24/25 March 1944

Lancaster Mk II - LL730 KO-G

T/O Witchford 1844 - target Berlin, Germany.
Shot down by a night fighter during the outward flight was steered by F/S. Williams towards Sweden.
The a/c ran out of height, and only the B/A, Sgt. Meikle succeeded in abandoning it seconds before it
crashed at Ostseebad Rerik,12 kms WNW Kropelin, Mecklenburg, Germany.

This A/c ,LL730, KO-G, was brought down 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.

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

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 2200hrs.

Source: W. R. Chorley-Bomber Command Losses Vol 5, and Theo Boiten, via David Walker.

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 - 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.

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.

Williams Ieuan GlyndwyrWilliams Ieuan Glyndwyr Williams Ieuan Glyndwyr - Pilot

F/S - Service No 1415839



Son of

Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery - collective grave 14.L.1-11.

Source: CWGC - Photo: Find a grave by Uwe.

Morris James ArthurMorris James Arthur Morris James Arthur - FE

Sgt - Service No 1851391

Age: 19


Son of James John and Minnie Florence Morris,
of Pilwood Park, Bristol.

Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery - collective grave 14.L.1-11.

Source: CWGC - Photos: thanks to Ian Bawdon, Find a grave by Uwe.

This is my mother's brother who was in 115 squadron at
Witchford and the FE on LL730.

On 24/25th March 1944 LL730 took part in an operation on Berlin.

I have read that the bomber stream was fragmented that night
by exceptionally high winds and just after crossing the coast at Lubeck they were attacked by a night fighter.

My research has suggested that it was a JU88 piloted by Obstit Helmut Lent who made a log entry of a successful attack at
2200 hours near Lubeck.

The bomb bay immediately caught fire and although the bomb load was successfully ejected the bomb bay doors could
not be closed which I assume caused excessive drag.

The squadron records indicate that those who got to Berlin bombed from heights varying between 20,000 feet and 21,200 feet and so,
apparently, with at least some serviceable engines it is understandable that a decision was made to head for neutral Sweden.

Losing height rapidly must have been an issue and my uncle's pal, BA Eric Meikle baled out.
They had agreed a pact whereby if one baled out then so would the other but, alas, my uncle stayed on board and the
plane crashed within a few miles of the Baltic coast.

I have enclosed photographs of his log book in case they may be of interest to anyone and also an entry from a book that
has FE J. Morris as a POW which, as a family, we cannot comprehend as Paddy Meikle, as my family knew him,
assured my grandmother that all who remained on board LL730 were killed instantly.

Thank you for all of your work in keeping the memory of those who were part of 115 squadron so very much alive,

Ian Bawdon

Ward Montagu ArnoldWard Montagu Arnold Ward Montagu Arnold - Nav

F/S - Service No 977445

Age: 24


Son of William H. Ward and Ellen Ward, of Leyland, Lancashire.

Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery - collective grave 14.L.1-11.

Source: CWGC - Photo: Find a grave by Uwe.

Kearley John WilliamKearley John William Kearley John William "Jack" - WOP

Sgt - Service No 1396608

Age: 21


Son of Herbert John and Esther Elizabeth Kearley,
of Addington, Croydon, Surrey.

Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery - collective grave 14.L.1-11.

Source: CWGC - Photo: Find a grave by Uwe.

Meikle Eric A. - BA

Sgt - Service No 1545691

Age: - POW No 4011 Luft 1 Barth, released 25/4/45.


Son of

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

He was the only survivor.

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.

He 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.

Story and photo via David Walker, thanks.

Mr .Meikle taught me Wesley College NZ. in the 1960s. his brother Jim also.
The had a company called Dromorne linen co. Jim had a racing car powered by a pulse jet engine (like in the V1)
Eric told me how he jumped thinking he was landing in the sea, but it was ploughed paddock covered in frost.
I remember he always wore on his lapel the caterpillar pin signifying he,d parachuted to safety.

Hope this is of some interest. Ken Howard. N.Z.

Watson Thomas ColbeckWatson Thomas Colbeck Watson Thomas Colbeck - MUG

Sgt - Service No 1594037

Age: 22


Son of Maud Nancy Watson, of Eastrington, Yorkshire.

Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery - collective grave 14.L.1-11.

Source: CWGC - Photo: Find a grave by Uwe.

Howells RonaldHowells Ronald Howells Ronald - RG

W/O - Service No 1266769

Age: 35


Son of

Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery - collective grave 14.L.1-11.

Source: CWGC - Photo: Find a grave by Uwe.