115 Squadron
1940 - 1945

18 October 1944

Lancaster Mk I - HK544 KO-U

T/O Witchford 0831 - target Bonn, Germany. Lost without trace. *Crashed at 13:14 north east of Koudekerke Holland into the Northsea after being hit by Flak.

Source: 115 Squadron Roll of Honour by D. Bruce, W. R. Chorley, J. G. J. de Haan - *Wings to Victory.

128 Lancasters were dispatched.

This was the first major operation by No 3 Group in the new independent role which its commander, Air Vice-Marshal R Harrison, had been granted. Approximately one third of the group's Lancasters were now fitted with the G-H blind-bombing device and No 3 Group were to operate on days when the ground was concealed by cloud but when the cloud tops did not exceed 18,000ft.
Aircraft with G-H had their tail fins painted with a prominent design; aircraft without G-H found a G-H 'leader' to follow into the target area and bombed when that aircraft bombed. G-H was a relatively accurate, easy-to-operate and very useful device and No 3 Group were to make good use of it in the remaining months of the war. The device had been used before, but not by a large force.
Air Vice-Marshal Harrison requested that the almost unbombed and unimportant town of Bonn should be the target for this first operation, possibly so that post raid reconnaissance photographs could show the results of the first G-H raid without the effects of other bombing confusing the interpretation of the photographs.

The attack was a complete success. The heart of old Bonn was destroyed, with its university, many cultural and public buildings and a large residential area being burnt out. The local report says that the home in which Beethoven lived was saved 'by the courageous actions of its caretakers'.

700 buildings were destroyed and 1,000 were seriously damaged.

1 aircraft was lost.

Source: nationalarchives.gov.uk - Bomber Command - Campaign Diary October 1944.

Smith Kenneth Victor Smith Kenneth Victor - Pilot

F/O - Service No 423077

Age: 21

RAAF

Son of Hillas William Smith, and of Eva Mabel Smith, of Miranda, New South Wales, Australia.

Runnymede Memorial - panel 258

Source: CWGC

Rutson George Jack Rutson George Jack - FE

Sgt - Service No 1894564

Age: 31

RAFVR

Son of Frank and Elsie Rutson.
Husband of Sybil Rutson, of Ilford, Essex.

Runnymede Memorial - panel 237

Source: CWGC.

Greener Thomas Greener Thomas - Nav

Sgt - Service No 1673038

Age:

RAFVR

Son of

Runnymede Memorial - panel 230

Source: CWGC.

Denholm Robert Russell Denholm Robert Russell - WOP

F/S - Service No 417567

Age: 22

RAAF

Son of James William and Myra Pauline Denholm, of Cumberland Park, South Australia.

Runnymede Memorial - panel 260

Source: CWGC - photo Australian War Memorial

Skelton Ivan George Skelton Ivan George - BA

F/O - Service No 152714

Age: 23

RAFVR

Son of William George and Ada Skelton, of Luton, Bedfordshire.
Husband of Eileen Rita Skelton, of Luton.

Runnymede Memorial - panel 209

Source: CWGC - photo Wings to Victory

Mason Eric Thomas Mason Eric Thomas - MUG

Sgt - Service No 1814786

Age:

RAFVR

Son of

Runnymede Memorial - panel 234

Source: CWGC.

Constable John Charles Constable John Charles - RG

Sgt - Service No 1890908

Age: 20

RAFVR

Son of Alfred Charles and Cicely Ethel Constable, of Maidstone, Kent.

Runnymede Memorial - panel 227

Source: CWGC.