THE TILLER

OCTOBER 2007

Newsletter of 115 Squadron Association

Secretary Ian Lucas

HOUSE OF LORDS IN MAY

Thanks to our good friend Lord Mackie we have booked a lunch at the House of Lords on Friday May 9 2008. There are lots of details to sort out, but the idea is to meet at the House around noon, undertake a short tour, quaff the odd glass of water and enjoy a lunch before returning home in daylight. There will be a limit of 30 for this function and it will cost around £30.

Most important we want to know how many would like to come and how we set the rules for attendance. If there are 30 of the older brigade putting their names down, we may have to decide it will be 'men only'. It's all in the melting pot at the moment, but these are the details George Mackie, President Frank Leatherdale and I will be sorting out.

So let's hear from you as A.S.A.P.

WTTCHFORD ON NOVEMBER 11

For those of you planning to attend the service at our Witchford memorial on November 11, it will be around 12.00pm following the church service in the village, our kind friends from Witchford Sports & Social Club are laying on a roast lunch. For years they have always invited us back to the Hall and provided a wonderful array of sandwiches and snacks before we 'hit the road' on our return journeys home.

Sylvia Bromley-Allen writes 'because Remembrance Day falls on the 11th the Club has decided to lay on a roast dinner, meat and two veg." but they must know how many are coming.

Please let Ian know as soon as possible (01952 592115) and he will take calls before Tuesday October 30. After that date, and up until Wednesday November 7 our President, Frank Leatherdale will take the bookings (01603 453691).

WELLINGTON INFO REQUIRED

E,Mails have ruined my stamp collection, but one from Richard Frost I found exciting and interesting.

"115 Squadron sent 13 Wellingtons to Stuttgart on May 6-7, 1942, Wellington Mk III X3466 KO-N. Fit. Lt. Paterson, a New Zealander, was skipper of one crew of the two who did not return. Observer P/O John Henry Patrick Leland, also a New Zealander, seems to have been killed in the crash.

Rear gunner Flt. Sgt Edward (Jack) Callander got away with it. He had an incredible record, having been in the French Foreign Legion, winning the Croix de Guerre at Narvik and a DFM for a raid on Brest in 1941 whilst flying with 75 Squadron.

"He went in to the 'bag', escaped three times, and eventually murdered by the Gestapo, probably in Mauthausen, in 1944.

WOP Arthur Smith survived POW, devoting himself largely to organising sport. He was on the death march from Sagan in 1945. He died on August 17 this year aged 87. The front gunner F/Sgt Bernard Ramsbottom, also POW, died some years ago.

"John Brenan of Whitehaven is Callandar's great nephew and he and I (Norten) are writing the airman's biography. We have an exciting story to tell. The downing of Paterson's Wellington was for a time a bit of a mystery but that has been cleared up and John recently went to the site with a metal detector. He found only three small pieces of lead - but that delighted the landowner who has marked the site as a war grave. We will return.

"Any gen on Paterson, his crew or lead in crashed Wellingtons to dikfrost@yahoo.co.uk or 07946 908499.

EMERY LOOKING FOR FAMILY

Jack Emery e.mails from Sarthe seeking information on two 115 aircraft which crashed in Sarthe - August 16 1943 at Le Chenay, Lancaster Mk II DS684 KO-M, and May 20 in 1944 at Le Mans, Lancaster MK I HK547 A4-F.

Any information would be welcome. jacky emery@hotmail.com

DALY IN PARIS

Any pals of Fred Daly will know he is currently living in Paris (99 rue de Sevres, 75006) he writes of sadness on learning there will not be any more reunions. He made it to one of the early reunions in Smithfield (down the steps - do you remember?).

WHILST IN FOREIGN LANDS

I know many of you take holidays abroad and whilst on your meandering travels visit the graves of 115 men who crashed in France, Belgium, Germany or wherever.

Have you visited to La Coupole, Saint-Omer, the history and remembrance centre? Then you have missed a treat. It is situated about 5km from Saint Omer and over a million people have visited this underground city built in 1943-44 by the German army to launch V2 rockets at the centre of London.

The gigantic site I really a history center based on pictures and audio- visuals presenting everything of the 20th century from the German occupation to space travel.

There are pictures from unpublished archives and objects discovered during archaeological excavations and gets to grips with the tremendous effect the war had on the region. There is an exhibition dedicated to ten air crews who crashed in the area.

To make life easy the entire project is presented in English. There are two cinema theatres, scores of films created from rare archives, and 10,000 photographs. There are shops and houses built in the style of the 1940s and a genuine V2 missile.

PICTURES FROM BOSTON

I received a telephone call from Bernard Boston in Cheltenham. It resulted in a fine set of photographs based on Little Snoring. I also learned that five Boston brothers served in the RAF - Bernard was a fitter, Kenneth an ‘instrument-basher', .Douglas a WOP with 115, Herbert in the Military police- and Sam, the youngest.

The pictures include a super shot of KO-A Lancaster in flight, parades and training schools and one of Doug and the rest of his crew taken at Little Snoring sometime in September-October period of 1943. If you'd like to know more and can provide any info on Douglas please get in touch with Bernard at 53 Lynton Avenue, Cheltenham GL52 3DR.

IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM

If you would like to know more about the Imperial War Museum I suggest you get in touch with their Marketing Department (Lambeth Road, London SE1 6HZ) who will be only too pleased to keep you in touch with press releases and what-have-you.

By the way Cosford Museum is offering free admission and free parking - and in their list of how to get there by car or train they add Cycle route 81 as ideal for a visit. So on your bikes!

FRANK IS A PROSPECTIVE HIPPIE

President Frank Leatherdale had a chat on the phone with Frank Rutter in Australia recently. Frank had suffered from a painful! back for some time but a later x-ray showed problems with his hip, and he's in for a replacement at some time in the future. He's seen the anaesthetist and as he is a fellow Welshman Frank is in a happy frame of mind.