115 Squadron

Despite the elements

115 Squadron
the Y's OwellsWelcome on the website of the Friends of 115 Squadron

Our aim as a small group of local amateur historians:

History – We wish to search and pass historical information, to try to link up to the future in a digital area, that way preserving and applying new found data in an effort to complied history’s unspoken answers.

Respect – We cannot pay more tribute to them who have fallen, than to pay respect for them. In our research, we always respect the family's wishes and also the privacy of those who are left behind.

Remembrance - We wish to ensure that the people who fell, military and civilian are never forgotten. There for, each year, we lay a wreath at the monument of a crashed Lancaster.

Education – We support initiatives as; school projects and private quests, enabling us to understand the reasons for the freedom we have today and look to the future in a positive manner.

Future generations must be reminded of what happened in WWII so that they never forget that their freedom was gained by acts and sacrifices of these men and women in history.

Members, Geert Bourguignon, Filip Doms, Erwin Sollie, Danny Van Den Broeck, Dirk Vermeulen. (last update 04/02/2019)

Losses over Belgium.
115 Squadron
Roll of Honour
and Aircraft losses.

1940 - 1941 - 1942 - 1943 1944/45/46
Cope Jack Edward,
evade from

Belgium to Gibraltar
New pictures – New faces.
2017 - 2018 - 2019
Old newsletters. The Tiller
The story of
"The Y's 'Owells"

Family Howell donating the
Y's 'Owells Emblem to the RAF Witchford Display of Memorobilia.

TV reportage & slideshows.
Newspaper clips/photos 2019

27 April - Presentation of the book "Despite the Elements" written by Bram Dermout.
photos from Bob Lams FaceBook

28 April - HLN - Remembrance Lancaster DS734, Sint-Katelijne-Waver.

28 April - photos from Bob Lams FaceBook

Bookshelf (8)
In memorian.
115 Squadron
P/O Cagienard Robert Roland
Pilot. serv. no. 174879
°1920 - +1944
via Fam. Jean & Alan Duke
Sgt. Eldrett F.
Fl. Eng. serv. no. 1397252
via Mellissa Shepherd
WO 2. Davison Ray
Rear Gunner serv. no. 2200204
via Davison Lian
All info and photos relating 115 Sqn during WW II are welcome, mail them to Filip Doms, the team thanks you for your effort.
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 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, e-mail, for € 20, shipping is €3.

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

Ray Robert Ryland ReidLancaster Mk II - DS655 KO-W

Thanks to Genevieve Norris we have a new face for our Roll of Honour,

"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.

Kenneth Victor SmithEric MasonLancaster 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.

Lancaster 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

He 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?

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.

Former posts 2017  2018 - 2019
Sgt Don Bruce 115 Squadron RAF   Jean Darley - My Fathers Website

Don BruceThe following articles and pictures on the website have all been written and supplied by my father and are all copyright to me as from 2008 when he passed away.
I convinced him that his stories should be shown to keep the history alive.
These are a few of the many memories that he has. I will add to this menu page as time permits.

115 Squadron Roll of Honour.

A total of 163 pages plus Glossary of terms used together with a Table of Contents which lists all names and all aircraft for easy reference.
There are also reproductions of 24 photographs each with an explanation.
The cost of the publication is £30.00 plus £4.50 postage and packing in UK.
Unfortunately I DO NOT NOW SEND ABROAD as postage is prohibitive. I would have to charge over £10.00.

All profits from the Roll of Honour go to the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund.