24/25 March 1944

Lancaster Mk II - DS664 A4-K

T/O Witchford 1848 - target Berlin, Germany.
Shot down by a Ju 88 which set the a/c on fire.
It crashed at Oberkirchen, Germany.

Source: 115 Squadron Roll of Honour by D. Bruce, W. R. Chorley, J. G. J. de Haan - info: 3 Group Bomber Command, book Chris Ward.

811 aircraft - 577 Lancasters, 216 Halifaxes, 18 Mosquitos - to Berlin.

This night became known in Bomber Command as 'the night of the strong winds'.
A powerful wind from the north carried the bombers south at every stage of the flight.
Not only was this wind not forecast accurately but it was so strong that the various methods
available to warn crews of wind changes during the flight failed to detect the full strength of it.
The bomber stream became very scattered, particularly on the homeward flight and radar-predicted
flak batteries at many places were able to score successes.
Part of the bomber force even strayed over the Ruhr defences on the return flight.
It is believed that approximately 50 of the 72 aircraft lost were destroyed by flak;
most of the remainder were victims of night fighters.
Needless to say, the strong winds severely affected the marking with, unusually,
markers being carried beyond the target and well out to the south-west of the city.

This was the last major RAF raid on Berlin during the war,
although the city would be bombed many times by small forces of Mosquitos.

72 aircraft - 44 Lancasters, 28 Halifaxes - lost, 8.9 per cent of the force.

Source: nationalarchives.gov.uk - Bomber Command - Campaign Diary March 1944.

ORB. 24th MARCH 1943.
18 aircraft were detailed to attack BERLIN. (Take off between 18.34 hours and 18.50 1/2 hours).
1 aircraft (A.DS.682 - Captain W/O. HEMMING L.) was hit by Flak in HAMBURG area,
port inner engine caught fire and starboard outer engine unserviceable. Bombed in HAMBURG area.
1 aircraft (W.DS.781 - Captain W/O. TREASURE G.) returned early owing to port inner engine becoming unserviceable.
Bombed Flak position in KIEL area.

4 aircraft were missing from the night's Operations, and, since time of take-off, nothing further has been heard of them.
Lancaster Mk II LL694 KO-N, 7 KIA,
Lancaster Mk II LL730 KO-G, 6 KIA, 1 POW,
Lancaster Mk II DS678 KO-J, 5 KIA, 2 POW,

The remaining aircraft identified the target by means of sky markers and red and green ground markers,
on which they bombed from heights varying between 20,000 and 21,200 feet.
Many crews considered PFF scattered, but definitely good on East side of city.
Glow of fire were seen for half an hour after leaving target. Photographs were attempted.

0226. 12 aircraft had returned to Base.

1 aircraft (G.LL.646 - Captain F/S. CHANTLER R. - Rear turret holed by Flak -
At FLENSBURG at 2131 hours 4 enemy aircraft seen falling in flames - 7 parachutes opened.)

landed at TANGMERE and one
(C.LL.624 - Captain F/S. CAMERON D. - due to petrol shortage) at LUDFORD MAGNA.

Newman James Arthur Newman James Arthur - Pilot

F/S - Service No 1575537

Age: 21

RAFVR

Son of Joseph James Newman and Dorothy Helen Newman, of West Bromwich, Staffordshire.

Hanover War Cemetery - grave 3. F. 18.

Source: CWGC.

Warren Edgar William John Warren Edgar William John "Bill" - FE

Sgt - Service No 1818249

Age: 22

RAFVR

Son of William Henry and Mabel Warren, of Hastings, Sussex.

Hanover War Cemetery - grave 3. F. 17.

Source: CWGC.

Cleary John P Cleary John P. - Nav

Sgt - Service No 1290709

Age: POW No 222494 Stalag 4B

RAFVR - South Rhodesian.

Son of

Source: 115 Squadron Roll of Honour by D. Bruce, W. R. Chorley, J. G. J. de Haan.

Burwell Geoffrey R Burwell Geoffrey R. - WOP

Sgt - Service No 1578621

Age: - POW No 3386 Luft 6

RAFVR

Son of

Source: 115 Squadron Roll of Honour by D. Bruce, W. R. Chorley, J. G. J. de Haan.

Hilder Charles Alfred Hilder Charles Alfred - BA

Sgt - Service No 1397651

Age: 23

RAFVR

Son of Mr. and Mrs. William Hilder.
Husband of Gladys Rose Hilder, of New Cross, London.

Hanover War Cemetery - grave 3. F. 16.

Source: CWGC.

McDonough John Joseph McDonough John Joseph - MUG

Sgt - Service No 1895574

Age:

RAFVR

Son of

Hanover War Cemetery - grave 3. F. 15.

Source: CWGC.

Alkemade Nicholas Stephen Alkemade Nicholas Stephen - RG

Sgt - Service No 1431537

Age: ┬░North Walsham, Norfolk. - +1987
Sgt Alkemade fell 18000 feet without a parachute and survived.
A combination of the slope of the ground, snow and tree branches broke his fall.

POW No 4175 Luft 3 . His story RAF Museum

RAFVR

Son of - Husband of Pearl

Source: 115 Squadron Roll of Honour by D. Bruce, W. R. Chorley, J. G. J. de Haan - photo ww2awartobewon.com