115 Squadron 115 Squadron 115 Squadron

Posts 2020

Who can help? Simon Jones is searching for,

Hi have some pencil drawing of Lancaster Bomber K O R. (pdf file.)
This could be a mystery as could relate to any one of the planes.???
Only the signature holds a bit of this answer.
Could you pass these drawings on to any of the families and see what comes up? Or are any members of the squadron left alive that could help??
Also is there a memorial plaque at Bredfield for the one that crashed there ???
(22/23 March 1944 Lancaster Mk II - DS766 KO-R)

Several A/C. were coded KO-R,
1943
DS627 crashed 19/30 May
DS668 crashed 20 June
DS683 crashed 18/19 October

1944
DS766 crashed 22/23 March
LL667 crashed 18/19 April
NF960 crashed 28 October)

Contact via: friends115squadron@gmail.com

A 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 ?

Contact via: friends115squadron@gmail.com

Robert Ernest GouldOn 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.

DS55821 May 2020. Good Morning Filip and Friends,

There is some information about him,

the photograph I'm including in this email was used by the RAF Careers Service as a recruitment aid and that during the time when he was missing before the Germans notified the British of his capture, the Careers Office in Exeter had a cardboard cut-out of him in their window which my Nan would go to daily with my newly born father in her arms praying for his safe return.

I hope to research more about his Service Record and will keep you abreast of my discoveries.

Many many thanks
Moon Kinnaird

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

On 30 April 2020 we received following message from Mark Twiddy,

Hello, I am part of a team planning memorial to the crew of Wellington Z8863 (KO-G) which crashed on November 24th 1941.

Tony Richardson who is part of the team has already contacted you but I am trying to locate relatives for an invite to the unveiling.

The crew were Sgt. G. R. Bruce, Sgt. P. M. Taylor, Sgt. H. N. O'Shea, Sgt. P. G. Crosbie, Sgt. W. M. Evans, Sgt. E. A. Lawrence. Also on board were three ground crew, Sgt. J. Dix, Cpl. J. C. Fox and AC2. G. S. Wakefield.

Can anyone help or know any relatives of these crew members and at this time I only have a response from a relative to AC2. G. S. Wakefield after contacting local newspapers.

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.

Lancaster LL730On 28 April 2020, David Walker posted this photo of his grandfather Sgt. Eric Meikle and info regarding Lancaster LL730 - KO-G on our FB. Thanks David.

T/O 1844 target Berlin. Shot down by night fighter and crashed at Kropelin, Mecklenburg, Germany.

This A/c ,LL730, KO-G, was brought down (24/25 March 1944) by a Nightfighter who's attack set the bomb-bay/bomb-load on fire. The a/c could not maintain height and Meikle left it moments before it crashed.
The fighter is not identified but the crash site is given as Ostseebad Rerik,12 kms WNW of Kropelin.
Those who died were originally buried in Rurik Friedhof but were later, probably post war, moved to their present resting places in Berlin.

Theo Boiten's book on the Nightfighter war diaries Vol I states that it was possibly shot down by a Ju88 flown by Obstit Helmut Lent of Stab NJG3 for his 94th victory. He went on to claim 121 aircraft before he was killed in an aircraft accident in October 1944. His claim was near Lubeck at 2200 hrs.

The crew,
F/Sgt I G Williams,pilot, + age ?
Sgt J A Morris,F/Eng, + age 19
Sgt M A Ward, Navigator, + age 24
Sgt E A Meikle, Air Bomber
Sgt J W Kearley,W/Op, + age 21
F/Sgt R Howells, M/U Gunner, + age 35
Sgt T C Watson, Rear Gunner, + age 22

Sgt. Meikle Eric A. was the only suvivor of this crew.

He recorded the following in his Diary.

Attacked by a fighter crossing the German coast en route to Berlin, fire in the Bomb bay. He released the bombs and saw them fall away, Then set course for Sweden, however the bomb bay doors would not close and the aircraft lost height.

They thought they were over the Baltic between Germany and Sweden.

Eric decided to jump rather than possibly ditch in the sea in a plane on fire with open bomb doors. Against the insistence of his crew-mates, that they could make it to Sweden, he jumped at about 900m, while descending via parachute, he viewed the aircraft explode and crash.

Lancaster LL730He landed in a field bouncing from frozen furrow to frozen furrow while trying to recover his parachute.

The next day he woke up in a field viewing a farmer with a shotgun and was taken to the house to await the authorities.

A Luftwaffe officer told him that the rest of the crew were found burnt and mangled inside the plane about 4kms from where he landed. The engineer was the only one they could identify.

Eric ended up in Stalag Luft 1, Barth, released 25/4/45.

Also lost on this mission:
Lancaster Mk II LL694 KO-N, 7 KIA
Lancaster Mk II DS664 A4-K, "Werewolf", 4 KIA, 3 POW
Lancaster Mk II DS678 KO-J, 5 KIA 2 POW

On 16/4/2020. Graham Waterton send us two new photos.

the first was regarding his uncle, Flt.Lt. Brian Slade DFC who served with 115 between November 41 and July 42. The second photo was aboud the Davie Crew, see photo Wellington Mk III - Z1614 - KO-R.Wellington X3726

I spotted a post on the website posted in 2018 (I'm not sure why I had not seen it before) which shows this photo of 2 Wellington crews which suggested that it is crew of X3726.
This posted from Jonathan Cooper about Maurice Colclough. (Wellington Mk III - X3726 - KO-A)

I have always understand that this was one of a series of publicity photos taken by a National newspaper the day after the first 1,000 raid on Cologne on the 30th May 1942.

