German DNB news agency. Later Nazi air force quarters disclosed that Wick's best friend, also a fighter pilot, witnessed the air duel and saw the commander shot down.
Friend Describes Battle
According to these quarters, Wick's friend gave the following description of the battle:
A group of German fighter planes spread out widely, criss-crossed the English channel last Thursday afternoon seeking British planes.
Wick and a comrade paired off and met a superior force of British Spitfire and Hurricane planes near the Isle of Wight. Dogfights quickly developed.
Wick shot down one of the British planes — his 56th of the war — but before he could bring himself into a protective position another British plane approached from the rear and loosed several volleys of machine gun fire.
Wick Falls Into Sea
Engaged in a dog-fight with another British plane, Wick's comrade could not go to his commander's aid. But after shaking off his enemy attacker, he said he saw Wick dropping out of his Messerschmitt. Wick's parachute blossomed and he went falling into the channel.
The commander's friend pursued Wick's victor in a "cold rage" and reported he shot down the Englishman, after which he eluded the remainder of the British under protection of clouds and returned to his base to report that Wick had been shot down.
German rescue planes and boats immediately were dispatched in an effort to find Wick, but they were unsuccessful.
"But all hope yet has not been given up," air quarters said.
Wick was born August 5, 1915, the son of Charles Wick, a businessman of Mannheim. He entered the Luftwaffe in April, 1936, after completing German high school (American junior college) and was promoted to the rank of lieutenant in September, 1938.
Death of German Air Ace Confirmed
(4 December 1940) Berlin - (UP) - The German high command Wednesday confirmed last week's German press reports that Maj. Helmut Wick, one of the country's foremast air aces, had been lost in action.
"The commodore of the Richthofen pursuit wing, Maj. Wick, has not returned from a flight against the enemy after his 56th air victory," the high command said. "Thereby the German air force has lost one of its most audacious and successful fighter pilots.”
"Maj. Wick, who was decorated by the Fuehrer with the oak wreath to the Chevalier's Cross of the Iron Cross for his heroic action in the fight for the future of the German people, will continue to live as an example to the German people and particularly to German youth."
When Franz von Werra escaped custody in Canada, he was originally thought to be Wick even though Wick had been dead for several months.
Victories Include :
56 confirmed and some unconfirmed
For kill details see this site
Thanks go out to
On these pages I use Hugh Halliday's extensive research which includes info from numerous sources; newspaper articles via the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation (CMCC); the Google News Archives; the London Gazette Archives and other sources both published and private.
Some content on this site is probably the property of acesofww2.com unless otherwise noted.