115 Squadron 115 Squadron 115 Squadron

Posts 2019

Harry HooperHello. I have found your site via sad searching.

My Father-in-law- Flt Lt Harry Hooper ex115 is now 95 but has very recently become quite ill with only a short time left.

I am hoping to find fellows that may comfort us in appreciating his Flying career from Tiger Moths to Wellingtons and Lancasters.

Photos or stories would be appreciated as will any information
Thank you,

Stuart Hooper-Smith.

Interview 2013.

Jason Holloway Photo from Jason Halloway,
So Sad to hear this.

On my shelf in office . Tankers I had from the reunion at witchford around 2000

Met Harry many times in late 90s at his home and went to ex115sqn reunion with him.

A great man with so many amazing stories about his life.

The crew:
F/O. Osbourne
F/S. Cuthill
F/O. Hooper
F/L. Williams
F/S Hough
F/S. Glover
F/S. Flint.

Wellington X3351Paul Hogle sent us a photo's of his father in law,

F/S. Jones William who was shot down as crewmember of Wellington Mk III –X3351 KO-T on 31 December 1942 on a Gardening mission over the Bay of Biscay.

William Jones was shot down over a small island and broke an ankle on landing. Was captured the next day.

All of the crew survived and served as POW's at Stalag VIIIB.
Bill served two and a half years as a POW in Germany.

He survived a death march in the closing months of the war and 10 children!

Thanks to Paul, we were not aware of this crew.

Who can help us with photos of the other crewmembers?

Late 1942.
Standing L to R; Les Hickman - Pilot (Coventry, W.O.Pearce - Rear Gunner (Toronto Ontario), Don McKay - Navigator (Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Canada).

Kneeling L to R; Sam W. Walmsley - Wireless Operator (Chilliwack, British-Columbia, Canada, W. T. Jones - Bomb Aimer/Front Gunner.

Francis Leonard KennedyWe received this photo from Chris Thomson from Montreal, Canada.

My great uncle Francis Leonard Kennedy was lost along with his crew on Feb 24/25 1944.

Chris would like to know more about his uncle P/O. Kennedy, the crash of Lancaster MK II LL701 KO-F, and the other crewmembers, who can help?

Lancaster LL701 and his crew was lost without a trace on a mission to Schweinfurt, Germany.

Also lost on this mission was Lancaster LL644 KO-N, no survivors.

Total losses on this mission were 33 aircraft - 26 Lancasters, 7 Halifaxes - 4.5 per cent of the force.

These photos we received from Peter Jan van der Giesen.

On July 21th there was a remembrance at the monument remembering the crew of Lancaster Mk III - ND913 A4-M 'Popeye', the Lancaster Crashed at Papendrecht/Sliedrecht, Netherlands.

There were no survivors.

We thanks all contributors for their effort.
Lancaster ND913Photo via newspaper BN. De Stem, courtesy: Arie Verhoeven,

left to right, Erwin van Wijngaarden, Margré van Wijngaarden and Peter Jan van der Giessen from the Lancaster Popeye team.Lancaster ND913

Thanks to Susan Middleton we can show you some photos of the lady's who served at Witchford, the mum of Susan was "Minnie" May Payne.May PayneMay PayneMay Payne
Lancaster HK579On 8/9/2019 Jen Fischer send us the following question, who can help?

One of the letters from my Great Uncle Donald Carr Odell and some of the correspondence about the 8 Sept 1944 action. It was his first operation out of training. He had just transferred in and was on leave up to Sept 6.

If anyone has any idea where the graduation shot may have been from I would love to know.

PDF file, with more photos and letters.

Lancaster Mk I - HK579 A4-B was shot down on 8 September 1944 by Flak during a raid on Le Havre, France. And crashed at Le Havre.

Lancaster DS655 Thanks to Russell Cammell we we have an update with his fathers logbook, October 2019.

Lancaster DS655Lancaster DS65524/5/2019 - Recently we received a Photo of F/O Reid Robert crew member of Lancaster - DS655 who crashed on 27/28 May 1943, there was one survivor, Pilot F/O Cammell Gordon who became POW.

Thanks via Russell Cammell we received a photo of his father Pilot F/O Cammell Gorden with following message,

I gave thought to something you could add to my Dads 115 squadron memory......My Dad spent 2 years in Stalag III, The great escape camp, after parachuting into Germany. As a result he learned to speak German, and was released in 1945.

He spent five years as a farmer on a place he bought, but earning a living was difficult. He missed flying so rejoined the RAF in 1951 and flew Mosquitos, then jets.
He was sent to the USAF to learn current radar to relate back to the RAF. While in the USAF he enjoyed project test pilot status on the new F102A. After two years he continued back to the UK and became a helicopter pilot in the RAF. He flew Air Sea Rescue in Cyprus then flew twin rotor Belvedere troop transport choppers in North Borneo where he flew the famous Nepalese Ghurkha Rifle Troops in combat roles against the insurgent Indonesian forces.

