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Thread: 115 Squadron Shot down 24 March 1944

  1. #1
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    Default 115 Squadron Shot down 24 March 1944

    I was wondering if anyone can help?

    The following crew were shot down whilst in aircraft George of 115 Sqn on a mission to Berlin.

    Sgt Taff Williams (Pilot) Ieuan Glyndwyr
    Sgt Ward (Navigator) Montagu Arnold
    Sgt Morris (Engineer) James Arthur
    F.S Howells (Rear Gunner) Ronald
    Sgt Watson
    F.S. Eric Meikle
    ?

    Eric Meikle was my sister in laws father. 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. They set course for Sweden, bomb bay doors would not close and they lost height. Pilot called out "something something ditching". They thought they were over the Baltic between Germany and Sweden. Eric decided to jump raher than ditch in the sea in a plane with open bomb doors. Jumped at about 900m and landed quite gently in a field. The crew are buried in Berlin.

    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.

    I am trying to research as much as possible for her. Does anybody have any info on the following:-

    who shot them down
    exactly where they were shot down
    any photos?
    missions flown at time of death by these men
    Eric did not know Watson or the other name I have yet to identify. I find that amazing, anybody know why that may be?

    thanks in anticipation

    Martyn Cole
    Last edited by a1rbus; 11th May 2010 at 19:11.

  2. #2
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    Hi Martyn
    From W R Chorley-Bomber Command Losses Vol 5 this a/c ,LL730, KO-G,was brought down by a Nightfighter who's attack set the bombbay/?bombload 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(there is an umlaut over the O in that name).Those who died were originally buried in Rurik Friedhof but were later,probably post war, moved to their present resting places in Berlin. The crew are given as :-
    F/Sgt I G Williams,pilot
    Sgt J A Morris,F/Eng
    Sgt M A Ward, Navigator
    Sgt E A Meikle, Air Bomber
    Sgt J W Kearley,W/Op
    F/Sgt R Howells, M/U Gunner
    Sgt T C Watson, Rear Gunner
    The crew duties are assumed from the standard way that Chorley lists them in his books but he does point out that it is not absolutely certain that his sources are 100% accurate
    It would not be impossible for a crew to have comparative strangers on board for a given Op even though the tendency was to keep established crews together.The "new" men may simply have been short term replacements for others on leave,sick, injured or any other reason that made them unavailable.A look through the 115 Sqn ORB may give some indication of who were the more regular members of that crew by looking back at previous Ops,if the crew names were recorded
    Regards
    Dick
    Last edited by Dick; 11th May 2010 at 19:50.

  3. #3
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    Hi Martyn,

    According to Theo Boiten's book on the nightfighter war diaries Vol I they were a possible shot dowm 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 accinent in October 1944. His claim was near Lubeck at 2200hrs.

    I hope that helps,

    Regards,

    John.

  4. #4
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    Many thanks, it all helps! Any good books on Oberts Lent?

  5. #5
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    Title Helmut Lent: The Lent Papers
    Author: Peter Hinchliffe
    Edition: illustrated
    Publisher: Cerberus, 2005
    ISBN: 1841451053, 9781841451053
    Length: 304 pages

    Errol

  6. #6
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    Thanks Errol another one for the library!

    Eric Meikle after the war emigrated to NZ.

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