MAY 2006

Newsletter of 115 Squadron Association

Secretary: Ian Lucas


All goes well for our May 20 re-union. President Frank Leatherdale posted re-union notices in various publications and the entry in the Saga magazine produced some exciting results . . . . and we will see some new faces at Ely. There's one young lady who packed parachutes at Little Snoring, East Wretham and Witchford!

Some have added an extra day to their visit and will be able to enjoy the delights of those Ely shops (and some lovely antique emporiums). The re-union dinner will be held in a private room which has its own bar. As usual I am sure we will be enjoying a tot or two from 7.00pm onwards, with dinner at 8.00pm followed by the renowned "raffle" and annual desperate battle to avoid the last prize!

On Sunday morning we will gather at the memorial in Witchford for our annual gathering before heading home.


Waddington - there's a name which conjures up memories - holds its annual air show on July 1 and 2. They are staging a 7 -hour international flying display featuring the RAF's new "Typhoon", and aircraft from France, Italy, Greece, Spain, Holland, Switzerland, Norway, Germany, Canada, eastern Europe and the USA. holds all you want to know.


Chris Newman writes from Bishops Stortford saying he hasn't had any luck yet on tracing any connections with William Templeman who was shot down in Lancaster PD267 KO-X on October 25, 1944. We wrote about this in an earlier edition of The Tiller, but in case you now have something for Chris his address is 15 Park Lane, Bishops' Stortford CM23 3NH


Audrey Brown writes from Sherborne to say that husband Gordon has had his cataracts done and is now able to read. Good news in that Audrey bought him the book "Bomber Command" last year and he can now work his way through the pages, as well as reading The Tiller!

Audrey is also getting some photographs copied for us. Chris Fleetwood (Essex) has been in touch with the Browns.


We were all delighted to see nonagenarian Vic White at the 2005 re-union and he writes to give us his new address: Room 9, Glen Tor, Villa Road, Torrington EX38 8DZ. He says he is looking forward to the change - in particular getting away from the daily grind of shopping, cooking and cleaning the house. Drop Chalky a line - he love it!


Len Ing writes saying he has received a copy of 'Red' Sherwood's memoirs "Flying 40 missions with Red" published locally in Canada, which 'makes intriguing reading.' For more information, including a brief review, tap in to - then click on Books, followed by Flying 40 Missions with Red.


A car-boot-sale collection of wartime aircraft books has been put to good use. By chance Mavis Jones came on the telephone after seeing the reunion mentioned in the Saga magazine. Her brother Neville Thompson (pilot aged 24) was killed when Wellington Mk Ic R3292 KO-F which went down on Sept 30/0ct 1 during a raid on Osnabruck. Before the tragedy Mavis remembers making him a cake for his birthday - with 115 Squadron worked in to the icing. She has another brother in New Zealand who served during the war, so I sent her some of the books. I think they’ll provide many happy hours of reading and reminiscing.


Roy Hurrell, Whitstable - W. Kilmurray, Liverpool - V. Hudson, Albrighton.


Josephine Millett tells me how she lost her engagement ring when visiting the memorial on Armistice Sunday last November. A message to Barry & Sue Aldridge put a number of people on the case - and behold a week later a security guard from the industrial estate spotted it, passed it one to Sue who sent it on toNorwich by special delivery. Jo thanks everybody who took part in the search - and especially the security guard.


Can anybody tell us what "Port ED6" means, with reference to Lancasters? Reg Brown is among a number of people trying to identify "Port ED6", the quest stemming from a reference in a diary written by Canadian Bruce Johnston.

Nobody seems to know what it refers to. Reg has spoken to Aubrey Howell on Lancs I, II and III, to no avail, and he's pored over books and trawled through the brains of fellow Air Crew Association members. Nothing has come up. Can anybody help?


Jacques Rummens writes from Belgium saying how much he enjoys reading The Tiller. He just can't get enough information about 'all of those who gave their life for our freedom,' Jacques tells us 20 veterans of WW II meet every year in Normandy at the beginning of June. "I remember very well when British troops stayed in our village and practised with their guns: Jacques was born in 1938 - hence his intense interest in the war.


John Canning is sitting in his Bristol home awaiting an op. Naturally we all wish you well John. Apart from John and Joy finding long car journeys too much he has to keep a close eye on Joy and her insulin for diabetes and is booked for an op. around the end of the month.


A couple of calls have come in lately from people who served at Cottesmore, Watton etc. Roger Young called From Bury St. Edmunds asking about the re-union and adding that he knew of one or two more colleagues from the same era. Then Trevor Davies was on the line, and he comes from Leicester. Trevor may be contacted at 90 Glentield Frith Drive LE3 8PS and Roger on 01284 723422.


Ray Snook picked up on the SNOOKIE story in our January edition and will be writing to Peter Davis in America, hoping to get a copy of the photograph mentioned.

He goes on to ask if anybody can fill in information on PB373 which exploded in mid-air on February 21, 1946. He believes he flew with the crew from June 1945. Our records show the Lancaster exploded in mid-air and crashed at Red House Farm, near Leamington at 11.30hrs during a night flying test. None of the crew survived. Ray recalls the mid-upper, Ron Steadman, moved with him to Flt. Lt. Cantrell's crew when his own skipper John Ryman returned to Australia. He has sent two letters to Ron, without reply. Another skipper. Kitson, wrote to tell Ray about the crash, but he would like to find out more. Write to Ray at 8 Waveney Road, Ditchingham, Bungay NR35 2RF.


Sqdn. Ldr. W. H. Castle's son has written asking for anybody with any memories of his dad. He flew from Witchford but on November 15 1944 failed to return from a raid on Dortmund.

Our records show Castle's Mk I HK595 KO-A was involved in a mid-air collision with another 115 Lanc NN706 KO-B over Leverkussen. Any additional information to G. H. Castle at 28 Gatesmead. Haywards Heath RH16 1SN


Following the item Lancaster at Rest in January edition Orville Blouin has sent a note of thanks, saying that his granddaughter is delighted at the thought a many "Lancaster nuts" reading it!


There may be some of you who don't know that one of the radial engines from LL667 KO-R shot down in the circuit at Witchford (that's the main feature of our museum) on April 19 1944. is at Twinwood Aviation Museum, Twinwood, Bedfordshire. Twinwood was formerly an RAF night fighter training station.

I've had a letter from Robert Allen of 23 Chaucer Street, Kingsley NN2 7HW asking for any photographs or suitable mementoes to go on display. I'm sure most of your items are already in our own collection, but copies of photographs would be welcome.


Joachin Lelonet writes from 22 Rue Marcel-Thil, 57700 Reims asking for information on Lancaster Mk III ND760 A4-K which went down on June 8 1944 whilst on a raid to Chevreuse.

Our records show it was shot down by a night fighter and crashed at Quai Lahonal, Puteaux on the west bank of the River Seine. There is a small museum at Conde-Vraux airfield which is open July to October at 28 Rue Basse, 51150 Vraux ( At this museum are "many photos, documents, engines, aircraft pieces. Fordson tractor etc., part of a Short Stirling fuselage and a 1936 Flying Flea.