115 Squadron

Despite the elements

115 Squadron
Welcome on the website of the Friends of 115 Squadron, Belgium

Our aim as a small group of local amateur historians:

History – We wish to search and pass historical information, to try to link up to the future in a digital area, that way preserving and applying new found data in an effort to complied history’s unspoken answers.

Respect – We cannot pay more tribute to them who have fallen, than to pay respect for them. In our research, we always respect the family's wishes and also the privacy of those who are left behind.

Remembrance - We wish to ensure that the people who fell, military and civilian are never forgotten. There for, each year, we lay a wreath at the monument of a crashed Lancaster.

Education – We support initiatives as; school projects and private quests, enabling us to understand the reasons for the freedom we have today and look to the future in a positive manner.

Future generations must be reminded of what happened in WWII so that they never forget that their freedom was gained by acts and sacrifices of these men and women in history.

Members, Geert Bourguignon, Bram Dermout, Filip Doms, Dan Jonckers, Erwin Sollie, Danny Van Den Broeck, Dirk Vermeulen.

Losses over Belgium.
115 Squadron
Roll of Honour
and Aircraft losses.

1940 - 1941 - 1942 - 1943 1944/45/46
Cope Jack Edward,
evade from

Belgium to Gibraltar
Old newsletters. The Tiller
The story of
"The Y's 'Owells"

Family Howell donating the
Y's 'Owells Emblem to the
RAF Witchford Display of Memorobilia.
TV reportage & slideshows.
Newspaper clips/photos 2019

27 April - Presentation of the book "Despite the Elements" written by Bram Dermout.
photos from Bob Lams FaceBook

28 April - HLN - Remembrance Lancaster DS734, Sint-Katelijne-Waver.

28 April - photos from Bob Lams FaceBook

Bookshelf (13)
In memorian.
Marham Heritage Centre
Just Jane
The Lincolnshire Lancaster Ass.The Lincolnshire Lancaster Association
International bomber command centre
Bram Dermout
Aircrew Remembered
Diary of Bruce JohnstonBruce Jonhston
115 Squadron
LOGBOOK
P/O Cagienard Robert Roland
Pilot. serv. no. 174879
°1920 - +1944
via Fam. Jean & Alan Duke
LOGBOOK
Sgt. Eldrett F.
Fl. Eng. serv. no. 1397252
via Mellissa Shepherd
LOGBOOK
WO 2. Davison Ray
Rear Gunner serv. no. 2200204
via Davison Lian
All info and photos relating 115 Sqn during WW II are welcome, mail them to Filip Doms, the team thanks you for your effort.
115 SQUADRON - R.A.F.Operations Record Book - 1939-1945.
These pages including the Summary of Events (the daily notes), and Details of sortie or flight (the mission's details, and the crewmembers).
This is a major task and will take months of work. The plan in the future is to connect a search module.
Alfred William DowsettA new face for the Roll of Honour.

On 2 June 2020 we received a message from David Stark White,

Lancaster Mk II - DS765 KO-A

This was my great uncle (my nans brother) Alfred William Dowsett who was lost over Germany (3/4 December 1943) with his complete crew of 7.

I have a picture of him my mum managed to find in my grandads pictures.

Is there anything or anywhere else I can talk to to find out more about the missions the crew flew and what actually happened to them?

I'm obsessed with him now and what happened.

My nan and grandad have now passed and I have nobody else I can ask?

Hope all is well.

Who can help Adam ?

On 19 May 2020 we received via Moon Kinnaird a photo of his granddad Sgt Robert Ernest Gould.

He was a crewmember on Lancaster DS668 KO-R, they were shot down by a night fighter on 20 June 1943.

The crew was forced to abondon,

F/O Brown, age 23, baled out but fell into the Loire and drowned.

Sgt. Trott and Sgt. Sheppard evaded capture.

P/O. Pitchford, Sgt. Davidson were wounded and became POW, also as Sgt. Gould and Sgt. King.

Thanks Moon.

On May 12th 2020 Sammy Johnson this photo,

This is a painting of my grandads plane.
I know it's a Wellington.
Not sure which one it is ?
He was in the 115 squadron. I know he dropped leaflets and took photos .
Was rear gunner. I've looked on website. It doesn't really tell me alot.

I would love to know what he done.

He never spoke about it the war which I know lot of men didnt.
But I'm so proud of my grandad would love to get model of his plane.
Find out more about what he did.

His name Donald Frederick Bax.
Or other websites I could try.

Thank you any help would be brilliant.

From Operations Record Book dd. 7 April 1940.
Square search for cruiser and destroyers in area 100 miles N.W of SYLT.
No warships sighted. Although search lasted 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours. (1345.-1525.).

Donald Frederick Bax
Yeah my grandad was wounded in his legs. I use bath the scars. Think I was making them better.

I'm just so proud of him and everyone. Just not a lot is mentioned about the Wellington bomber and what they did .. were he never like to talk about it. Not even to my nan or my mum.

