115 Squadron 115 Squadron 115 Squadron

Posts 2021

Wellington Z1606On 27 December we received a new face for the Roll of Honour.

John Weston send us a photo of his great uncle Sgt. Weston Cecil Stanley.

He and his crewmembers lost their lives 26 July 1942 during a mission on
Duisburg, Germany. On Wellington - Z1606 - KO-J.

The Crew was initially buried at Krefeld in the Houptfriedhof Central Cemetery,
now resting at Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.

Thanks John, much appreciated.

Remembrance service at church and wreath-laying at war memorial.


Service of Remembrance at R.A.F. Witchford. -


Relatives and friends of ex 115 Squadron Airmen attended the Remembrance church service
at St Andrew's Church in Witchford on Sunday.

The service was conducted by Stuart Mitchell.
They were joined by four representatives of 115 Squadron from RAF Wittering.

After the church service, they gathered round the 115 Squadron memorial which is
situated in the memorial garden at Lancaster Way Business Park (formerly RAF Witchford airfield during WWll).

There was a short service and wreath-laying ceremony.

This service was conducted by Rev. Teresa DIxon and Stuart Mitchell.
They then visited RAF Witchford Display of Memorabilia.

The museum is dedicated to the men and women who served with 115 Squadron at Witchford and
75 (NZ) Squadron who served at Mepal.

Meanwhile, Duxford Imperial War Museum staged a 10,000 poppy drop from a Dragon Rapid as a Spitfire
completed a flypast and mini air-show.

Source: Ely Standard, November 16, 2021.


Herinneringsmoment in Alken, Sint-Joris, plechtigheid aan het Lancastermonument voor Lancastercrew HK542 KO-J.

"Lest we forget"

Lancaster hk542 Photos by Geert Bourguignon.

Video footage from Schoonselhof Cemetery Antwerp by Erwin Sollie, RAF 115 Squadron Researcher.

Music, "Remembrance Reflections" by Katie Sharma Gt. Gt. Niece of Dan Burgess Lancaster Pilot 115 RAF Squadron.

Wellington R3292 This picture from Sgt. Alan Jervis Pennington
was kindly donated to the Marham Aviation Heritage Centre by his family.

He and the Crew on Wellington R.3292 were killed in action 1st October 1940, aged 20.

Also lost on this mission was Wellington T.2549, 2 survived, 4 were KIA.

Info and photo via Mark Every, thanks.

We received following mail from Vivien McKeown, October, 20th.


I am currently researching my family history.

My relative Reginald Leslie Ames served in this squadron during the war
and was on a mission that crashed and he was taken prisoner of war.

The flight took off from Witchford on
25 Aug 1944 @ 20.28 headed for Russelsheim.
It collided with another Lancaster aircraft and lost both port engines.
The crew bailed out at 6,500 feet. He was taken prisoner,
and was imprisoned in Stalag Luft 7.
He was liberated I believe the following May 1945.

On his return to England he became a Volunteer reserve despatch rider for the
RAF but sadly died in a motorcycle accident 29 Oct 1946 aged 22 years.
He is buried in Cambridge City Cemetery.

That is about as much as I know, if you could offer any more information about his military career etc I would be most grateful.

His details are: Sergeant Reginald Leslie Ames Rear Gunner b. 1924 - d. 29 Oct 1946
Unit 115, AC Serial PD274, Service Number 1805664. ( Lancaster Mk I - PD274 KO-Y )
Imprisoned in Stalag Luft 7 Prisoner 690

kind regards
Vivien McKeown

On Sept. 18th. we received following mail from Ian Cameron Vancouver, Canada,

My father Frank Douglas Cameron (1922-2016)
served in the 115 during the war as a Lancaster pilot.

I interviewed him shortly before he died.

You may find it interesting and could post the link to your website if you wish.

Doug Cameron, (1922-2016) was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross
for his bravery as a Lancaster bomber pilot. In this video, Tales of an Airman,
he reminisces about his escapades while training in Britain and Canada and surviving
an aborted mission with a 1000 pound bomb aboard.

Produced by his son Ian. Cameron

The photo with the Cessna is taken on Father's Day 2004.

Dad flew for the first time in 50 years and added it to his log book.

On 23rd May, Roxy Base sent us following mail,

Hello Friends of 115 Squadron,
Today I found your website and I'm so sorry I didn't know about it before.
My late husband, Ray Base, was in the RAF in 1943-45 and flew in Lancasters as Flight Engineer in 115 Squadron.
He would have been so interested to know about other members of the Squadron and all the information on your website.

