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On Sunday 25 February 1945 at 1836 hours, Short Stirling LJ925 (JZ-O) from 196 Squadron departed from Shepherds Grove, Suffolk, England. Mission: supply drop to the Norwegian MILORG district 17 at drop zone "Stirrup 2" at Hamrefjellet, Rauland, Telemark, Norway.
Just across the Norwegian border, LJ925 was attacked by three German nightfighters from Kjevik, flown by Oberleutnant Schultz, Feldwebel Homann and Staffelkapitän Hüschens. LJ925 caught fire, lost hight and Flight Officer Tickner ordered the men to bail out.
Mann, Caldwell and Quirk managed to bail out, but Tickner, Stevenson and Humphrey went down with the aircraft and crached into the ice covered Lake Hølen at 2153 hours, at the estuary of Nidelva river at Strømmen in Arendal. Humphrey managed to bail, but his parachute got caught outside the aircraft.
Tickner most likely saved many civilian lives by ditching his aircraft into the water, or trying to make a forced landing on the ice, instead of hitting the many houses in the area. Tickner has never been found.
Mann and Caldwell landed safely just east of Hisøy church, but were soon captured by German soldiers. They became POW until VE day on 8 May 1945.
Quirk managed to hide through an amazing escape journey, brought to safety by the locals and the home front and was hidden until VE Day. Quirk attended the Norwegian Home front that received the allied supply drops in the mountains during his time on the run.
Humphrey and Stevenson are both buried at the Arendal Høgedal Cemetery at the Commonwealt War Grave plot.
In 1990 a Memorial was erected and unveiled by Hisøy Local History group and NROF at Hisøy, not far from Hisøy church.
KIA: Pilot Flying Officer TICKNER, Russell George 24 - RAAF 420304
KIA: Wireless Operator Flight Sergeant STEVENSON, Joseph Daglish 25 - RAAF 422761
KIA: Flight Engineer Flight Sergeant HUMPHREY, George Alfred 38 - RAF 919841
POW: Navigator Flight Sergeant MANN, Rolf William 21 - RAAF 422649
POW: Bomb Aimer Flying Officer CALDWELL, John Henry 22 - RAAF 423986 (post-war s/no O23127)
Escaped: Reargunner Flight Sergeant QUIRK, Eric Sydney 28 - RAAF 423888 (bailed out & evaded capture)
"Flight Officers Tickners siste tokt" by Knut Flovik Thoresen