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Robert "Bob" Vickman
Bob Vickman
Born (1921-11-21)November 21, 1921
Died July 9, 1948(1948-07-09) (aged 26) (missing in action)
Place of birth Los Angeles, California, United States
Buried at Unknown

Robert (Bob) Vickman (born November 21, 1921 in Hollywood, California, Missing in action since July 9, 1948) was an American pilot.

The son of Elsie and Mordechai Vickman, Bob attended art schools.

In 1943 he joined the United States Army Air Forces and served on a photography unit in the Asian - Pacific front and had about two hundred hours of combat.

After the war, Bob went back to school but on the verge of graduating volunteered to the fledgling Israeli Air Force.

In the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, on July 9, 1948, Bob went to a mission over the Israeli Negev Desert in an Avia S-199. He never returned from the mission, and his body was never recovered.

Vickman was the co-creator of the symbol of the famous 101 Squadron, Israel's first fighter squadron, which flew its first mission on May 29, 1948. The symbol was the Angel of Death, based on the Biblical ten plagues wherein the Angel of Death was the only plague that was able to completely defeat the Egyptians.

An Egyptian account helps clear up Vickman's fate. As Vickman egressed from an attack on a ship in Cairo harbour thought to be unloading troops and supplies, he spotted an REAF Lysander. Vickman couldn't have known that the Deputy Director General of the REAF, Air Commodore Abd al Moneim Mikaati, was flying that Lysander from Cairo to Al Arish. Mikaati recalled:

...My gunner - I don't remember his name - was a keen-sighted man and he spotted an Israeli Messerschmitt as it maneuvered into a position to attack. Of course, my Lysander was a very old kind of airplane but I'd flown these for a long time. Still, we were at a big disadvantage and you'd expect that such a contest could only end one way. The pilot of the Israeli aircraft came up behind us. I told my gunner to fire just before the Messerschmitt came into range and I went down to about 100 feet. Then the gunner fired and I throttled right back. You know the Lysander can drop like a stone to land in a field - like they did when the RAF took spies in and out of France. The Israeli must have been concentrating on keeping me in his sights because he dropped his nose to follow. He overshot and went right in, almost level with me. I honestly felt sick in my stomach and - I don't know why - I saluted him.[1]

Mikaati does not say his gunner hit the plane.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Lon O. Nordeen, David Nicolle, Phoenix over the Nile: a history of Egyptian air power, 1932-1994, Smithsonian Institution Press, 1996, p.94

External links[edit | edit source]

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