My Uncle Brian Slade is 3rd from the left and he left the squadron before the end on June having completed his first tour so I suspect it could not have been taken before the Duisberg raid on the 21st July 1942.

The aircraft shown is also not X3726 but my uncles regular a/c X3662.

These were taken, I believe, at Marham between 3rd and 12th July 1942. My uncle (the smoker) was in 115 Squadron so assume the others were also. Any ideas who the others were? I suspect they are all pilots. July 42 was a bad month for the Squadron … they lost 11 aircraft that month.

Flt.Lt. Brian Slade DFCFlt.Lt. Brian Slade DFCFlt.Lt. Brian Slade DFC

On 1/3/2020. Fiona Johnson send us a photo of her fathers crew. Thanks.

My Father John (Jack /Tug) Wilson was a mid upper gunner on a Lancaster in WW2, in 115 squadron
based at Witchford.

Sgt. Wilson J. on the far left, 3rd from the left W/O. Lenny Shea - A.429355 RAAF Navigator - ,
an Australian , from Queensland.

He finished his training in June 44, then went to 115 to fly in Lancasters.

Francis Leonard KennedyKristian Kennedy sended this photo on 28/2/20202. Thanks.

On the night of Feb. 24-25, 1944 LL701 of RAF 115 Squadron left RAF Witchford on a bombing raid of the Schweinfurt ball bearing factories.

My great-uncle, Sgt. Francis Leonard Kennedy, RCAF,(pictured) was the tail gunner on Lancaster Mk II - LL701 KO-F.

The crash site is unknown but likely the North Sea.

His crewmen: John Clement Hornby (Pilot)
Arthur Frederick Challinor (Flight Engineer)
Leonard Charles "Cyril" Casper (Navigator)
Kenneth Morley (Wireless Operator)
John Buller Colthurst (Bomb Aimer/Bombardier)
Gordon Lewis Ward, RCAF (Gunner)

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

25/2/2020. Thanks to Graham Waterton we received this photo,

This is the photo of the Davie crew. Taken spring 1942 at Marham.
(F/S. Davie crew dd. 25/3/42, P/O. Howard – 2nd Pilot, Sgt. Slatter – Navigator, Sgt. Boyle – W/T. Oprtr., Sgt. McLeod – Fr. Gunner, Sgt. Sproston – Rr. Gunner.)

As I mentioned in my post, after Davie was posted, Sgt Edwards became their skipper.
All were lost on the Cologne 1000 raid.

(30/31 May 1942) - Wellington Mk III - Z1614 - KO-R)

The only individual I can identify is the extreme right who is Sgt. Hubert Croston, the Rear Gunner.
(His last flight with F/S. Davie was on 19/5/42, with Wellington RX.1614 which was lost on the Cologne raid.)

Interesting that the largest man had the smallest place on the aircraft!

I would like to hear from you if you can identify any of the others, thanks.

Via Mark Every we received new info, P/O. Howard 2nd left, F/S. Davie 3rd from left, thanks.

On 21/2/2020 we saw following message of Tina Campion,

My uncle, Frank L.Godden was in 115 Sqd. at East Wretham.

He was previously in a reserved occupation but after helping recover victims of The Sheffield Blitz, he joined Bomber Command to train as a pilot.

He was the flight engineer and second dicky on a raid on Berlin 29/30th March 1943.

His Lancaster Mk II - DS625 KO-W was lost without trace with loss of all crew.

This was the first mk2 Lancaster to be lost in the war and the first Lancaster lost from 115 sqd.

My uncle was 22yrs old.R.I.P to all the crew.

Thanks via Klaas Visser from the Netherlands we received on 21/2/2020 a photo of the crew of Wellington P9286 KO-K.

Early in the war, on 17th November 1940 they crashed at Groetpolder nearby Winkel, no survivors.

Left to right: Sgt. Donald Larkman, Sgt. Frederick Core, Sgt. Malcolm Mott, Sgt. Robert Rodger, Sgt. Thomas Gostick and Sgt. John Carse Walton.

On this mission with target Hamburg 115 Squadron lost also, Wellington R3213 KO-S, no survivors.

Who can help? On February 3rd we received folowing mail,

Good afternoon!

I wonder if you can help me – my name is Dr Phil Marter and I am running a project to investigate the crash site of Lancaster DS793 KO-L.

I would like to start tracing crew family members, and I wondered if you would be able to put something on your website to that effect?

I would be more than happy to feedback any information I collect as part of this project.

In fact I will be speaking (in part) about this aircraft and her crew at the RAF Museum in London later this month.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give,

With best wishes,
Dr Phil Marter (University of Winchester)

Who can help? On January 30th we received folowing mail from Tony Richardson

Dear Sir/Madam,

I'm enquiring to see if you may be able to help me please.

Our department is currently making plans for a memorial to a crew lost on the 24th November 1941 who were flying a wellington from 115 squadron.

I'm trying to find a picture of Wellington Z8863 KO-G which crashed at night during a non ops flight, but ao far have had no sucess in tracking a picture down.

Would you be able to help me out please.

Yours sincerely,
Tony Richardson

Wellington Z8863Wellinton Z8863