115 Squadron
1940 - 1945

20/21 July 1944

Lancaster Mk III - LM510 KO-K

T/O Witchford 2320 - target Homberg, Germany. Crash landed at Woodbridge Aerodrome, Suffolk at 0240 with battle damage from night fighter attack.
Sgts Reed and Bellamy were killed by cannon fire from the night fighter.

One night in July, 1944, these airmen were pilot, flight engineer and navigator respectively of an aircraft detailed to attack Homberg. Shortly after the bombs had been released, the aircraft was attacked by a fighter. Almost immediately a second enemy aircraft joined the fight.
The bomber sustained much damage and Flight Sergeant Gaston and Sergeants Barugh and West were wounded. In spite of their injuries these airmen displayed great coolness in the face of the enemy.
A fire started near the cockpit but Sergeant Barugh beat out the flames with his bare hands. Meanwhile, Flight Sergeant Gaston by good manoeuvring, succeeded in extricating his aircraft from a perilous situation. Course was set for home and on the return flight Sergeant West guided his pilot with much skill although deprived of the use of much of his navigational equipment.
Eventually a safe landing was made at an airfield. These members of aircraft crewdisplayed a high standard of courage and devotion to duty in the face of a trying ordeal.

Source pdf THE LONDON GAZETTE, 15 September, 1944

Also lost on this mission: Lancaster Mk III ND913 A4-M, 7 KIA.

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

147 Lancasters and 11 Mosquitos of Nos 1, 3 and 8 Groups,

attacked the oil plant at Homberg and caused severe damage. German documents show that the production of aviation fuel, which had stood at nearly 6,000 tons per day at the end of April, was now fluctuating between 120 and 970 tons per day, following Bomber Command and American Eighth Air Force raids. But German night fighters caught the Homberg bomber force.

20 Lancasters were lost. No 75 (New Zealand) Squadron, from Mepal, lost 7 of its 25 aircraft on the raid.

6 aircraft - 5 Halifaxes and 1 Lancaster - were shot down.

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

Gaston J. M. Gaston John Mike - Pilot

F/S - Service No R164571- DMF

Age:

RCAF

Son of

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

Source:

Barugh C. Barugh Clifford Leonard - FE

Sgt - Service No 1896581 - DFM

Age:

RAFVR

Son of

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

West J. H. West Jack Henry - Nav

Sgt - Service No 1671281

Age:

RAFVR

Son of

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

Reed Douglas Reed Douglas - WOP

Sgt - Service No 1434329

Age: 21

RAFVR

Son of George Henry and Emily Gertrude Reed, of Hull.

Hull Northern Cemetery, Kingston upon Hull, Yorks. - Compt. 285. Grave 51.

Source: CWGC.

Whetstone R. Whetstone R. - BA

F/S - Service No

Age:

Son of

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

Middleton Arthur Walter Flint A. H. - MUG

Sgt - Service No

Age:

Son of

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

Bellamy William Henry Bellamy William Henry "Bill" - RG

Sgt - Service No 2211409

Age: 29

RAFVR

Son of William and Florence Emily Bellamy, of Salford.
Husband of Hilda Bellamy, of Salford.

Pendlebury (St. John) Churchyard, Swinton and Pentlebury, Lancs. - Plot C. Grave 88.

Source: CWGC.