115 Squadron
1940 - 1945

26/27 August 1944

Lancaster Mk I - HK556 A4-F

T/O Witchford 2019 - target Kiel, Germany. Lost without trace.

A post war investigation carried out by the Missing Research & Enquiry Services (No 4 Unit) concluded that body remains and parts of an aircraft had been found in Brodersdorf woods. The body remains being buried at Kiel. It is thought that the remains were either from Lancaster HK 556 of 115 squadron or Lancaster LM230. German records indicate that an aircraft crashed in the Gemeinde Brodersdorf at 23.10 hours on the 26/27th August 1944, exploding with all bombs on board, leaving a huge water filled crater with a depth of at least twenty feet. The German records report that the crew were presumably dead. The report remains on the file of F/O Donald Holder RNZAF pilot of HK556/F.

Source: Bomber Crew

Also lost on this mission: Lancaster Mk I HK560 A4-K, 7 KIA
Also lost on this mission: Lancaster Mk I LM127 KO-H, 7 KIA

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

372 Lancasters and 10 Mosquitos of Nos 1, 3 and 8 Groups despatched to Kiel.

The Pathfinder marking was hampered by smoke-screens but the local report tells of a very serious raid with heavy bombing in the town centre and surrounding districts and widespread fires fanned by a strong wind. The Rathaus was completely burnt out and many other public buildings were destroyed or seriously damaged.

17 Lancasters lost, 4.6 per cent of the Lancaster force.

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

Holder Donald Fraser Holder Donald Fraser - Pilot

F/O - Service No 421053

Age: 22

RNZAF

Son of Albert William Holder and Leila Beatrice Burrows, of New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand.

Runnymede Memorial - panel 262

Source: CWGC photo Auckland War Memorial Museum

Pearson Maxwell John Pearson Maxwell John - FE

Sgt - Service No 1836265

Age: 21

RAFVR

Son of Melville Llewellyn Pearson and Mary Louise Pearson, of Croesyceiliog, Monmouthshire.

Runnymede Memorial - panel 226

Source: CWGC.

Hartley Henry Herbert Hartley Henry Herbert - Nav

F/S - Service No 1582326

Age: 21

RAFVR

Son of Frederick and Ellen Hartley, of Birmingham.

Runnymede Memorial - panel 218

Source: CWGC.

Clatworthy Douglas Roy Clatworthy Douglas Roy - WOP

Sgt - Service No 1338676

Age:

RAFVR

Son of

Runnymede Memorial - panel 227

Source: CWGC.

Swannell John William Swannell John William - BA

F/S - Service No 1339960

Age: 21

RAFVR

Son of John and Violet Constance Swannell, of Hastings, Sussex.

Runnymede Memorial - panel 222

Source: CWGC.

Jackson Allen Steward Jackson Allen Steward - MUG

F/S - Service No 434791

Age: 19

RAAF

Son of John Joseph and Olive Isabel Jackson, of Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia.

Runnymede Memorial - panel 260

Source: CWGC.

Bradford James Gibson Webber Athol Grant - RG

F/S - Service No 432605

Age: 19

RAAF

Son of William Thomas Webber and May Webber, of West Maitland, New South Wales, Australia.

Runnymede Memorial - panel 262

Source: CWGC.