115 Squadron
115 Squadron
115 Squadron

2018

New faces.

115 Squadron
Wellington Mk IC - Z8844 - KO-S- We received (17/12/2018) this photos from Carol Russell, thanks Carol.
The crew,

Sgt Deardan Frederick Harry Ewart - Pilot - age 25
Sgt Browne Peter Leighton - 2nd Pilot - age 20 - RAAF
Sgt Jarrett Peter William - Observer - age 20
Sgt Preece Mervyn Stanley - W.Op./Air Gnr - age 21
Sgt Widdecombe Bernard Frederick - WOP./AG. - age 18
Sgt Stewart Frank Parker - Air Gnr - age 28

Who can provide the other missing faces?

Sgt Deardan Frederick H. E. - Pilot, was my godfather that I never knew. I was born 13/10/39. So you can work out he went missing on the night of my second birthday. The wedding picture was June 1940, I'm not sure when the other one was taken probably about 1938.
The woman in the pictures is Ada who is mentioned on the headstone.
Purser John HenryWellington Mk II - W5459 - KO-L

John Jones sent us (24/11/2018) a photo of Pilot Officer Purser John Henry – Observer. He and his crewmates lost their lives on 29/30 June 1941 flying on a mission to Hamburg, Germany, with Wellington W5459. Thanks John.

The crew

F/L   Bailey Jack Alexander James -age 23 - Pilot
P/O  Tetlow George Walter - age 21 - 2nd Pilot
P/O  Purser John Henry - age 21 - Observer - RCAF
Sgt   Panes Elton Talbot - age ? - W.Op./Air Gnr
Sgt   Nichols Frederick Robert - age 30 - W.Op./Air Gnr
F/S   Gray Raymond Marshall - age ? - RG

Who can provide the other missing faces?

Also Wellington Mk IC R1509 KO-P, was lost (target Bremen, Germany). 1 KIA, 5 POW.

Frank TrottLancaster MkII - DS668 - KO-R

Thanks to Jackie Trott's story about her father, Sgt Frank Trott we have a new face.

Their Lancaster was on a mine laying operation, was shot down on the homebound flight and crashed at Ingrandes-sur-Loire, France.

The crew

F/O   Derek Brown – KIA, baled out but fell into the Loire and drowned.
W/O  A. Davidson - Taken Prisoner
Sgt    R. Gould - Taken Prisoner
F/S    Leonard King - Taken Prisoner
P/O   C.N. Pitchford - Taken Prisoner
Sgt    Alan Sheppard - Evaded Capture
Sgt    Charles Trott -Evaded Capture

Hayward John VictorLancaster MkI - HK547 - A4-F

Roger Carew sent us a photo of his grandfather F/O Hayward John Victor, thanks Roger.
F/O Hayward and his crew lost their lives on 19/20 May 1944 when their Lancaster crashed Allones, France. There were no survivors.

The crew

P/O  Atkin Samuel Stephen – Pilot – age 22
F/O  Hayward John Victor - 2nd Pilot – age 32
Sgt   Plumb Ivor Collins – FE – age 22
P/O  Mather Kenneth Richard – Nav – age 20
F/S   Giles Reginald Frederick Arthur – WOP – 23
P/O  Jones Rhys Webb – BA – age 25
Sgt   Rafferty Joseph Victor – MUG – age 34
P/O  Mehden Leonard Eugene – RG – age 24

Who can provide the other missing faces?

Atkin Samuel Stephen Jones Rhys Webb Mehden Leonard Eugene
Source photos Aircrew Remembered.
Mellissa ShepherdMellissa ShepherdMellissa ShepherdMellissa Shepherd Mellissa Shepherd, Wreath I placed this morning at Witchford to remember 115 Squadron, my Dad and all those that served there.

Reportage from Witchford Village College students stand silent for poignant Remembrance service. Source; ELYSTANDARD

Wellington X3726Fred CooperJohn Cooper remembering his father, Sgt Fred Cooper. Fred volunteered for Bomber Command on 24th July 1940. He trained at RAF Lossiemouth, and was finally based at RAF Marham where he served with 115 Squadron as a Wireless Op.

Sgt Fred Cooper was shot down twice, the first time in June 1942, and the second on 21st July 1942 whilst on operations over Duisburg, Germany. Dad's aircraft, (Wellington III X3726) was the only one of three lost by the squadron that night, and 'not' to be shot down by a night-fighter ...

After taking off from Marham at 23:49hrs it was hit by flak while flying at 8,000 m, which ignited the flares. The fire soon burned out of control and the crew baled out ...

115 Sqn lost also on this mission Wellington Mk III X3561 KO-X - 3 KIA, 2 POW, and Wellington Mk III X3750 KO-B, no survivors.

