115 Squadron
1940 - 1945

4/5 September 1942

Wellington Mk III - BJ633 KO-N

T/O Marham 2353 - target Bremen, Germany.

Shot down by a night fighter, Oblt Herbert Lutje, III./NJG1. Crashed 0253 at Altenrheine, 1 km NE of Rheine.

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

251 aircraft - 98 Wellingtons,76 Lancasters, 41 Halifaxes, 36 Sterlings.

The Pathfinders introduced new techniques on this night, splitting their aircraft into 3 forces: 'illuminators', who light up the area with white flares; 'visual markers', who dropped coloured flares if they had identified the aiming point; then 'backers-up', who dropped all-incendiary bomb loads on to the coloured flares. This basic pattern - illuminating, marking and backing-up - would form the basis of most future Pathfinder operations with proper target-indicator bombs and various electronic bombing aids being employed as they became availably.

The weather was clear and the Pathfinder plan worked well; heavy bombing of the target followed. Bremen confirms that this was a successful raid. Property was hit as follows.

    Damaged  
  Destroyed Seriously Light
Large/ medium industrial 6 6 50
Small industrial 15 29 64
Dwelling-houses 460 1,361 7,592

Approximately 6,000 further houses suffered broken windows. After the raid, the locas authority telegraphed to Berlin, asking for 3 companies of men for glass, roof and other minor repair work and 1,000 tons of fuel and repair materials. Among the industrial buildings seriously hit were the Weser aircraft works and the Atlas Shipyard. 4 dockside warehouses were destroyed and 3 oil-storage tanks were burnt out. Various public buildings together with 7 schools and 3 hospitals were hit.
124 people were killed and 470 injured. The local report adds, 'it was no comfort for the hard pressed population that one bomber was shot down by Flak. The people knew that the Flak could not protect the town effectively.

12 Aircraft - 7 Wellingtons, 3 Lancasters, 1 Halifax and 1 Stirling was lost.

Source: book, The Bomber Command War Diaries: An Operational Reference Book by Chris Everitt, Martin Middlebrook.

Davies Frederick Randall Egerton Davies Frederick Randall Egerton - Pilot

P/O - Service No 118141

Age: 29

RAFVR

Son of Frederick Percy and Kate Davies.
Husband of Winifred A. E. Davies, of Stilton, Huntingdonshire.

Reichswald Forest War Cemetery - Coll. grave 24. C. 4-6.

Source: CWGC.

Finch Harold Clifford Finch Harold Clifford - Observer

Sgt - Service No 1380468

Age: 20

RAFVR

Son of George Henry and Mary Ann Finch, of Bow, London.

Reichswald Forest War Cemetery - Coll. grave 24. C. 4-6.

Source: CWGC.

Bushell Herbert Randall Bushell Herbert Randall - WOP

Sgt - Service No 1261880

Age: 27

RAFVR

Son of George William and Ruth Bushell.
Husband of Stella Bushell, of Minster-in-Sheppey, Kent.

Reichswald Forest War Cemetery - grave 24. C. 3.

Source: CWGC.

Merifield John Wynne Merifield John Wynne - BA (Observer?)

Sgt - Service No 655376

Age:

RAFVR

Son of

Reichswald Forest War Cemetery - Coll. grave 24. C. 4-6.

Source: CWGC.

Brown George Kirtley Brown George Kirtley - RG

Sgt - Service No 535260

Age:

RAF

Son of James Mitcheson Brown and Harriet Brown, of Shiremoore, Northumberland.

Reichswald Forest War Cemetery - grave 24. C. 7

Source: CWGC.