115 Squadron
1940 - 1945

2018

New faces.

115 Squadron
Linwood William - Wellington Mk III - BJ796 KO-H
Linwood William
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

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
HK542
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
Thompson Frank
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 - DS680 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.

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.

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

Allen Sidney - Lancaster Mk II - DS683 KO-R
Sidney Allen
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
Eric James Bell
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 Odell - Lancaster Mk I - HK579 A4-B
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'.