Sgt Fred Cooper saw out the rest of the war as a PoW at Stalag VIIIB (344) Lamsdorf. He was involved in the notorious 'Long March', before being liberated in May 1945.

Fred CooperAfter the war, Fred made his first-class debut for his native Lancashire County Cricket Club against Oxford University in May 1946; he made 6 and 20 not out. Later that season he made his County Championship bow against Leicestershire, playing three Championship games in total, all in July. However, he left the county for Worcestershire County Cricket Club at the end of the season ...

In later years he became a local politician, and became Mayor of his adopted home town of Stourport-on-Severn in 1975.

Fred Cooper was born in Bacup, Lancashire on 18th April 1921. He died in Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire on 22nd December 1986.

Although Dad survived the war, I think his wartime experiences stayed with him, right up until the day he passed away in December 1986.

He never really spoke about his experiences; he never wore his service medals, but towards the end he took a real interest in the Bomber Command Association as well as the RAF EX-PoW Association.

I think about Dad a lot, particularly around the time of 'Remembrance' ... 'Blue-Skies' Dad 💙 xxx

Wellington Mk IC - X9910 - KO-Y - (last update 26/10/2018)

Ian Mason sent us this photo from his uncle Sgt. Thomas William Bull, thanks Ian.

Bull Thomas WilliamColfe William KennethL: Sgt. Bull Thomas William- W.Op./Air Gnr.
R: P/O Colfe William Kenneth - Observer

From this crew only P/O Shuttlewworth survived and was captured, becoming POW.

Sgt.  Hulls Arthur Robert - Pilot
Sgt.  Goodey James Henry - 2nd Pilot
P/O  Colfe William Kenneth - Observer
Sgt.  Griffiths Thomas Douglas - W.Op./Air Gnr
Sgt.  Bull Thomas William - W.Op./Air Gnr.
P/O  Shuttleworth Norman Robertson - RG

Who can provide the other missing faces?

Also Wellington Mk IC X9673 KO-B was lost on this mission. There were no survivors.

Lancaster Mk I - HK599 - KO-K - (last update 26/10/2018)

Thanks to Malcolm Eayres we have 2 new faces from the crewmates of his father, Sgt Eayres Raymond.

The Crew:

F/O  Lister R. D. - Pilot - POW
Sgt   Hughes Peter Herbert Frederick - FE +
F/O  Brown Ronald - Nav +
F/S   Loughnan Justin Francis - WOP - RAAF +
F/O  Ford Harry Thomas - BA +
Sgt   Hamilton Robert - MUG +
Sgt   Eayres Raymond - RG +

Who can provide the other missing faces?

Eayres Raymond Hughes Peter Herbert Frederick Hamilton Robert
Sgt Eayres Raymond Sgt Hughes Peter H. F. Sgt Hamilton Robert
 

Left; Raymond and my dad Wilfred, could be about 1942/43. Dad died in 2014 age 91.
Ollar Alexander Johnston Stewart. DMF

Wellington BJ6158 September 2018. Thanks to Ken Delve we can show you following photos of Ollar and his fellow crewmembers.

I came across a photo collection for Plt Off Ollar, and selected images are shown here. Some documents have this as Oller and some as Ollar; former is correct.

Born in Calcutta in 1910, enlisted in 1939 as Observer but became an Air Gunner.

Sgt Ollar was killed in action in Wellington Mk III - BJ615 - KO-G of 115 Sqn on 26th July 1942 - there were 6 airmen in this aircraft; the pilot was Wg Cdr F. W. Dixon-Wright and the target was Hamburg.
The Squadron lost 4 aircraft that night; 13 aircrew surviving to become POW and 8 being KIA.

Gillian Louth send us following pictures from her Father Warrant Officer Edmund Roy "Nobby" Clark,
Mid Upper Gunner. Serv .No 1897348 (+ 2015)

Clark Edmund RoyClark Edmund Roy Clark Edmund Roy31 Operations 115 Squadron Group 3 - Witchford - Cambridshire - Age 19 - 20

Pat KerrinsPat Gillain "I made a promise to the man who brought my Dad home safe and sound that I would never forget.
The 31st of March marks the second year since Pat Kerrins "Skipper" fired starboard outer, port outer, starboard inner, port inner "All four engines.... we're away." and he left this mortal coil to join his Mid Upper for a cleansing ale.

I always keep promises."

Happy Landings.
Safe Home.
Rest In Peace
Friend.♥
Lest We Forget

F/O Patrick Mortimer Kerrins. (Always SKIPPER to Dad.) His record of missions was given to him and Mum by Pat on their 60th wedding anniversary. They had 63 years together. It's not in a museum I have it in my home.

