THE TILLER

July 2013

Newsletter of 115 Squadron Association

Secretary Ian Lucas

WE ARE HERE AGAIN

Hello again ! I have not been in Australia for the past six months, it's just that there has been a shortage of news, except, sadly RTB for great friends of the past. First of all a reminder that we will gather at our Witchford Memorial on Armistice Sunday, November 10. You may like to attend the church service at St.Andrews in the village, starting around 10.30am and then gather at our own memorial around noon, followed by refreshments at the social club provided annually by their members before we head home.

COMMEMORATION IN BRUSSELS

On Saturday September 28 the Belgian branch of RAFA has arranged a commemorative event at the National Basilica of the Sacred Heart Koelkelberg in Brussels, designed to commemorate and strengthen the links between the RAF and Belgium. 115 Squadron sadly lost aircraft and crews over Belgium, and anybody wishing to attend on September 28 please contact dickwhittingham@skynet.be

WEST COUNTRY REPORT

Our erstwhile West Country reporter Harry Rossiter writes to say he didn't have much luck on the Project Propeller project again this year as he set off on Saturday June 22 for Coningsby, but could only sit back as the weather ruined the trip. He's applied five times for the day and only took part in the 2011 flight to Wickenby.

He attended to annual RAF and Allied aircrew memorial service on Plymouth Hoe on June 29. AVM Don Bennett's daughter again made an appearance and sadly announced ex W/O Jim Davis had RTB recently. Jim Davis and Don Bennett were joint instigators of the memorial, and their ashes now lie beneath the memorial.

Harry is 91, and as he says, he is still fit and well 'despite the perishin' elements'.

CAN ANYBODY HELP?

I have had a letter from lan Gilbert seeking any information on his cousin Sgt. Donald Kennedy KIA August 13/141944. He has been to our archives and notes the pilot F/O Hockey survived and wonders if he is still alive. I have passed on telephone numbers and addresses of the official RAF history branches, so let's hope he gets information he seeks. Should any of you by chance have information contact gilbert32@aol.com

Andrew Harding writes to ask if anybody can shed any light on F/Sgt Peter Bennett, shot down in April 1944. He was on his second tour: Contact is harding house@btinternet.com

On a wider search Paul Hendley writes to ask if his father was with 115 Squadron. Like many who served during the war he didnít like to talk about it but we do know he lost his wedding finger during the war! Contact is phendley@ymail.com Paul has quite a search on his hands and is contacting all Lancaster squadrons.

Donald Nicholls asks if we know any more on his 21-year-old uncle 158021 P/O Donald Canning pilot of LL650 KO-J shot down on a raid to Berlin on January 20 1944. There was one survivor rear gunner F/S W. Hocking who spent the rest of the war in Stalag 4B.

Chris Doughty has a problem or two looking for information to find which Squadron his father flew with. He's got a photograph of members of a W/O AG training course and one of them was later shot down in July 1941 flying in our KO-D. Chris is trying find out where the chaps were individually posted to and hopefully find out his fatherís squadron. The simple answer would to who looks after all the official photographs, When I was on my NS there were lots of photographs taken at Marham. Individuals, Squadrons, football teams etc .... but so far I have not been able to track where they are. It would certainly help Chris.

And here' a good one to round off with. Tony Trott's dad Charles Frank Trott served with us, but on June 20 1943 as flight engineer on DS668 KO-R, was shot down by a night fighter whilst mine laying in the Gironde area. They crashed at lngrandes-sure-Loire, east of Angers. Pilot F/O Derek Paston died but four of the crew went POW.

However, Charles Trott and the wireless operator Sheppard 'disappeared', or evd (evaded capture). Does anybody remember them reporting for duty next day? Or the following week? It would be great news for Tony to know their escape route. Iíll see if I can unlock a few doors.

Alan Parsons contacted me from Langport in Somerset. He is husband of Sue Parsons (nee Fisher). Her late father was Flt. Lt. Robert Fisher DFC (Gazetted 14/11/44), a navigator on 115. He died shortly after the war (1948) and Sue and her brother never knew their father, being too young to remember him. Alan is doing his best to find out about Robert Fishers wartime service. We know he undertook navigators training in Canada, and presented with a watch by Prime Minister MackEnzie King as 'the outstanding student' of his course.

RTB

P. T. B. Small - A. Howell - W. Farquharson (half page obituary in The Times. Wilt send copy if you would like one) - C. V. Wilson - Mrs. H. McGillivray.