115 Squadron
1940 - 1945

3/4 December 1943

Lancaster Mk II - DS765 KO-A

T/O Witchford 0039 - target Leipzig, Germany.

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

527 aircraft - 307 Lancasters, 220 Halifaxes - to Leipzig.

Despite the loss of two pressmen on the previous night, the well-known American broadcaster, Ed Murrow, flew on the raid with a 619 Squadron Lancaster crew. He returned safely. The bomber force took another direct route towards Berlin before turning off to bomb Leipzig. German fighters were in the bomber stream and scoring successes before the turn was made but most of them were then directed to Berlin when the Mosquito diversion opened there.
There were few fighters over Leipzig and only 3 bombers are believed to have been lost in the target area, 2 of them being shot down by flak. A relatively successful raid, from the point of view of bomber casualties, was spoiled when many aircraft flew by mistake into the Frankfurt defended area on the long southern withdrawal route and more than half of the bombers shot down on this night were lost there.

The Pathfinders found and marked this distant inland target accurately and the bombing was very effective; this was the most successful raid on Leipzig during the war. A large area of housing and many industrial premises were severely damaged. One place which was hit by a large number of bombs was the former World Fair exhibition site, whose spacious buildings had been converted to become war factories, the largest buildings being taken over by the Junkers aircraft company.

24 aircraft - 15 Halifaxes, 9 Lancasters - were lost, 4.6 per cent of the force.

Source: nationalarchives.gov.uk - Bomber Command - Campaign Diary December 1943.

Clark Stanley Percy Clark Stanley Percy - Pilot

F/S - Service No 1337671 - DFM

Age: 22

RAFVR

Son of Percy Arthur and Elsie Clark, of Hatch End, Middlesex.

Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery - grave 4. B. 11.

Source: CWGC.

Butcher Kenneth Richard Butcher Kenneth Richard - FE

Sgt - Service No 1604241

Age: 19

RAFVR

Son of Thomas Edward and Eva Butcher, of Worthing, Sussex.

Runnymede Memorial - panel 144

Source: CWGC

Watkins Arthur Emlyn Watkins Arthur Emlyn - Nav

Sgt - Service No 1601336

Age: 21

RAFVR

Son of John E. and Florence M. Watkins, of Cwmllynfell, Glamorgan.
4 brothers.

Runnymede Memorial - panel 168

Source: CWGC - - photo and more info Ystradgynlais Wargraves

Rigg Roy Commer Rigg Roy Commer - WOP

Sgt - Service No 1148459

Age: 22

RAFVR

Son of Gordon and Emily Rigg, of Rochdale, Lancashire.

Runnymede Memorial - panel 163

Source: CWGC.

Busby Arthur Edward Busby Arthur Edward - BA

F/O - Service No 138333

Age: 23

RAFVR

Son of Walter William and Alice Rose Busby, of South Harrow, Middlesex.

Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery - grave 4. B. 14.

Source: CWGC.

Dowsett Alfred William Dowsett Alfred William - MUG

Sgt - Service No 1201264 - DFM

Age: 31

RAFVR

Son of Alfred John and Clara Annie Dowsett.
Husband of Anne Ellen Dowsett, of Great Baddow, Essex.

Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery - grave 4. B. 12.

Source: CWGC.

Scott Frank Frederick Scott Frank Frederick - RG

Sgt - Service No 1392922

Age:

RAFVR

Son of

Runnymede Memorial - panel 164

Source: CWGC.