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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
115 Squadron - Fg Off. Eric W. Gibson DFC 410049 RAAF

Fg Off. Eric W. Gibson DFC 410049 RAAF

Above left to right: Sgt. W. Young, Sgt. J. Saunders, Fg Off. E.P. Maskell, Fg Off. E.W. Gibson, Fg Off. J. Stock, Sgt. E. Jones, Sgt W. Dawson. Probably taken after the 3rd April 1944 and before the 2nd June 1944. (Courtesy of Malcolm Gibson)

Note: It appears that Sgt. W. Young was a stand-in for Sgt. W. Andrews, the regular Rear Gunner.

His crew for his entire posting on 115 Sqn from when he was a Sgt. to being commissioned and promoted to Plt Off. except for two sorties when he had a ‘2nd Dickie’ aboard, comprised:

Pilot: Plt Off. Eric William Gibson DFC 410049 RAAF

Flt Eng: Sgt. J. Saunders

Nav: Fg Off. James Stock OBE, DFC 133771 RAFVR

Bomb Aimer: Sgt. E. Jones

WOp/ Air Gnr: Flt Sgt. Earnest Percy Maskell 410812 RAAF

Air Gnr (Mid Upp): Sgt. W. Dawson R84010 RCAF

Air Gnr (Rear): Sgt. W. Andrews


Above: The aircrew, standing 3rd from the left to 9th from the left, are identical to that described above. The others in the photograph are reported to be groundcrew from 115 Sqn. (Courtesy of Malcolm Gibson)

The photograph was probably taken after the 3rd April 1944 and before the 2nd June 1944 and possibly to record the crew’s tour completion.

Note: The airman, standing 1st from the left, is a Leading Aircraftman (LAC) with a light band (light blue) on his forage cap indicating he was aircrew under training who had probably completed his basic training and holding with 115 Sqn awaiting his next training course.


Crew Photograph - 1

Left to Right


Name: W. Young

Rank: Sergeant (Sgt)

Number:

Air Force:

Role: Air Gunner

Awards:

Service History:

The Operational Record Books (ORB) for 623 Sqn and 115 Sqn does not list Sgt. W. Young as having flown on Sgt. and later Fg Off. E.W. Gibson’s crews. Additionally he is not recorded as a regular Air Gunner on any of the crew complements listed for operations for the either Sqn during the tours of Sgt. and later Fg Off. E.W. Gibson’s crews.

Biographical Information:

DoB:

DoM:

DoD:

Burial:

Notes:


Name: J. Saunders

Rank: Sergeant (Sgt)

Number:

Air Force:

Role: Flight Engineer

Awards:

Service History:

Was on Sgt. Gibson’s crew at 623 Sqn as his Flight Engineer and therefore would have also have been posted to RAF Foulsham (1678 HCU - Lancaster B.II) on the 6th December 1943 and then to 115 Sqn at RAF Witchford on the 26th December 1943.

Last sortie with 115 Sqn was on the 2nd/3rd June 1944.

Biographical Information:

DoB:

DoM:

DoD:

Burial:

Notes:


Name: Earnest Percy Maskell

Rank: Pilot Officer (Plt Off)

Number: 410812

Air Force: RAAF

Role: Wireless Operator/Air Gunner

Awards: None

Service History:

Commenced WAGS Course No. 26 on the 28th May 1942.

No 1 Wireless Air Gunnery School (WAGS), Ballarat, Victoria.

On completion of WAGS was posted to No.3 Bombing and Gunnery School (BAGS) at Maryborough, Queensland on the 16th November 1942.

Was on Sgt. Gibson’s crew at 623 Squadron as his Wireless Operator/ Air Gunner and therefore would have also have been posted to RAF Foulsham (1678 HCU - Lancaster B.II) on the 6th December 1943 and then to 115 Squadron at RAF Witchford on the 26th December 1943.

He was granted a commission and promoted to Plt Off. between 21st May 1944 and the 2nd June 1944.

Last sortie with 115 Sqn was on the 2nd/3rd June 1944.

Last known unit was RAF Moreton-in-Marsh (21 OTU - Wellingtons) on completion of first tour.

Discharged from the RAAF as a Fg Off. on the 29th May 1945.

Biographical Information:

DoB: 23rd August 1912

DoM:

DoD: 3rd May 1980

Burial: Pine Lodge Cemetery, Grave Bansia Lea 475, Victoria

Notes:


Above: Fg Off. E.W. Gibson DFC (Courtesy of Malcolm Gibson)

Name: Eric William Gibson

Rank: Flying Officer (Fg Off)

Number: 410049

Air Force: RAAF

Role: Pilot

Awards: DFC

Service History:

Completed flying training in Canada on the 16th August 1942.

Posted to RAF Ossington (82 OTU - Wellingtons) on the 22nd June 1943.

Posted to RAF Waterbeach (1651 HCU - Stirling B.I) on the 23rd September 1943.

