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, Bram Dermout, Eva Dée, 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.
Old newsletters.
The Tiller
The story of
"The Y's 'Owells"
Bram Dermout
"My Lancaster Stories"
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

Anderson Sidney Andrew - Lancaster Mk II - DS 680 KO-L

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.

Parry William Grainger - Lancaster Mk III - ND923 KO-C

12 April 2018. Thanks to Gillian Appleton we can at a new face to the Roll of Honour.

Parry William Grainger lost his life on 11/12 May 1944, age unknow.
Son of John (Jack) and Isabel Parry. Husband of Mrs Joan Parry.

Buried at, Wilsele Churchyard - grave B.8. There were no survivors.

4 Lancaster were lost.

Allen Sidney - Lancaster Mk II - DS683 KO-R
Allen Sidney
2018. Thanks to John Carpenter we can at a new face to the Roll of Honour.

Allen Sidney lost his life on 18/19 October 1943, age 21.
Son of William B. Allen and Elizabeth Allen, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Also lost on this mission: Lancaster Mk II DS769 KO-H, 7 KIA.

In total 18 Lancaster were lost.

Allen Sidney is buried on Cambridge City Cemetery - grave 13924.

Bell Eric James - Lancaster Mk II - DS685 KO-A

18/2/2018. Thanks to Mark Bell we can at a new face to the Roll of Honour.

Eric James Bell was born March 1921, Gateshead, Durham. His father was William Bell married with Ada Potts.

On this mission, 2/3 August 1943, 3 bombers of 115 Squadron were lost, 21 crewmembers lost there live's.

In total 30 aircraft were lost - 13 Lancasters, 10 Halifaxes, 4 Wellingtons, 3 Stirlings.

Eric James Bell and his crew was never found. It was their 9th operation.

We find their names on the Runnymede Memorial.

Button Cyril - Pilot, age 22
Bell Eric James - FE, age 22
Pasquins Richard Leonard - Nav, age 20
Brown Charles Frederick - WOP, age 31
Petts Laurence Alfred Herbert - BA, age 21
Eade Lionel Walter - MUG, age 21
Baily John Herbert - RG, age 24.

Donald Carr Odell - Lancaster HK579
Donald Carr Odell21/1/2018. Thanks to John Carpenter we can at a new face to the Roll of Honour.

This was Donald Carr Odell, born on the 21st April 1925 at Oil Springs, Enniskillen in Ontario Canada. His father Leslie was a Carpenter by trade whilst his mother Leila Hazel was a busy mother looking after 11 children, they all lived in Petrolia, Ontario.

Donald was the middle child, 5 younger & 5 older siblings & at 5' 7" tall Donald was a keen golfer who also helped out as the club's greenkeeper, his other interests were skating, pool & rugby. Prior to his enlistment on the 5th May 1943 he was in the meat trade & had also served in a naval battery during 1942.

After his initial gunnery training for the RCAF, where he was awarded his gunners badge on the 12th November 1943, Donald crossed the Atlantic on the 20th January 1944 from Halifax, Nova Scotia arriving in England 11 days later. Following further training & crewing up he eventually became a member of 115 Squadron on 29th August 1944; his base was at RAF Witchford in Cambridgeshire.

9 days after arriving at Witchford on the 8th of September 1944, Donald & his crew were listed on the battle order to attack the French coastal town of Le Havre. After briefing & the traditional pre-flight meal of bacon & eggs they boarded Lancaster HK579 (A4-B) & took off for this daylight raid at 06.10 in the morning.

Donald's crew were flying as part of a force of 333 aircraft who were assigned to attack the German positions within the town. Unfortunately the weather was very bad over the target with very low cloud hampering the efforts of the crews; in fact only 109 aircraft reported actually dropping their bombs, 2 aircraft failed to return, 1 was Donald's. As Donald's aircraft flew over the town it received a direct hit from flak & fell to earth crashing at Cap de la Heve, on the edge of Le Havre.

5 members of the 7 man crew managed to bail out of the stricken aircraft with 3 becoming POW's & 2 managing to evade capture. Donald who was the rear gunner on this flight & his Pilot Flt Sgt Kilsby never made it out of the aircraft & their badly burned bodies were found amongst the wreckage, Donald was just 19 years old & this was his 1st 'Op'.

Who can help Robert ?

I recently bought online a badge for 115 squadron.
The person I bought the badge from had originally bought it with a mourning locket containing this photo. I suspect he was KIA. Although not necessarily with 115 squadron.

To be honest, I'm relying on an old member of the squadron recognising him. I thought it would be nice to try and trace the history regarding original owner and wondered if someone recognised the person in the photograph.

I would really appreciate any help you could give me. I am afraid that it really is a challenge!

Kind regards.
Robert Cullen

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