He retired from the RAF in 1966 and only flew a little more selling light aircraft. He then became a pet store owner with his wife Fay, and took up real estate investing until later retirement....Looking back he had numerous near fatal flying incidents which he was blessed to survive, even though he was the most proficient of pilots....

I can attest to all this as I am writing this and I wouldn't be here, nor my sister and two brothers to write a story if my Dad hadn't survived being shot down over Germany.

His life story is available from him writting 'More Lives than a Cat' by Dorrance Publishing (US).

Russell Cammell.

Thanks to Steve Jones we can share this E.newspaper article published in The Comet.net on 23 July 2019, an article by Jacob Thorburn, Photo by Alan Millard.

Lancaster LM616Commemorative memorial unveiled in Great Offley for WWII plane crash victims.

A commemorative stone was unveiled in Great Offley at the weekend, memorialising those killed in a nearby aircraft crash 75 years ago.

On July 18, 1944, a Lancaster Bomber crashed into West End Farm, Offley, killing all on board and three residents. And 75 years on, the event has been commemorated at the crash site with a memorial service.

More than 40 people attended Sunday's event, which was led by county and district councillor David Barnard, members of the armed forces and Angela Richardson, the person who pushed for the plaque installation.

Commissioned by Offley Memorials, the memorial was made in just two weeks.

Hayley Ayres, director of Offley Memorials, said: "The emblem is particularly intricate and has been painstakingly hand-painted.

"Being the seventh generation of our family to live in Offley it was a huge honour to be commissioned to make this memorial."

A previous attempt to get a permanent tribute installed was rebuffed by Offley Parish Council in 2014.

Lancaster LM616Lancaster LM616On 22 July, Steve Jones send us following photo's.

Thank you to Flt Lt Neil Bing from 115 Squadron RAF Wittering for attending and unveiling the memorial stone in memory of the crew and civilians killed in the Lancaster bomber crash in Great Offley 75 years ago.... There names will live forever more.

This crew crasched om 18th July 1944 with Lancaster Mk III - LM616 KO-J.

Lancaster LM616Lancaster LM616Lancaster LM616
Ian LucasIan Lucas On 20/6/2019 we received following message from Russell Lucas.

My name is Russell Lucas and I am the son of Ian Lucas who was part of the 115 squadron as a young member and as an active secretary for many years, organising lots of annual socials.

I'm messaging because our father passed away a few months ago and I thought I should tell you. I've included a few pictures for you as he was.

Thanks. R. Lucas.

He was also the driving force behind the newsletter for 115 Sqn, "The Tiller".

On 6/6/2019 we received following message from Scott Reid.

My Grandad, Flight Sergeant R A Webb was based at Witchford, we were lucky he survived the war as Tail end Charlie. Many of his comrades were lost. We owe so much to these brave people.

Asking for a photo Scott sent this lovely picture,

Hi Filip, I'll ping you a photo of him and also my Grandma, whom he met when he got stationed at RAF Marham, Flight Sergeant Frances Haigh who was in the WAAF.

On 4/6/2019 we received following message and photos from Mark Ball, Who can help?

Dear Sir
I have attached a folder containing pictures of my late Uncle Douglas Cattle. He flew as part of 115 Sqn during the war alongside

F/O A J Osbourne Captain
F/S McNeil W J Navigator
F/S McGowan P Air/B
Sgt Simcox J W/Air
Sgt Cattle D MT/AG
Sgt Cowan J R/AG
Sgt Edwards H F/Eng

I would love to know more about his crew.
kind regards

Mark Ball

David MacLellanDavid MacLellan On 28/5/2019 we received following message with this photo from David MacLellan.

Hello from Canada,

My brother's wife has come upon a photo of F/O A B Campbell RCAF. He was a first cousin of her mothers and the photo has been in a drawer for many years.

F/O Campbell was KIA along with his entire crew flying Wellington BK274 KO-T with 115 Squadron RAF on a mission to bomb Fallersleben Germany on December 17/18, 1942.

I am involved with the Canadian Aviation Historical society and my brother asked me to look into F/O Campbell's history. I believe you do not have a photo of him in your records.

Thanks for all your efforts.
Regards,

David MacLellan.

Thanks to David we have a new face for our Roll of Honour, much appreciated.

On this mission also Wellington BK336 KO-D and his crew was lost, no survivors. The all rest at the Rheinberg War Cemetery.

David Stuart Williams25/5/2019 - Thanks to Bill Ross we have a new face for our Roll of Honour, he sent us a photo of his uncle P/O. David Stuart Williams, crew member of Lancaster - DS655 KO-W who crashed on 27/28 May 1943.

