Lieutenant Glenn Dickenson Wicks

Regiment:  United States Army Air Corps

Date & place of birth: 20 January 1893, Utica, New York, USA.
Date & place of death: 5 October 1918 (aged 25) in France

There is no known connection between Glenn Wicks Dickenson and Rogate.

Family background

Glenn was the son of Charles and Lucie Wicks. Charles was a manufacturer and by 1915 he was a State Senator in New York. Glenn, who was of medium height and of a slender build, was 24 years old in 1917 when he registered for the draft. During his second year at Yale, he had joined the Aviation Section.

Military service

Glenn became a First Lieutenant in the 17th Aero Squadron in the U.S. Army Air Corps which was formed on 30 July 1917 at Kelly Field. On 2 August, the squadron was ordered to Toronto, Ontario Canada, for training under the Royal Flying Corps. The 17th was the first group to arrive in Canada to be trained by the British. In early October, the squadron was transferred to Camp Taliaferro, near Fort Worth in Texas, for further RFC training.

On 20 December 1917, the squadron received its overseas movement orders and left for Garden City, New York, embarking on RMS Carmania, on 9 January1918, for the voyage to Liverpool, arriving on 25 January. After disembarking, the squadron marched to Liverpool Railway Station and boarded a train, which brought them to Winchester, from where they were moved to Romsey Rest Camp in the late afternoon.

Following a month of further training, the squadron flew to France but the various flights were split between several RFC Squadrons and it was not until 20 June that the whole of the 17th Aero Squadron was re-assembled at Petite Synthe Aerodrome to become a combat squadron and resume its identity as a squadron.

 Death and commemoration

Flying in his Sopwith Camel Glenn had become a skilled pilot, successfully shooting down two enemy aircraft and participating in a number of missions. On 5 October 1918, while flying on a mission to bomb German ammunition dumps over France, his plane collided with that of Lieutenant Harold G. Shoemaker. It was reported that the plane ‘was seen going down behind German lines in a tailspin’. It was several weeks before it was confirmed that both men had died in the accident.

Glenn Dickenson Wicks is buried in the Somme American Cemetery, Plot A Row 24 Grave 8, in Bony France. He is remembered on the Rogate War Memorial and the flying field established in Utica, New York was named the Glenn D. Wicks Field in his memory.

Midhurst U3A WW1 War Memorial Project