115 Squadron

Despite the elements

115 Squadron
Welcome on the website of the Friends of 115 Squadron, Belgium

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, Bram Dermout, Filip Doms, Dan Jonckers, Erwin Sollie, Danny Van Den Broeck, Dirk Vermeulen.

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 (11)
In memorian.
Marham Heritage Centre
Just Jane
The Lincolnshire Lancaster AssociationThe Lincolnshire Lancaster Association
International bomber command centre
Bram Dermout
Aircrew Remembered
Bruce JonhstonDiary of Bruce Johnston
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.
Thanks to Susan Middleton we can show you some photos of the lady's who served at Witchford, the mum of Susan was Minnie May Payne.
Donald Carr Odellon 8/9/2019 Jen Fischer send us the following question, who can help?

One of the letters from my Great Uncle Donald Carr Odell and some of the correspondence about the 8 Sept 1944 action. It was his first operation out of training. He had just transferred in and was on leave up to Sept 6.

If anyone has any idea where the graduation shot may have been from I would love to know.

PDF file, with more photos and letters.

Lancaster Mk I - HK579 A4-B was shot down on 8 September 1944 by Flak during a raid on Le Havre, France. And crashed at Le Havre.

Cammell GordenThanks to Russell Cammell we we have an update with his fathers logbook, October 2019.

24/5/2019 - Recently we received a Photo of F/O Reid Robert crew member of Lancaster - DS655 who crashed on 27/28 May 1943, there was one survivor, Pilot F/O Cammell Gordon who became POW.

Thanks via Russell Cammell we received a photo of his father Pilot F/O Cammell Gorden with following message,

I gave thought to something you could add to my Dads 115 squadron memory......My Dad spent 2 years in Stalag III, The great escape camp, after parachuting into Germany. As a result he learned to speak German, and was released in 1945.

He spent five years as a farmer on a place he bought, but earning a living was difficult. He missed flying so rejoined the RAF in 1951 and flew Mosquitos, then jets.
He was sent to the USAF to learn current radar to relate back to the RAF. While in the USAF he enjoyed project test pilot status on the new F102A. After two years he continued back to the UK and became a helicopter pilot in the RAF. He flew Air Sea Rescue in Cyprus then flew twin rotor Belvedere troop transport choppers in North Borneo where he flew the famous Nepalese Ghurkha Rifle Troops in combat roles against the insurgent Indonesian forces.

He retired from the RAF in 1966 and only flew a little more selling light aircraft. He then became a pet store owner with his wife Fay, and took up real estate investing until later retirement....Looking back he had numerous near fatal flying incidents which he was blessed to survive, even though he was the most proficient of pilots....

I can attest to all this as I am writing this and I wouldn't be here, nor my sister and two brothers to write a story if my Dad hadn't survived being shot down over Germany.

His life story is available from him writting 'More Lives than a Cat' by Dorrance Publishing (US).

Russell Cammell.

Thanks to Steve Jones we can share this E.newspaper article published in The Comet.net on 23 July 2019 with you, an article by Jacob Thorburn.

Commemorative memorial unveiled in Great Offley for WWII plane crash victims.

A commemorative stone was unveiled in Great Offley at the weekend, memorialising those killed in a nearby aircraft crash 75 years ago.

On July 18, 1944, a Lancaster Bomber crashed into West End Farm, Offley, killing all on board and three residents. And 75 years on, the event has been commemorated at the crash site with a memorial service.

More than 40 people attended Sunday's event, which was led by county and district councillor David Barnard, members of the armed forces and Angela Richardson, the person who pushed for the plaque installation.

Commissioned by Offley Memorials, the memorial was made in just two weeks.

Hayley Ayres, director of Offley Memorials, said: "The emblem is particularly intricate and has been painstakingly hand-painted.

"Being the seventh generation of our family to live in Offley it was a huge honour to be commissioned to make this memorial."

A previous attempt to get a permanent tribute installed was rebuffed by Offley Parish Council in 2014.LM616

LM616On 22 July, Steve Jones send us following photo's.

Thank you to Flt Lt Neil Bing from 115 Squadron RAF Wittering for attending and unveiling the memorial stone in memory of the crew and civilians killed in the Lancaster bomber crash in Great Offley 75 years ago.... There names will live forever more.

This crew crasched om 18th July 1944 with Lancaster Mk III - LM616 KO-J.LM616 Great OffleyGreat OffleyGreat Offley

On 20/6/2019 we received following message from Russell Lucas.

Ian LucasIan LucasMy name is Russell Lucas and I am the son of Ian Lucas who was part of the 115 squadron as a young member and as an active secretary for many years, organising lots of annual socials.

I'm messaging because our father passed away a few months ago and I thought I should tell you. I've included a few pictures for you as he was.

Thanks. R. Lucas.

He was also the driving force behind the newsletter for 115 Sqn, "The Tiller".

On 6/6/2019 we received following message from Scott Reid.

My Grandad, Flight Sergeant R A Webb was based at Witchford, we were lucky he survived the war as Tail end Charlie. Many of his comrades were lost. We owe so much to these brave people.

Asking for a photo Scott sent this lovely picture,

Hi Filip, I'll ping you a photo of him and also my Grandma, whom he met when he got stationed at RAF Marham, Flight Sergeant Frances Haigh who was in the WAAF.

Former posts 2017 - 2018 - 2019