The Crew.
F/O Pat Kerrins, Pat was the old man he was 21.
I did meet the Navigator Bill Oliver. He was the Headmaster or the Orotary School for Boys in Reading.
A thorough gentleman and of course a Scholar.
Bomb Aimer - Bob Barratt
Navigator - Bill Oliver
Engineer - Stan Kaye / Larry Green
MUG - Roy Clark
Wireless Op - Jack Ernshaw
Rear Gunner - George Clapton

115 SquadronANZAC DAY
They marched under the Odd Bods banner for mixed crews. The Bomber Command Banner was in G for George Hall in the Australian War Memorial Canberra. The young men pushing them are their Grandsons

Wellington Mk IC - T2563 - KO-D

Chris Rice sent following story: I have just inherited some ww2 relics/items from a crashed Wellington bomber T2563 which crashed on 12/13 Aug 1941 in Ashmanhaugh killing one of the crew, I have found some information on internet about the crash, I was wondering if you had anymore information on this or could point me in the right direction? I am happy to send pictures if required and the information I was told by my nan and grandad who both witnessed it in 1941 Many thanks.

The aircraft was had been on a raid to Essen Germany 12/13 August 1941 it took off at 2135 from Marham, on one web page it say it crashed at 2200 on another it say 0220 but it must of been 0220 as it was trying to get to RAF Coltishall after being damaged by a night fighter flown by Peter Laufts.

It crashed in a small village in Norfolk called Ashmanhaugh not Scottow as on one web page, this is where my nan lived she was 14 years old, it crashed just down the road from their house and caught fire. The next morning she went to the crash site and went inside it and took the items as a souvenir which she has kept in a cupboard ever since she told me this story many times.
T2563T2563T2563 Two pieces of parachute one is burnt from the fire when it crashed, a piece of Perspex from a window and Aluminium foil strips to jam the radar.

My grandad also told me about this crash he was 16 year old and lived in a village called Tunstead 2/3 miles away his dad was an ARP warden in the war and was on duty that night when crash happened so he biked over to help with rescue.

My grandad went over next day to view the crash next day aswell. My nan and grandad did not meet till 1945 then they married.

My grandad trained as an RAF rear gunner in a Wellington bomber then he trained on Lancaster's but then the war finished so he never saw action but he went to German in 1945 to help in a stores.

< The one man who died on plane is Sgt B. G. Evans a rear gunner.

The rest of crew all survived but had minor injury's.

Geoff Payne Sgt Geoff Payne - R/G and Sgt Cyril Bridges - F/eng,
photo taken at the Centenary dining-in night last November 2017 next to the Squadron Standard..

With thanks to Squadron Leader Andy Tagg, the current OC 115 Sqn.

Crew photo send by Sgt Geoff Payne R/G taken at Witchford, February 1944.

back row L to R

Sgt Sid Longhurst - W/op
Sgt Cyril Bridges - F/eng
Sgt Dick Hollis - M/U Gunner.
Sgt John Henry RAAF - Nav

Front row L to R

Sgt Geoff Payne - R/G
F/lt Bill Martin - Pilot DFC
Sgt Joe Waple - Bomb Aimer

Colclough Maurice James - Wellington Mk III - X3726 KO-A

Wellington X372621 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 23:49 HRS, 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.
The crew boarding their Wellington on 21 July 1942, the evening they were shot down.

Sgt Maurice Colclough and Sgt Fred Cooper stand together in the far right of the photo, Sgt Colclough extreme right.
Source: Jonathan Cooper.

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

Dedicated to 'The Crew'
	Colclough Maurice James Stanford Cooper Missing photos, who can help?

Sgt R. F. Butler - 2nd Pilot -1376499.
Sgt L. F. G. Darlington - Observer - 126698.
Sgt D. Gardiner - Rear Gunner - 1344495.

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.

Sgt M. J. Colclough. KIA
Front Gunner - 1265631.
Flight Sgt K. J. Stanford.
DMF. Pilot - NZ 401293.
Sgt F. Cooper.
Wireless Op - 1112152.
 
Linwood WilliamLinwood William - Wellington Mk III - BJ796 KO-H

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 "Johnnie"Sgt 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

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.

HK542Plummer John Frederick - Lancaster Mk I - HK542 KO-J

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 FrankThompson Frank - Lancaster Mk I - PD293 KO-O

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 AndrewAnderson Sidney Andrew - Lancaster Mk II - DS680 KO-L

28 April 2018. Thanks to John Carpenter we now background info and a new face to the Roll of Honour.

DS680Sydney 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.

ND923Parry 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 32.
Son of John (Jack) and Isabel Parry. Husband of Mrs Jane Parry.
Inlisted into the RAFVR on 15 January 1941.

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

4 Lancaster were lost.

Sidney AllenAllen Sidney - Lancaster Mk II - DS683 KO-R

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.

Eric James BellBell 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.

DS685Eric 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 OdellDonald Carr Odell - Lancaster Mk I - HK579 A4-B
21/1/2018. 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'.