115 Squadron
115 Squadron
115 Squadron

19/20 May 1944

Lancaster Mk I - HK547 A4-F

Lancaster HK547
T/O Witchford 2209 - Target Le Mans, France. Crashed at Allones, 3 Km NW of Le Mans Aerodrome.

Source: 115 Squadron Roll of Honour by D. Bruce, W. R. Chorley, J. G. J. de Haan.

112 Lancasters and 4 Mosquitos of Nos 3 and 8 Groups.

The majority of the bombs hit the railway yards and caused serious damage. The local report says that the locomotive sheds were destroyed, an ammunition train (or some ammunition wagons) blew up, 2 main lines were destroyed and all other lines blocked because overhead power lines were brought down across the tracks.

Unfortunately the Lancasters of the Master Bomber and his deputy collided over the target and crashed. The Master Bomber was a brilliant young New Zealander, Wing Commander J. F. Barron, DSO and Bar, DFC, DFM, and the Deputy Master Bomber was Squadron Leader J. M. Dennis, DSO, DFC They were both killed; both were from No 7 Squadron.

1 other Lancaster was lost.

Source: nationalarchives.gov.uk - Bomber Command - Campaign Diary May 1944. (Last update 18/12/2018)

Lancaster HK547   Thought to be some of the crew
  with who we now know are L-R   Rear:
  P/O. Samuel Atkin,
  Cpl. Ashby,
  ground crew,
  P/O. Kenneth Richard Mather,   'Mack' described as bomb aimer,
  Sgt. Jock Stevenson,
  ground crew,
  Fl/Sgt. Reginald Giles,
  Sgt. Joseph Rafferty,
  P/O. Leonard Eugene Mehden.

  Front:
  Sgt. Dick Dewer,
  Sgt. Bodd,
  ground crew and two other   groundcrew not named.

  Photo courtesy Janet McWee
  Source; Aircrew Remembered.

Atkin Samuel Stephen Atkin Samuel Stephen - Pilot

P/O - Service No 172115

Age: 22

RAFVR

Son of George and Catherine Atkin, of Dronfield, Derbyshire.

Le Mans West Cemetery, Departement Sarthe - Plot 38. 1939-45 Row C. Grave 24.

Source: CWGC - Photo via Aircrew Remembered

Hayward John Victor Hayward John Victor - 2nd Pilot

F/O - Service No 139986

Age: 32 - ° 02/08/1911*

RAFVR

Son of William and Katherine Hayward.* Husband of Margaret Hayward (Smart).*
Siblings - Molly and Reginald. Daughters - Margaret, Patricia, Angela (my mother) and Elizabeth.*

Le Mans West Cemetery, Departement Sarthe - Plot 38. 1939-45 Row C. Grave 25.

Source: CWGC - *Photo and info via Roger Carew, grandson.

Plumb Ivor Collins Plumb Ivor Collins - FE

Sgt - Service No 1804691

Age: 20

RAFVR

Son of homas William and Doreen Jean Plumb, of Bromley, Kent.

Le Mans West Cemetery, Departement Sarthe - Plot 38. 1939-45 Row C. Grave 27.

Source: CWGC - photo via francecrashes39-45.net, C. Dannau.

Mather Kenneth Richard Mather Kenneth Richard - Nav

P/O - Service No 173890

Age: 20

RAFVR

Son of Sydney and Kathleen Mather, of Plymouth.
Husband of Blanche R. E. Mather, of Mannamead, Plymouth.

Le Mans West Cemetery, Departement Sarthe - Plot 38. 1939-45 Row C. Grave 26.

Source: CWG - photo via francecrashes39-45.net, C. Dannau.

Giles Reginald Frederick Arthur Giles Reginald Frederick Arthur - WOP

F/S - Service No 1317796

Age: 23

RAFVR

Son of Frederick Richard Arthur and Dorothy Elizabeth Giles, of Brixham, Devon.

Le Mans West Cemetery, Departement Sarthe - Plot 38. 1939-45 Row C. Grave 14.

Source: CWGC - photo via francecrashes39-45.net, C. Dannau.

Jones Rhys Webb Jones Rhys Webb - BA

P/O - Service No 410064

Age: 25

RAAF

Son of Lloyd Britton Jones and Rachel Jones.
Husband of Jessie Nimmo Tulloch Jones, of Edinburgh, Scotland.

Le Mans West Cemetery, Departement Sarthe - Plot 38. 1939-45 Row C. Grave 21.

Source: CWGC - photo and more info Aircrew Remembered

Rafferty Joseph Victor Rafferty Joseph Victor - MUG

Sgt - Service No 955666

Age: 34

RAFVR

Son of

Le Mans West Cemetery, Departement Sarthe - Plot 38. 1939-45 Row C. Grave 28.

Source: CWGC

Mehden Leonard Eugene Mehden Leonard Eugene - RG

P/O - Service No 423152

Age: 24

RAAF

Son of Carl and Letitia Mehden.
Husband of Jocelyne Marjorie Mehden, of Kings Cross, New South Wales, Australia.

Le Mans West Cemetery, Departement Sarthe - Plot 38. 1939-45 Row C. Grave 15.

Source: CWGC - photo via Aircrew Remembered.