So even that. Is nice to see.
I've tried forces records . Just has nothing.

So thank you so much for that little pieces information. Means alot .

On May 11th 2020, we received from Anthony Rickard this email

Further too our brief exchange on facebook some 3 weeks back relating to Dresden and 115 involvement (13/14 February 1945) I attach the promised photos (pdf file).

I also attach a scan of a letter my father wrote to my mother on VE Day international header to the page! Interestingly he says he will see her in 14 days - having got hold of hid service records I can say that twelve days after writing

i.e. 20.5.45 he was discharged, and on 21.5.45 was "Emerg Comm Plt Off on prob". Gazetted 17.7.45
He returned to 115 as a Flight Engineer, and was subsequently posted 21.1.46 to HQ 3 Group as " Educational & Vocational Trg Instruct ".
Subsequently He rebadged as a pilot 26.4.50 via 22 Flg Trg Sch, 101 Flg Refresh Sch, 19.6.51 201 Adv Flg Sch and 5.9.51 230 Op Conv Unit, where he learned the joys of the Lincoln.
18.12.51 he was posted to 49 Squadron and headed straight to Kenya as Flight Commander "A" Flight and had lots of fun with the Mau Mau.
54 - 57 he was at Upavon as Off Commanding Communications Flight, then (and I remember it well) he was posted to FEAF at RAF Changi whence we returned as a family in January 1960.
He is then listed as Flying Flight Commander of communications flight at Bovingdon before retiring 5.10.61 - however I clearly remember being stationed at Coastal Command HQ in 61!

We lived at 41 Grosvenor Road OMQ Northwood.. Maybe the last sheet didn't get posted!

I also attach an account by Archie Dick of his training, crewing up , conversion to Lancasters and his time with 115, including his account of the Dresden raid - when they had to abandon Lancaster Mk I - PB686 KO-D and walk home... without Geordie.

On May 10th 2020, Hal Constable send us a story regarding his father linked to the crash of Wellington Mk III - BJ724 KO-P.

Good day Friends of 115 Squadron,

Attached is a picture of my uncle, Sgt Ralph Constable WOG, (never met) who was lost in WII – September 6 1942. He was attached to Bomber Command 115 Squadron stationed in Marham.

There was only one person who survived the crash in a field near Blofield England.

The following story relates to my father and the lone survivor of that crash. I hope you find it of some interest.

Thanks.

Time knows no boundaries. But in the case of one Prince Edward Island family, a mystery surrounding a watch once owned by Sgt. Ralph Constable who was killed in action during the Second World War has come to a timely end - 67 years after the fact. The story.

Wellington P0229On May 4th 2020, Kurtis Gale send us this photo of Cpl. Pilgrim Roger Colin John who was a crew member on Wellington Mk IC - P9229 - KO-S

Who has more information?

Im doing a write up of R. C. J. Pilgrim who served with 115 Sqdn. He was killed in Action on the 16th May 1940. would like to get the write up completed by the time of the 80th anniversary.

On the night of 15/16 May 1940 the Wellington was blown off course by high wind and crashed in high ground between Bernay and Rouen, France.

All crew were killed except Cpl. FALLOWS who died later.

F/L. Pringle Alec Edward - Pilot – DFC – age 26.
F/O. Evans Herbert Prestyl – Pilot – age ?.
Sgt. Kirkham Thomas Russell - Observer/Nav. – age 21.
Cpl. Pilgrim Roger Colin John - Wireless Operator/Air Gnr. – age 26.
Cpl. Fallows Reginald Frederick - Air Gnr. – age ?.

They rest at the Bernay Communal Cemetery (St. Croix), France.

Thanks

Lancaster HK542On 29 April 2020, we received a mail of Bart Smets from Alken, Belgium.

Thanks to Bart we have a new face for the 115 Squadron Roll of Honour.

Sgt. Forth Norman Louis - WOP, was a crew member of Lancaster Mk I - HK542 KO-J that was attacked by night fighter Oberleutnant Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer of the IV./NJG 1. and crashed on 24/25 April 1944 at Alken, there were no survivors.

For this crew we and the village of Alken erected a monument on Saturday May 4th 2019.

Also lost on this mission was Lancaster Mk II: DS734 KO-Y, no survivors.

On 28 April 2020, we received a mail of Mairead Vaughan, who can help?

Lancaster DS675Lancaster DS675I was hoping your group would be able to assist me in the search for in formation about a family member, F/O. Patrick Thomas O'Farrell.

I believe he was a pilot with the Squadron 115 and that he was killed over Hanover in operations on the night of September 22 1943.

I was hoping that your group would have information, photos and records on Pat and his time flying. I would greatly appreciate anything that you may have on file.

Thank you so much for your assistance.

Mai

Thanks to Mairead we have now a photo of F/O. Patrick Thomas O'Farrell for our Roll of Honour.

F/O. O'Farrell RAAF and his crew flew on Lancaster Mk II - DS675 KO-E, ,on ths fatal night any more info and photos are welcome.