115 Squadron
1940 - 1945

24/25 March 1944

Lancaster Mk II - DS678 KO-J

T/O Witchford 1849 - target Berlin, Germany. Shot down by a night fighter and crashed at Leipzig.

Also lost on this mission: Lancaster Mk II LL694 KO-N, 7 KIA
Also lost on this mission: Lancaster Mk II LL730 KO-G, 6 KIA, 1 POW
Also lost on this mission: Lancaster Mk II DS664 A4-K, "Werewolf", 4 KIA, 3 POW

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

811 aircraft - 577 Lancasters, 216 Halifaxes, 18 Mosquitos - to Berlin.

This night became known in Bomber Command as 'the night of the strong winds'. A powerful wind from the north carried the bombers south at every stage of the flight. Not only was this wind not forecast accurately but it was so strong that the various methods available to warn crews of wind changes during the flight failed to detect the full strength of it. The bomber stream became very scattered, particularly on the homeward flight and radar-predicted flak batteries at many places were able to score successes. Part of the bomber force even strayed over the Ruhr defences on the return flight. It is believed that approximately 50 of the 72 aircraft lost were destroyed by flak; most of the remainder were victims of night fighters. Needless to say, the strong winds severely affected the marking with, unusually, markers being carried beyond the target and well out to the south-west of the city.

This was the last major RAF raid on Berlin during the war, although the city would be bombed many times by small forces of Mosquitos.

72 aircraft - 44 Lancasters, 28 Halifaxes - lost, 8.9 per cent of the force.

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

McCann Leonard Myles "Len" - Pilot

P/O - Service No J19862

Age: 28 - °9 December, 1915 Ottawa, Ontario

RCAF

Son of Daniel McCann and Hannah Brennan of Ottawa, Ontario.
Brother of Daniel McCann who also served with the RCAF.

Runnymede Memorial - panel 251

Source: CWGC - photo (*crash photo's) and more info *No 623 Squadron and Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Burke John William Burke John William - FE

Sgt - Service No 1652303

Age: 21

RAFVR

Son of John William and Julia Ann Burke.

Runnymede Memorial - panel 226

Source: CWGC.

Gray H. L. Gray H. L. - Nav

W/O (later F/O) - Service No J35834

Age: - POW No 3361 Stalag 357.

RCAF

Son of

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

Bowey William Bowey William - WOP

Sgt - Service No 1095610

Age: 21

RAFVR

Son of William Crossley Bowey and Elizabeth Bowey, of Sunderland, Co. Durham.

Runnymede Memorial - panel 225

Source: CWGC.

Geach D. G. Geach D. G. - BA

Sgt - Service No 139481

Age: - POW No 3407 Stalag 357.

RAFVR

Son of

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

Keeley Donald Keeley Donald - MUG

Sgt - Service No 1381057

Age:

RAFVR

Son of

Runnymede Memorial - panel 232

Source: CWGC.

Watson Victor John Watson Victor John - RG

Sgt - Service No 1851938

Age: 19

RAFVR

Son of Walter William and Eliza Elizabeth Watson, of Dagenham, Essex.

Runnymede Memorial - panel 240

Source: CWGC.