I notice in your Roll of Honour that the Lanc that Ray usually flew in (IL-D no. NG332) crashed on 1.1.45 with the
loss of all the crew.
Ray's last flight in that aircraft was on 21.12.44, just ten days earlier, and from 3.2.45 onwards he was in a new IL-D no. NG205.


Roxy Base

Raymond Victor Base. Sgt. Serv. No. 3010920 - Flight Engineer.
14.8.1925 - 2.3.2020

His biography, and logbook.
Base Raymond Victor Base Raymond Victor

Hello everyone,
Dave Saunders is on a search,
who can help?

Hi can anyone id this crew?

Message from Jackie Trott

Sgt.C.F.Trott - 2nd from right.
Crew photographed towards the end of the War .

Sobering GeorgeOur friend Wim Govaerts pointed out that in the new online magazine Flightlines a story was published regarding 115 Sqn Pilot F/l. George Sobering – DFC.

After some browsing I came across a obituary in The Hamilton Spectator – July 13, 2020, not from George, but his wife and their connection to the Canadian Lancaster project. Irene Sobering was instrumental in raising money to restore Lancaster bomber.

Irene Sobering didn't swing a hammer or a drill, but she was just as important to getting Hamilton's Lancaster bomber into the air as any mechanic.

Sobering and her husband George (+2007) were the big wings behind the Lancaster Support Group. which raised money into making the plane — named for Pilot Officer Andrew Mynarski for his heroism over the skies of Europe in 1944 — flyable again in 1988. Mynarski was awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously for his effort to try and save a fellow crew member in a burning Lancaster.

The plane, built in 1945 in Malton, had seen service in patrol on the East Coast, but had been mounted on a pedestal in Goderich for over a decade before it came to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Mount Hope for restoration in 1977.

Irene Sobering, who volunteered with her husband at the museum starting in 1985, was the matriarch of the support group. Both she and her husband served with the RCAF during the war and were married in London shortly before V-E Day in 1945.

In a 2008 Spectator article marking the 20th anniversary of the restored Lancaster's first flight on Sept. 24, 1988, Norman Etheridge (known as Norman the Foreman for overseeing the restoration) called the Soberings "key volunteers" on the project.

Sobering Irene"They brought in thousands and thousands of dollars to pay for this job because nobody else gave us any money," he said. "The government didn't give us any money. It was all on a voluntary basis."

Sobering, who still volunteered at the museum two days a week, died May 20 at St. Joseph's Hospital. The Jerseyville resident was 99. The museum paid homage to Sobering, also noting the wartime romance between her and her husband that resulted in a marriage that lasted more than six decades.

"They were married in the remains of a bombed-out church," the CWHM said in a May 26 tweet.

"After settling in Hamilton after the war, Irene and George became instrumental members of the Lancaster Support Group and were heavily involved in raising funds for the restoration of our Lancaster. "Irene remained a museum volunteer for the rest of her life and sadly passed away just last week at 99 years young."

In the book "Mynarski's Lanc" by Bette Page, she called Irene Sobering a stalwart in the support group and noted "her undying enthusiasm and hard work in all areas of fundraising, and in particular for the way she managed to organize the catering for any visiting group, no matter how large or on how short notice."

The Lancaster, one of only two still flying in the world, (the other is in Great Britain), is also called Vera because of the call letters VRA. Sobering's son Donald recalled telling his parents in a casual conversation about a friend who told him about this plan to restore the Lancaster at the museum.

"And that was that," he said with a laugh. "They latched on to it and became part of it."

Derek Paston-Brown Mike Green visited the Dulwich College in South London,
and found this information in the College War Record 1939-1945.

F/O. Derek Paston-Brown, (Lancaster Mk II - DS668 KO-R)

Born March 28, 1920.
At Dulwich he was a Rover Scout and A.S.M. and went to Emmanuel College,
Cambridge, with an open scholarship in Modern Languages.

In 1939 he was elected to the Charles Oldham Shakespeare Scholarship, in the English Tripos, Part I,
he was placed in Class II, and the following year in Part II, he took First Class Honours and was
awarded a research Studentship at Christ's College.

He joined the R.A.F.V.R. in 1941 and carried out his training in Arizona.
After getting his wings and commission he became pilot of a Lancaster.

He was posted as missing on June 20, 1943, after an operational flight, and as all his crew were saved it
looks as if he was able to keep the plane going long enough for the crew to bale out, but was not himself
able to get out in time before the crash.

He is buried at Ingrandes, Maine-et-Loire, where he was shot down.

