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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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15 Squadron Crest
07/08.08.1944 No. 15 Squadron Lancaster I NN700 LS-Q Fl/Lt. John P. Ball

Operation:  Rocquecourt

Date: 7/8th August 1944 (Monday/Tuesday)

Unit: 15 Squadron

Type: Lancaster I

Serial: NN700

Code: LS-Q

Base: RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk

Location: English Channel

Pilot: Fl/Lt. John Potter Ball 46312 RAF Age 24. Missing

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Dennis Reginald Ward 1460197 RAFVR Age 23. Missing

Nav: F/O. Edmund Leah 143567 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Air/Bmr: F/O. Bernard Hartley Wrenshall J/29687 RCAF Age 31. Missing

W/Op/Air/Gnr: F/O. George William Bovett 157902 RAFVR Age 29. Missing

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Albert Leslie Barkshire 1893996 RAFVR Age 37. Missing (1)

Air/Gnr: Sgt. ‘Geordie’ George Morrison 2210235 RAFVR. Age 19. Missing


Lancaster I NN 700 LS-Q was delivered to 15 Squadron on the 15th of July 1944 and apparently had not previously taken part in any key raids, but had 58 flying hours when lost. 

Taking off on the 7th August 1944 at 21.47hrs. from Mildenhall, in the aftermath of D-Day, to bomb one of the strong points in the Normandy battle area. 

Left: F/O. George Bovett Right: Sgt. ‘Geordie’ Morrison (courtesy Chris Cutting and George Morrison)

Thought to have been shot down by Ofhr. Johannes Naskrent (2) of 2./NJG2. Combat taking place at around 00.12 hrs. It crashed in the English Channel west to north of Fécamp.

Six of the crew are remembered on the Runnymede Memorial. F/O. Leah is buried in Walsden (St.Peter) Church at Todmorden, Yorkshire.

(1) At 37 this was well above the age normally associated with aircrew.
(2) This was the 3/4th victory for Ofhr. Johannes Naskrent his last, he was killed the following morning after American Lightning fighters attacked his Ju88 G-1 east of Coulommiers, France.

Burial details:

Fl/Lt. John Potter Ball. Runnymede Memorial Panel 201. Son of John Potter and Florence Clare Ball of Liverpool and husband of Dorothy Margaret of Liverpool, England.

Sgt. Dennis Reginald Ward. Runnymede Memorial Panel 239. Son of Reginald Townsend and Lilian Beatrice Ward of Ruislip, Middlesex, England.

F/O. Edmund Leah. Walsden (St.Peter) Church at Todmorden, Yorkshire. Sec. 2. Grave 80. Son of William and Alice Leah of Todmorden, Yorkshire, England.

F/O. Bernard Hartley Wrenshall. Runnymede Memorial Panel 248. Son of Fredric William and Maud A Wrenshall of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

F/O. George William Bovett. Runnymede Memorial Panel 204. Further information: Born in Camberwell, London, England. George was the second youngest and only boy of a family of five. Married to Jenny, they had two children, John, aged three and Jenifer who was a baby when George was killed. Much loved by his sisters, he was known as a prankster with a great sense of humour. His death had a devastating impact on all the family.

Sgt. Albert Leslie Barkshire. Runnymede Memorial Panel 224. Son of George and Clara Barkshire and husband of Annie Elizabeth of Morden, Surrey, England.

Sgt. George Morrison. Runnymede Memorial Panel 234. Son of Arthur and Florence Morrison of 27 Ainsworth Avenue, Belfast, Co.Antrim, Northern Ireland. Further information: Born in August 1925,he had an older brother William Arthur Irwin who served on HMS Starling under Captain F.J.Walker on anti submarine warfare mainly in the Atlantic, and younger brother Ernest. A sister Florence was a child when George died, now lives in Canada. He was known as “Geordie” by family and friends and was a keen billiards player. It is believed that he enlisted straight into the air force. 

Researched by Aircrew Remembered, researcher and specialist genealogist Linda Ibrom for relatives of this crew. With thanks to Chris Cutting, nephew of Flying Officer Bovett for the information and uniformed photograph and to George Morrison, nephew of Sergeant Morrison for uniformed photo and family information. Fred Paradie - 'Paradie Archive'. Theo E.W. Boiten - Rod J. Mackenzie "German Nightfighter War Diaries Vol 2" For Luftwaffe pilot information. Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Tom Kracker - 'Kracker Luftwaffe Archives'

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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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Last Modified: 23 December 2014, 22:56

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