115 Squadron
1940 - 1945

3/4 March 1943

Wellington Mk III - Z1620 KO-T

T/O East Wretham 1845 - Target Hamburg, Germany.

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

417 aircraft - 149 Lancasters, 123 Wellingtons, 83 Halifaxes, 62 Stirlings despatched.

Visibility was clear over the target but the Pathfinders made a mistake, possibly thinking that the H2S indications of mudbanks in the Elbe which had been uncovered by the low tides were sections of the Hamburg docks. Most of the Main Force bombing thus fell 13 miles downstream from the centre of Hamburg, around the small town of Wedel.

Even so, a proportion of the bombing force did hit Hamburg which suffered 27 people killed and 95 injured and whose fire brigade had to put out 100 fires before devoting all its energies to helping the town of Wedel, which suffered so heavily. The damage at Wedel included a large naval-clothing store burnt out as well as several important industrial concerns destroyed in Wedel's harbour area and this illustrated another Bomber Command view: that bombing could usually be useful even if the wrong target was hit.

10 aircraft - 4 Lancasters, 2 Wellingtons, 2 Halifaxes, 2 Stirlings - lost, 2.4 per cent of the force.

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

Laidlaw David Douglas Laidlaw David Douglas - Pilot

Sgt - Service No 1344401

Age: 21

RAFVR

Son of David Smith Laidlaw and Jessie Douglas Laidlaw, of Glasgow.

Becklingen War Cemetery - collective grave 11.F12.13.

Source: CWGC.

Bird Colin Ray Bird Colin Ray - Observer

F/S - Service No R115881

Age: 23

RCAF

Son of Charles Joseph and Nellie Ethel Bird, of Lashburn, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Becklingen War Cemetery - collective grave 11.F12.13.

Source: CWGC - photo and more info Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Luscombe Percival Harold Luscombe Percival Harold - WOP

Sgt - Service No 1330619

Age: 23

RAFVR

Son of Harold Hughes Luscombe and Daisy Luscombe, of Plympton, Devon.

Becklingen War Cemetery - collective grave 11.F12.13.

Source: CWGC.

Holdsworth Eric Holdsworth Eric - BA

Sgt - Service No 1576102

Age: 21

RAFVR

Son of Francis and Marian Holdsworth, of Blackpool, Lancashire.

Becklingen War Cemetery - collective grave 11.F12.13.

Source: CWGC.

Gell Henry Joseph Fitzgerald Gell Henry Joseph Fitzgerald - RG

Sgt - Service No 1549838

Age: 33

RAFVR

Husband of Marjorie Gell, of Edgbaston, Birmingham.

Becklingen War Cemetery - grave 11.F.14.

Source: CWGC.