115 squadron
115 squadron
115 Squadron

Despite the elements

115 squadron
the Y's OwellsWelcome on the website of the Friends of 115 Squadron

Our aim as a small group of local amateur historians:

History – We wish to search and pass historical information, to try to link up to the future in a digital area, that way preserving and applying new found data in an effort to complied history’s unspoken answers.

Respect – We cannot pay more tribute to them who have fallen, than to pay respect for them. In our research, we always respect the family's wishes and also the privacy of those who are left behind.

Remembrance - We wish to ensure that the people who fell, military and civilian are never forgotten. There for, each year, we lay a wreath at the monument of a crashed Lancaster.

Education – We support initiatives as; school projects and private quests, enabling us to understand the reasons for the freedom we have today and look to the future in a positive manner.

Future generations must be reminded of what happened in WWII so that they never forget that their freedom was gained by acts and sacrifices of these men and women in history.

Members, Geert Bourguignon, Filip Doms, Erwin Sollie, Danny Van Den Broeck, Dirk Vermeulen.

Losses over Belgium.
115 Squadron
Roll of Honour.
1940 - 1941 - 1942 - 1943 1944/45
Research – Who can help ?
New pictures – New faces.
2017 - 2018
Old newsletters.
The Tiller
The story of
"The Y's 'Owells"
TV reportage & slideshows.
In memorian.
He made it back, evade from Belgium to Gibraltar

Family Howell handing the Y's 'Owells Emblem over to Sue Aldridge at the 115 Memorabilia museum at Witchford.

Mail your photo's of former members of 115 squadron during WW II. Every contribution is welcome.

Newspaper articles and photo's 2017

24 April - Gazet van Antwerpen Remembering Lancaster DS734, Sint-Katelijne-Waver.
24 April - photo's with thanks to Bob Lams - Facebook

Colclough Maurice James - Wellington Mk III - X3726 KO-A
Colclough Maurice James
21 July 2018. Thanks to Jonathan Cooper we can at a new face to the Roll of Honour.

On the evening of 21st July 1942, at 23:49HRS, crews from 115 Squadron took off from RAF Marham, Norfolk. Target Duisburg, Germany.

One crew were carried in 'Wellington Mk III ~ X3726 - KO-A', and was hit whilst over the target by flak while flying at 8,000 feet which set the flares alight. The fire was soon out of control which forced the crew to bale out.

Five of the six crew members survived and became PoW's. The sixth; 1265631 Sgt Maurice James Colclough was killed in action, and is buried at the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery - 9. B. 9.

This is the last photograph taken of these particular crews of 115 Squadron and it fell into my hands quite unexpectedly through the miracle that is Facebook one December evening, and it's significant in so many ways. The events that occurred after (and even before) this photograph was taken, changed so many lives forever, particularly of course the members of 'Maurice's' family, whose son I spoke to soon after this photo was unearthed in December 2017.
Dedicated to 'The Crew' ...

Sgt M. J. Colclough.
Front Gunner - 1265631.

Flight Sgt K. J. Stanford. - DMF.
Pilot - NZ 401293.

Sgt R. F. Butler.
2nd Pilot -1376499.

Sgt L. F. G. Darlington.
Observer - 126698.

Sgt F. Cooper.
Wireless Op - 1112152.

Sgt D. Gardiner.
Rear Gunner - 1344495.

As always ... 'Blue Skies Gentlemen' 💙💙💙💙

115 Squadron lost also on this mission,

Wellington Mk III X3561 KO-X - 3 KIA, 2 POW

Wellington Mk III X3750 KO-B - no survivors.

Linwood William - Wellington Mk III - BJ796 KO-H
William Linwood
29 June 2018.

Via Jonathan Cooper we received more info on Sgt. William Linwood, always apriciated, Thanks.

Sgt William Linwood was born on 13th January 1922 in Saskatoon, in the Candian province of Saskatchewan Canada.

Flight Sgt Linwood was the son of Alexander, a civic worker, and Helen (Kerr) Linwood who came from Scotland. William graduated from Princess Alexandra school and Bedford Road collegiate and went straight from school to the RCAF at Saskatoon in 1940. William became a Front Gunner who served with Bomber Command ~ 115 Squadron

On the night of 29/30th June 1942, his aircraft (Wellington III HBJ 796) was forced to turn back from operations on Bremen, Germany because of engine failure. The aircraft was forced to jettison its bombs before being forced to ditch into the North Sea, 40 miles off Lowestoft, Suffolk.

Sgt W Linwood was the only fatality of the crew of six.

(It was his first operational flight with the Squadron. The survivors were picked up by ASRS - Air Sea Rescue Services.) Flight Sgt W Linwood (115 Squadron) is commemorated at the Runnymede Memorial (panel 105), for airmen who have no known grave.

As always, 'Blue Skies' William 💙

Watson Victor John "Johnnie" - Lancaster Mk II - DS678 KO-J
Watson Victor John Watson Victor JohnSgt Watson bottom row third from right at training school.

28 June 2018.

Thanks to his great niece we have a second face of this crew, Sgt Johnnie Watson He was the only son of Walter William Watson and Eliza Watson of Manor Park, East London. He was unmarried and had 6 sisters.

Five were killed 24 March 1944 during Ops Berlin and buried at POW Cemetery at Ohrdruf, two became POW.