We received on may 12th 2021 following from Trott Tony,

The details regarding Pilot officer Brown on the 115 squadron website are incorrect.

After laying mines at la Rochelle (a market gardening mission) he climbed for height to avoid flak despite the F/Eng.,
F/S. Trott telling him to stay low to avoid night fighters and was shot and seriously injured.

He was unconscious at this time and was thrown out of the aircraft on a static line by F/S. Trott and landed face down
unconscious in water and drowned.

The crew with the exception of F/S. Trott were a relatively new crew with limited operational flight time.

F/S. Trott was awaiting the paperwork to come through for his promotion at the time of this mission and was only on this mission
because he volunteered for the mission to replace their regular F/Eng. who was LMF ie lack of moral fibre and refusing to fly.

The crew that F/S. Trott normally flew with had completed a tour of duty and were due to be sent to become a training crew.

F/S. Trotts' regular pilot was officer Plum whom went onto become a mosquito pilot.

Upon bailing out of the aircraft F/S. Trotts parachute was ripped because the Radio operator had not retracted the radio antenna.

Also the Navigator upon entry to the aircraft threw his parachute onto the bunk of the aircraft and failed to place it in the
correct position in a rack next to his station.

His parachute was placed into its correct position by the F/Eng.
So when the aircraft was going down he was panicking It was in fact the F/Eng. who kept the aircraft flying whilst the crew bailed out.

F/S. Trott was able to evade capture with the assistance of the local resistance one of whom was the local veterinarian another a
young woman named Mimi and a leader of the local resistance named Noel Bredeaux who was captured and tortured by the gestapo.

He also survived the war and lived in St Nazaire until his death in the 1990s.

Riddle TrevorMonday 26 April 2021, Geoff Riddle wrote,

Just to say hi from down under.

My father (Sgt. Riddle Trevor - Mid upper Gunner - 05.10.1924 - 22.07.2011)
was the only Englishman onboard a crew of Aussies.
After the war he came down under and met my mother the cousin of one of the crew,

and the rest is history.

Harry BeckettOn the 13th April Pierre Lagacé send the following message,

I just had to find more about Harry Beckett, one LAC who earned his
observer wings and survived.

Harry Beckett died on January 7, 1980 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
He was 69 years old. Harry was born on August 12, 1910 in Hull, Yorkshire, England.
His parents were Frank Beckett and Mary Shepherdson.
He married Patricia Viola Flanagan.

Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross
No.115 Squadron.
Award effective 1 July 1943 as per London Gazette dated 9 July 1943
and AFRO 1724/43 dated 27 August 1943.

As navigator this officer has completed numerous sorties over enemy territory.
These have included flights in such heavily defended objectives as Hamburg,
Berlin and Essen and several long distance missions to such places as Spezia and Turin.
Flying Officer Beckett has always displayed a most commendable enthusiasm for operations and
great courage in the face of the enemy.

For more info see the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan website.

Lancaster LL7306th April 2021, Thanks to Ian Bawdon we have a new face for the Roll of Honour,
Sgt. Morris James Arthur.

This is my mother's brother who was in 115 squadron at Witchford and the F/E. on
Lancaster Mk II - LL730 KO-G and was shot down on 24/25 March 1944.
Only Sgt. Meikle - B/A. survived.

4 aircraft went missing on this dramatic night:

Lancaster Mk II - DS678 KO-J, 5 KIA, 2 POW,
Lancaster Mk II - LL694 KO-N, 7 KIA,
Lancaster Mk II - DS664 A4-K, "Werewolf", 4 KIA, 3 POW.

On 26 April 2021, we received mail from Ruby Collins,

Huge thanks to whoever posted this picture. Our Dad - Peter Mitchell - is the Mid Upper Gunner. Would love to know if you've any others of him?

My twin boys didn't meet him - they would have adored each other - so incredibly poignant to find this picture - we've never seen it before!

On 17th March 2021 we received from Geoff Milner following pictures from
his Dad and his crew,

First picture taken on air raid shelter at RAF Witchford early 1945,

from left to right Front row:

F/Sgt. John Edward Milner - Co Pilot/Flight Eng.,
Sgt. Albert Bevan A. - Rear Gunner,
F/O. Bob Leonard R. H. - Wireless Operator,
W/O. Hugh Hernan - Pilot,

Back row:

Sgt. William Pollock - Navigator,
Sgt. Pete Mitchell - Mid Upper Gunner,
F/S. Junior Fellows - Bomb Aimer.

Second photo taken in front of one of their Lancs at Witchford, with ground crew and Land girl.