Just months before, on 17 November 1942 he survived a crash during a training flight on Wellington X9614 of 11 OTU.

He was the only survivor, and treated at Halton Hospital for severe burns. (info Aircrew Remembered).

Yesterday we added a photo of the only survivor of the crash of Lancaster DS655, Pilot F/O Cammell Gordon who became POW.

Lancaster HK542 On May 4th the Village Alken, Belgium and The Friends of 115 Squadron unveiled a new monument for the crew of Lancaster HK542 KO-J who were shot down 75 years ago.

We thank for the hospitality and the warm welcome to the families and guests of the council of Alken.

The monument was a design of our friend Dan Jonckers of PROJEKTBUREAU SIGNA N.V., Mechelen. He also provided a scale model of the monument for the families.

The story of the crew (PDF file) was read for all participants by Wim Govaerts, a authority on Lancaster and supportive friend of us.

We thank all who has participated to make this a successful and unforgettable day, thanks.

A photo impression taken by Wim Govaerts published on our Face Book.

Bram DermoutBram DermoutThe book "Despite The Elements", written in 2019 by Bram Dermout, brings the story of the British Avro Lancaster bomber and his tragic faith of the crew that crashed in Sint-Katelijne-Waver, Belgium 1944.

Lancaster Mk II - DS734 KO-Y

The book is writtin in Dutch, but will be available in English, probably november 2019.

As soon as the English version is available a correct price incl. shipping will be available.

You can order a Dutch version book via Bram Dermout, b.dermout@tracesofwar.com, for € 20, shipping is €3.

For each book sold, € 2 will go to the "display of memorabilia" in Witchford, former airbase of 115 sqn.

Photo taken by Lams Bob.

Robert Ryland ReidLancaster Mk II - DS655 KO-W

Thanks to Genevieve Norris we have a new face for our Roll of Honour,
(03/04/2019)

"Robert Ryland Reid was born on 24th May, 1914 to Frederick Reid and his first wife Agnes Jane Kimbrey (known as Daisy).
He had a younger brother Brian HenryNeville Reid who was born in Janunary 1923. I believe he was also in the RAF but I am not certain. I do not known if Robert was married".

Robert Reid and his crew members crashed with Lancaster Mk II - DS655 KO-W on 27/28 May 1943 on a mission to Essen, Germany.

Only Pilot G. Cammell, RNZAF, survived to become POW,

Sgt Baker Eric – age 19
F/O Cooper George – age 25
Sgt Parker George – age 32
F/O Pye Halford – age 23
F/O Williams David – age ?
F/O Reid Robert – age 29
lost their lives.

On that night 23 aircraft were lost - 11 Halifaxes, 6 Lancasters, 5 Wellingtons, 1 Mosquito.

Smith Kenneth VictorMason Eric ThomasLancaster Mk I - HK544 KO-U

Andrew Barrie sent on 04/02/2019 two photos for the Roll of Honour, thanks.

F/O Smith Kenneth Victor - Pilot - age: 21 - RAAF (L)
Sgt Mason Eric Thomas - MUG - age: ? - RAFVR (R)

The other crew members were,
Sgt Rutson George Jack - FE - age: 31 - RAFVR
Sgt Greener Thomas - Nav - age: ? - RAFVR
F/S Denholm Robert Russell - WOP - age: 22 - RAAF
F/O Skelton Ivan George - BA - age: 23 - RAFVR
Sgt Constable John Charles - RG - age: 20 - RAFVR

Lost without trace. Now remembered on the Runnymede Memorial.

Who can help us with photos of, Sgt Rutson, Sgt Greener and Sgt Constable ?

Sheppard Alan HenryLancaster Mk II - DS668 KO-R

We received this message from Valerie Redgate regarding her father Sgt Sheppard Alan Henry. (26/01/2019)

In 2010 my sister and I went to France to meet a historian who was interested in the Lancaster that crashed in his area in June 1943. He showed us the field where it landed and was told they still dig up pieces of the plane from time to time.

DS668We met Mme. Guimard whose father drove to Nantes with my father, Sgt Sheppard and Sgt. Trott

We met the interpreter of the resistance who was 90, his identity was changed to Felix Branger, he was 23 at the time. He spoke to us in English and even said he remembered our Dad when shown a picture.

We were shown the derelict farmhouse where my Dad was taken when the farmer found him. It was the son of Monsieur Voisine who gave my fathers flying boots to the historian a few years before we met. He gave them to us and they are now in the Tangmere museum in the bomber command area.

Pusey Frederick Ronald CharlesLancaster Mk II - DS630 KO-H

Graham Sturrock send (21/01/2019) us a photo from F/O Pusey Frederick Ronald Charles.
He was the brother of his mum Diana Margaret Sturrock (maiden name Pusey, born 14/1/1925 - died 24/8/2011).