Posted to 623 Squadron at RAF Downham Market, flying the Stirling B.III,

on the 23rd October 1943. The Sqn was disbanded on the 6th December 1943.

Posted to RAF Foulsham (1678 HCU - Lancaster B.II) on the 6th December 1943.

Posted to 115 Squadron at RAF Witchford flying the Lancaster B.I & B.II, on the 26th December 1943.

Granted commission and promoted to Plt Off. with effect 3rd February 1944.

Last sortie with 115 Sqn was on the 2nd/3rd June 1944.

Posted to RAF Moreton-in-Marsh (21 OTU - Wellingtons) on completion of first tour on the 25th June 1944.

Promoted to Fg Off. on the 4th August 1944.

Posted to RAF Lossiemouth as an instructor on 20 OTU (Wellingtons) on the16th September 1944.

Fg Off. Gibson was awarded the DFC on the 7th October 1944:

DFC Citation: Pilot Officer GIBSON has completed a highly successful tour of operational duty. His determination has been outstanding. During one sortie while flying to Berlin his flying instruments became unserviceable owing to extreme cold, by skilful flying, he was able to press on and complete his mission. This officer has always displayed fine fighting spirit and great devotion to duty.

Posted to RAF Lichfield as an Instructor on 27 OTU (Wellingtons) on the 23rd January 1945.

He was repatriated to Australia on the 20th April 1945.

At his own request his appointment in the RAAF terminated on the 8th August 1945

Biographical Information: See Obituary for William Eric Gibson



Name: James Stock

Rank: Flying Officer (Fg Off)

Number: 133771

Air Force: RAFVR

Role: Navigator

Awards: OBE, DFC

Service History:

1438172 LAC James Stock was granted a commission and promoted to 133771 Plt Off. with effect 21st November 1942. London Gazette 17th August 1943.

No Record of his promotion to Fg Off. has been found. However, he was a Fg Off. on Sgt. Gibson’s crew at 623 Sqn, as his Navigator, so he must have been promoted in the intervening period.

As he was on Sgt. Gibson’s crew at 623 Sqn he would have also have been posted to RAF Foulsham (1678 HCU - Lancaster B.II) on the 6th December 1943 and then to 115 Sqn at RAF Witchford on the 26th December 1943.

Last sortie with 115 Sqn was on the 2nd/3rd June 1944.

Fg Off. James Stock was awarded the DFC whilst with 115 Sqn. London Gazette 14th November 1944.

After the war he remained in the RAF and transferred to the RAFVR Training Branch. He was promoted to the substantive rank of Fg Off. in the Training Branch with effect 1st April 1947.

He was granted an extension to his service by four years from the 14th March 1954. London Gazette 31st August 1954.

He was granted a further extension to his service by four years from the 14th March 1962. London Gazette 24th April 1962.

He was granted a further extension to his service by four years from the 14th March 1966. London Gazette 15th March 1966.

As an acting Wg Cdr. he was to be an Ordinary Officer of the Military Division of the said Most Excellent Order: OBE. London Gazette 14th June 1969

He was granted a further extension to his service by four years from the 13th March 1976. London Gazette 19th March 1974.

Fg Off. J. Stock OBE, DFC relinquished his his Commission, retaining the rank of Wg Cdr. with effect 30th October 1975. London Gazette 6th January 1976

Biographical Information:

DoB:

DoM:

DoD:

Burial:

Notes:


Name: E. Jones

Rank: Sergeant (Sgt)

Number:

Air Force:

Role: Bomb Aimer

Awards:

Service History:

Was on Sgt. Gibson’s crew at 623 Sqn as his Bomb Aimer and therefore would have also have been posted to RAF Foulsham (1678 HCU - Lancaster B.II) on the 6th December 1943 and then to 115 Sqn at RAF Witchford on the 26th December 1943.

Last sortie with 115 Sqn was on the 2nd/3rd June 1944.

Biographical Information:

DoB:

DoM:

DoD:

Burial:

Notes:


Name: W. Dawson

Rank: Sergeant (Sgt)

Number: R84010

Air Force: RCAF

Role: Air Gunner

Awards:

Service History:

Was on Sgt. Gibson’s crew at 623 Sqn as an Air Gunner and therefore would have also have been posted to RAF Foulsham (1678 HCU - Lancaster B.II) on the 6th December 1943 and then to 115 Sqn at RAF Witchford on the 26th December 1943.

Last sortie with 115 Sqn was on the 2nd/3rd June 1944.

Biographical Information:

DoB:

DoM:

DoD:

Burial:

Notes:


Please contact Aircrew Remembered via the Help Desk if you have any information to help in the identification of the airmen depicted in the photographs


Researched and complied by Ralph Snape for Aircrew remembered and dedicated to the crew and their families. Thanks to Malcolm Gibson for completing the identification of the airmen in Crew Photograph -1 (Aug 2022).

Other sources listed below:

RS 04.08.2022 - Update to crew identification and details for Fg Off. Stock

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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, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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