He was rededicated with the other crewmembers at Niederzwehren War Cemetery 27 June 2018.

115 Squadron lost also on this mission;
Lancaster Mk II LL694 KO-N, 7 KIA
Lancaster Mk II LL730 KO-G, 6 KIA, 1 POW
Lancaster Mk II DS664 A4-K, "Werewolf", 4 KIA, 3 POW

Source: CWGC.

Rededication Ceremony for five members of the crew of Lancaster DS678 (115 Squadron)

Lancaster DS678 took off on the night of 24 March 1944 to attack Berlin but failed to return. Two of the crew survived and were taken as prisoners of war but the other five members of the crew were killed and were buried in the PoW cemetery at Ohrdruf.

As it has not been possible to locate the graves of Pilot Officer Leonard McCann, Sergeant William Bowey, Sergeant Victor Watson, Sergeant Donald Keeley and Sergeant John Burke, they will now be commemorated at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's Niederzwehren Cemetery, Germany.

The CWGC will provide Special Memorials engraved with the circumstances of their original burial and bearing their names.

The service has been organised by the Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre, Ministry of Defence and will be attended by family members, British Defence Staff, Regimental representatives, CWGC staff and local dignitaries. Members of the public are welcome to attend.

Plummer John Frederick - Lancaster Mk I - HK542 KO-J
Plummer John Frederick
8 June 2018.

Thanks to Gerald Plummer we have a photo of his brother John Frederick who lost his live on 24/24 April 1944 in Belgium returning from a mission on Karlsruhe, Germany.
There were no survivors.

The family lost on 23 November 1943 their first son, Kenneth George Plummer, age 20.
Sgt RAFVR Service No 1338940, he served in 434 Squadron and went MIA on 23 November 1943 during a mission on Berlin. He is remembered on Runnymede panel 161.

On the same mission 115 Squadron lost also the Cagienard crew on Lancaster Mk II - DS734 KO-Y , no survivors.

Both were shot down by night fighter Oberleutnant Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer and his crew.

That night Bomber Command lost 11 Lancaster's and 8 Halifax's.

Thompson Frank - Lancaster Mk I - PD293 KO-O
Frank Thompson
16 June 2018. Thanks to John Carpenter we have now background info and a new face to the Roll of Honour.

Hi, I thought you might be interested in some further information about my uncle, Frank Thompson.

Frank was an Air Force regular and was the Flight Sergeant Bomb Aimer on 115 Squadron Lancaster PD293 (KO-O) which was lost on the 26 Nov 1944 after taking off from RAF Witchford on a training and equipment evaluation sortie.

Frank was the eldest son of William and Elizabeth Thompson of Kilnhurst, South Yorkshire.

We don't know much about Frank's service, unfortunately, or when he joined or his date of birth. His service number was 652750 and he served in South Africa for a period earlier in the war, possibly before being posted to 115 Sqn. I have attached a photograph.

I hope you find this information interesting.

Many thanks, Richard Thompson.

There were no survivors and never found, There names are mentioned on the Runnymede Memorial.

Anderson Sidney Andrew - Lancaster Mk II - DS 680 KO-L
Anderson Sidney Andrew
28 April 2018. Thanks to John Carpenter we now background info and a new face to the Roll of Honour.

Anderson Sidney AndrewSydney Anderson was born in Cromer, Manitoba, Canada on the 12th April 1920.

Son of James and Sarah Anderson who originally hailed from Scotland. He had 4 brothers and one sister however; Sydney's father died of cancer whilst he was young and his mother later remarried a Mr Martin Larson.

Upon leaving school Sydney was a farm labourer and did this for 3 years until 4th October 1940 when he enlisted to the RCAF. After a fairly long wait in which he did other forms of labouring jobs to pass the time, he was eventually called up and commenced his gunnery course, earning his gunners badge on the 23rd October 1942. He was a good student which was indicated on his final report as it is noted that he was 'a very good and steady gunner who also came top of the class in his exams'.

Sydney who was 5'8" tall listed making model aircraft as his main hobby along with swimming, playing hockey and baseball. He embarked in New York on the 23rd November 1942 for his trip across the Atlantic finally arriving in England 7 days later on the 30th.
After crewing up and further training which took place at 26 OTU and1651 Conversion Unit, Sydney and his crew joined 115 Sqn on 29th May 1943; he was shot down on his 21st 'Op'

On 18/19 November 1943 Lancaster Mk II - DS 680 KO-L. was attacked and shot down by Oblt Eckart-Wilhelm von Bonin of the II/NJG1 and crashed at Hermeé, Luik, 4 km N.W. of Herstal, Belgium. There were no survivors. That night 440 Lancaster's and 4 Mosquito's were dispatched. 9 Lancaster's were lost.

Former posts 2018
Now on sale at Burrows Bookshop in Ely’s High Street Passage.

To purchase a copy, please contact Sue Aldridge via email at:


RRP £16.00

Barry passed away peacefully in Soham Lodge Care Centre on Friday 1st January 2016, aged 68.

All profits will go to the RAF Witchford Display of Memorabilia and Soham Lodge Residents Fund.

Visit the RAF Witchford Display of Memorabilia at the Lancaster Way Business Park - the former RAF Witchford airfield.
Info on Traces of War.com