115 Squadron
1940 - 1945

13/14 February 1945

Lancaster Mk I - PB686 KO-D

T/o Witchford 2150 hrs to take part in Operation Thunderclap - target Dresden. Returning from Dresden an engine caught fire and the a/c was abondoned, crashing at Jancourt, France. Sgt Preston was killed after baling out but the rest of the crew survived.

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

796 Lancasters and 9 Mosquitos were dispatched in two separate raids and dropped 1,478 tons of high explosive and 1,182 tons of incendiary bombs.

The first attack was carried out entirely by No 5 Group, using their own low-level marking methods. A band of cloud still remained in the area and this raid, in which 244 Lancasters dropped more than 800 tons of bombs, was only moderately successful. The second raid, 3 hours later, was an all-Lancaster attack by aircraft of Nos 1, 3, 6 and 8 Groups, with No 8 Group providing standard Pathfinder marking.
The weather was now clear and 529 Lancasters dropped more than 1,800 tons of bombs with great accuracy. Much has been written about the fearful effects of this raid. Suffice it to say here that a firestorm, similar to the one experienced in Hamburg in July 1943, was created and large areas of the city were burnt out.

No one has ever been able to discover how many people died but it is accepted that the number was greater than the 40,000 who died in the Hamburg firestorm and the Dresden figure may have exceeded 50,000.

Bomber Command casualties were 6 Lancasters lost, with 2 more crashed in France and 1 in England.

Source: nationalarchives.gov.uk - Bomber Command - Campaign Diary February 1945.

Dick A. H. Dick A. H. - Pilot

F/O - Service No

Age:

Son of

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

Richard C. D. Richard C. D. - FE

Sgt - Service No

Age:

Son of

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

Copland D. R. Copland D. R. - Nav

F/S - Service No

Age:

Son of

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

Berwick S. W. Berwick S. W. - WOP

F/O - Service No

Age:

Son of

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

Whittle R. Whittle R. - MUG

Sgt - Service No

Age:

Son of

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

Preston George Preston George - RG

Sgt - Service No 1826725

Age: 20

RAFVR

Son of W. Preston, and of Eleanor Preston, of Ashington, Northumberland.

Cambrai (Route de Solesmes) Communal Cemetery - Plot 2 Row B. Grave 10.

Source: CWGC.