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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.


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115 Squadron Crest
15.11.1944 No. 115 Squadron Lancaster I NN706 KO-B Fl/Lt. John W. Davidson

Operation: Dortmund

Date: 15th November 1944 (Wednesday(

Unit: No. 115 Squadron ("Despite the Elements")

Type: Lancaster I

Serial: NN706

Code: KO-B

Base: RAF Witchford, Cambridge.

Location: Leverkusen, Germany.

Pilot: Fl/Lt. ‘Jack’ John William Davidson J/26633 RCAF Age 21. Killed.

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Arthur Douglas Ward Gillibrand 572714 RAF Age 23. Killed.

Nav: F/O. James Henry Powner  153204 RAFVR Age 20. Killed.

Air/Bmr: F/O. Charles Douglas Dowse 153656 RAFVR Age 23. Killed.

W/Op/Air/Gnr: F/O. Joseph Reginald Dunford J/38266 RCAF Age 22. Killed.

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Donald Nelson Page J/95462 RCAF Age 20. Killed.

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Kerry Milton Crayston J/95218 RCAF Age 20. Killed.

REASON FOR LOSS:

Took off at 12:41 hrs from RAF Witchford near Ely in Cambridgeshire to attack Dortmund. 177 Lancasters took part in this G-H attack (1) on the oil plant in Dortmund which had been classed as very accurate even though the raid took place with thick cloud.



This Lancaster NN706 collided with another Lancaster HK595 in a mid air collision, also from the same squadron. These were the only aircraft to be lost on this raid. The crew of the HK595 KO-A Lancaster flown by Sq/Ldr. Hugh Wilfred Castle were also all lost.



(1) G-H - A two station radio direction finder system - Instruments in the bomber measured its position from one station and distance from another. It could be used by up to 80 bombers from any one pair of stations. By using more than one pair of stations, multiple targets could be attacked at the same time without the aid of pathfinders and markers. Once a major part of Bomber Command was fitted with the technology, G-H became a most useful blind-bombing device.

Burial details:

Fl/Lt. John William Davidson. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery 4.B.7. Son of William and Helen Davidson, of 4 Dunedin Crescent, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Sgt. Arthur Douglas Ward Gillibrand. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery 4.B.4. Son of Douglas Edwin and Kathleen Margaret Gillibrand, of Whitley Bay, Northumberland, England.

F/O. James Henry Powner. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery 4.B.2. Son of William Henry and Florence Daisy Powner, of Stafford, England.

F/O. Charles Douglas Dowse. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery 4.B.3. Son of Charles William and Annie Laura Dowse, of Lincoln, England.

Left: 22 year old F/O. Joseph Dunford

 F/O. Joseph Reginald Dunford. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery 4.B.8. Born 8th May 1922. Son of Eli and Eliza Dunford, of Cabot Street, Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Fl/Sgt. Donald Nelson Page. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery 4.B.6. From Elnora, Alberta, Canada. No further details, are you able to assist?

Fl/Sgt. Kerry Milton Crayston. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery 4.B.5. Son of Georgena M. Crayston, of 2183 Bloor Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Enlisted June 1943.

Researched by Mike Harrison for Aircrew Remembered. Dedicated to all the members of this crew.

Acknowledgements: Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives and Fred Paradie - Paradie Archive (both on this site), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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Last Modified: 07 April 2015, 11:15