F/O Pusey was one of a small number of RAF personnel entitled to wear both RAF and USAF wings (see photo) as he trained in the US and then stayed to train both RAF and USAF pilots hence he had to have his American qualification and earned there wings as well.

The crew,
F/O  Pusey Frederick Ronald Charles - Pilot - age 23
Sgt   Leonard Thomas Marshall - FE - age 23
F/O  Bruton Cecil Gilbert - Nav - age 23 - RCAF
Sgt   Howard Leslie Pinnington - WOP - age 32
P/O  Cable Skelton John Duncan - BA - age 19
Sgt   McKibbon Mervin George - MUG - age 30 - RCAF
Sgt   Corbett John Joseph - RG - age 20


Bruton Cecil GilbertHe and his crew crashed on their 3rd operation at Denmark, after a raid on Peenemunde.

There were never found and are remembered on the Runnymede Memorial.

Who can provide the other missing faces?

More info on Aircrew Remembered

George Desmond Sherwood Perry(Message 16 January 2019) I would like to report that my cousin George Desmond Sherwood Perry
dob 11.5.24 - known as Dessie or Desmond died last week aged 94.

He was a lovely man, and managed to live fairly independently until about 9 months ago when he went into a care home. He was very modest, and although we knew he was a rear gunner in Lancaster's who was involved in ops over the Ruhr. He was very reluctant to talk about this in any detail, and would change the subject very quickly if we discussed it with him.

I have found his log book, which makes fascinating reading, along with several photos copies of which I am sending to you. He started his air gunners trainings in Feb 1944, and this was followed by flight training and exercises until he started ops in October 44, including the flight over Cologne on October 30, when I believe many planes were lost. His last flight was Dec 27th 44. His tour ended on 19.1.45.

In total he did 24 ops and survived unscathed, which is amazing considering how vulnerable gunners were in the belly of the plane. After the war he returned to run the family motor trade business in Paignton Devon, but went on to take his private pilots licence in the 1950s, I believe he stopped flying in 1970.

His funeral is on 30.1.19 at 2:45, at Torquay Crematorium, an RAF standard bearded will be present.

Best wishes, Juliet Hartridge

Lancaster MkI - HK 595 KO-A crew,

F/O Rowe A. I. - Captain
W/O Shea L. - Navigator (AUS 429355 RAAF)
Sgt Hume G. - Air Bomber
F/O Currin J. - WOP/Air
Sgt Wilson J. - Mid. Upper
Sgt Perry G. - Rear Gunner
Sgt Cornett F. - Flt. Eng.

This Lancaster HK595 was lost on in a mid air collision with 115 Sqn Lancaster NN706 15 November 1944, there were no survivors.

Lancaster Mk II - LL673 KO-G

With Greetings from "Sunny Queensland" we received (04/01/2019) from Philip Martin Rodhouse a photograph of his half brother Sgt Raymond Arthur Rodhouse.

"My father was Arthur Laundon Rodhouse who married Constance Lever, of Northampton. The Levers where at that time major player's in Boots and Shoes. As there where several Rodhouse Boot and Shoe manufactures in and around Northampton at that time I can only imagine that the Lever family incorrectly assumed Dad was of that family line, for I can see no other reason that the union would have been allowed to start.

Constance died of blood poisoning after cutting her finger whilst slicing bread. Leaving Dad with Raymond Arthur and Peter Neville. Constance was buried in the Billing Rd Cemetery Northampton. Where, according to my other half brother Peter the only Bomb dropped on Northampton during the war hit her grave.

Dad then married Edna Irene Meeks, of Weston Favell, Northampton. Siring three more children Sister Brenda Irene, Brother Paul Godfrey and myself. Whilst I have no memory of Ray I was told that he held me as a baby just prior to leaving on his last mission.

Ray was 21 when he was K.I.A that was also his Step-Mothers birthday."

The crew was lost on 14 January 1944 during a mission on Brunswick, Germany.
There were no survivors,

F/L Christiansen John Horace - Pilot - age 25
F/L Vinson Ronald Anthony - 2nd Pilot - age 30
Sgt Rodhouse Raymond Arthur - FE - age 21
F/P Downer George Lionel - Nav - DFC - age 23
F/O Braithwaite Frederick Arthur - Wop - RNZAF - age 23
F/O Wright Claude Henry - BA - RNZAF - age 28
Sgt Kewin Alfred - MUG - age 22
P/O Boswell-Kitching Jack Lambert - RG -RNZAF - age 24

Christiansen John HoraceRaymond Arthur RodhouseBraithwaite Frederick ArthurWright Claude HenryBoswell-Kitching Jack Lambert