Third picture Dad training on Lancs.

regards Geoff Milner

Daniel burgessWe received following photos and obituary from Katie Emily Sharma
regarding her great, great Uncle, Daniel George "Buzz" Burgess.

During the war Dan flew many different aeroplanes including Stirlings, Wellingtons and Halifax.

He was with 115 Squadron and flew Lancaster bombers completing 54 missions and was
awarded the D.F.C. He was known as Buzz to his crew.

Dan was always very modest about his war efforts.

Following the war he also flew Halifax ex bombers on the Berlin airlift.

A quote taken from his colleague Stan wards book describes how in 1953 he started to restore Ipswich airport.

"The place was quite derelict by then and a considerable amount of work was required in getting it up to the standard required for a passenger
terminal and for licensing as a public aerodrome. This task was in the hands of Dan Burgess."

He goes on to write "One of nature's gentlemen and one of the calmest men I ever met, Dan directed and worked as leading hand in demolishing,
re-building, re-wiring and plumbing to say nothing of the enormous administrative task in getting an airport operational for scheduled passenger service.

After re-opening Dan remained as manager and pilot with which he combined a task he loved, of a farmer to the 160 acres put down to corn,
sugar beet and potatoes, all of which helped to make Ipswich one of the few financially viable airports at that time.

Passengers and friends were frequently seen in a packed lobby moving out of the way of a filthy farmer who had come off a farm tractor.
Little did they know that this was the pilot of the aeroplane they were about to board, and that he had come in with just enough time to
shower and change into his immaculate blue uniform".

Dan was a fit and active man who played squash well into his eighties but said he found it difficult to find somebody to play
with as his friends had given up playing and the younger ones didn't like being beaten by an older man!

After leaving Ipswich airport he ran a tarmac lorry business and later ran a paper round, getting up at 4a.m. to sort papers.

He was quite a remarkable man, though of very highly and respected by all who knew him.

Kenneth DunnWe received on 14th March 2021, following mail from Kevin Thornton,

I have come into possession of the medals and log books of pilot WK
(Kenneth) Dunn who joined 115 Squadron 30/11/1941.

He flew with the squadron until his tour expired in 9 July 1942, then to 15 OTU.

He received the DFM after his Wellington was attacked by a night fighter on the 29/06/1942,
and by his flying skills managed to allow his gunners to drive the aircraft off.

I have photographs of the damaged Wellington, and a group photo when he was training.

He later served a second tour in 40 Squadron in Italy, where he received the DFC.

I feel privileged to have possession of the medals and log books of a very brave man,
and thought it may be of interest to you.

Dunn Kenneth More information and photos

On the 10th of march 2021, Jane Guest, sent us flowing photos, thanks

Charles EnglandSquadron 115, taken June 1944,
with my father Charles England
second from the right on the back row. Charles England


End of tour photo, 115 Squadron,
taken July 1944 with my
father Charles England, an air bomber, second from the right.

The last mission was on 11th/12th June 1944, target Nantes, France on Lancaster KO-S ND.900.

The crew,

S/L. C. D. RASH, DFC - Captain
P/O. J. GREEN - Navigator
F/S. ENGLAND, C. - Air Bomber
F/S. RICE, S. - Rear Gunner
F/S. PITCHER, A. - Mid Upper
Sgt. SEPHTON, B. - Flt. Eng.

Lancaster LL701We received on 11 February 2021 following post from Chris Thomson,

Hello from Montreal!

We have recently come into friendship with the Grandson (Chris Sandham-Bailey) of Kenneth Morley Sgt - Service No 1531492, He was the wireless operator on LL701.

Lancaster Mk II - LL701 KO-F

In his memory can you please add the attached picture of him to the page? The credit should go to his grandson Chris Sandham-Bailey please.

Also we have started a facebook group looking for the family of the crew from LL701.

Thank you and stay safe!

Chris Thomson (great nephew of Francis Leonard Kennedy from LL701) Montreal, Canada.

Jean LeatherdaleWe received following said news from Paul Leatherdale,

Mum passed away on 16th Jan from COVID.

Best rgds, Paul

Obituary from Jean Leatherdale (Nee Clarke)

Died suddenly on 16th January 2021 at her home in Dell Rose Court, Norwich aged 92.

Loving widow of Sqn. Ldr. Frank Leatherdale DFC, and mother of Paul.

Survived by her brothers Gerald and Philip and sister Beryl.

No flowers please but donations may be made to Alzheimer's Research UK directly or via Shayne Stork Family Funeral Services (01603 702702).