© Copyright 2019 My Site

HISTORY

Freedom is not For Free

Flight 853
16 December 1943

Flight 853

I

Background

This page is dedicated to the memory of the 115th squadron RAF, esepcially to the crew of flight 853, whom are buried on the cemetry in Heemskerk.


LEES MEER

II

The Crew


Marcus Seatter, 28
Alfred Cowdrey, 22
Ernest Downs, 21
Ronald Hawkins, 19
Islwyn Lewis, 21
Norman Newton, 23
Geoffrey Ray, 21

LEES MEER

III

The Flight

Ernest Downs log has been preserved.
His firts flight:
25 Mei 1943
His 25th flight on Decemebr 16th, 1943, was destined fo Berlin.

LEES MEER

IV

The Lancaster

The aeroplane







LEES MEER

Thought

When old men wage war, it's young men who die.

Seven young men, the youngest 19, the oldest 28, on their way through the night in an airplane with no comfort at all, heading for Berlin. Seven young men, entrusted with 6'400 kg of bombs, delivering destruction to win peace.
En route, their airplane exploded near the Dutch coast.
 
75 Years of peace in Europe. Don't give it up.

THINK MORE

Name: SEATTER, MARCUS
Initials: M
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Sergeant (Flt. Engr.)
Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Unit Text: 115 Sqdn.
Age: 28
Date of Death: 16/12/1943
Service No: 1461723
Additional information: Son of Mr. and Mrs. G. D. Seatter, of Oulton, Norfolk.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Row 1. Grave 304.


Name: COWDREY, ALFRED GEORGE ROBERT
Initials: A G R
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Sergeant (Air Gnr.)
Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force
Unit Text: 115 Sqdn.
Age: 22
Date of Death: 16/12/1943
Service No: 643825
Additional information: Son of Alfred William and Ellen Cowdrey, of Eastney, Portsmouth.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Plot 1. Grave 305.


Name: DOWNS, ERNEST JOHN HAMLIN
Initials: E J H
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Pilot Officer (Nav.)
Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Unit Text: 115 Sqdn.
Age: 21
Date of Death: 16/12/1943
Service No: 162544
Additional information: Son of Francis Richard and Amy Eliza Downs, of Bristol.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Plot 1. Grave 307.


Name: HAWKINS, RONALD
Initials: R
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Sergeant (Air Gnr.)
Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Unit Text: 115 Sqdn.
Age: 19
Date of Death: 16/12/1943
Service No: 1585262
Additional information: Son of Walter and Elizabeth Hawkins; husband of Beryl Joyce Hawkins.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Plot 1. Grave 306.


Name: LEWIS, ISLWYN
Initials: I
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Flight Sergeant (W.Op./Air Gnr.)
Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Unit Text: 115 Sqdn.
Age: 21
Date of Death: 16/12/1943
Service No: 1314450
Additional information: Son of Stephen A. and Annie Lewis, of Barry, Glamorgan.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Plot 1. Grave 310.


Name: NEWTON, NORMAN THOMAS
Initials: N T
Nationality: New Zealand
Rank: Pilot Officer (Pilot)
Regiment/Service: Royal New Zealand Air Force
Unit Text: 115 (R.A.F.) Sqdn
Age: 23
Date of Death: 16/12/1943
Service No: 416526
Awards: DFC
Additional information: Son of Thomas Henry Newton and of Lily Rose Newton (nee Reading), of Wellington City, New Zealand. Also served in the Wellington Regt.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Plot 1. Grave 308.


Name: RAY, GEOFFREY ARTHUR WILLIAM
Initials: G A W
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Sergeant (Air Bomber)
Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Unit Text: 115 Sqdn.
Age: 21
Date of Death: 16/12/1943
Service No: 1323244
Additional information: Son of Frank Weedon Ray and Ada Elizabeth Ray, of St. Albans, Hertfordshire.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Plot 1. Grave 309.

FLIGHT LOG

Ernest Downs

Ernest Downs was the navigator and he kept the logs. It was by far not his first flight. Twenty five times has this 21 year old already been in his Lancaster. What would it have been like? Leaving in the dark, returning with the first light, behind you a city in flames, before you the promise of freedom for the people whose houses you just destroyed. Freedom is not for free.

  Airfield Flight Take-off date Time Duration Target
1 East Wretham K 25-MAY-1943 23:00 3:40 Düsseldorf
2 S 27-MAY-1943 23:00 4:10 Essen
3 DS658 11-JUN-1943 00:30 3:30 Düsseldorf
4 22-JUN-1943 23:55 4:20 Baltrum (mines)
5 24-JUN-1943 23:55 4:30 Elberfeld (Wuppertal)
6 25-JUN-1943 23:50 4:10 Gelsenkirchen
7 28-JUN-1943 00:15 3:45 Köln
8 3-JUL-1943 23:59 4:00 Köln
9 9-JUL-1943 23:30 5:00 Gelsenkirchen
10 24-JUL-1943 22:55 5:05 Hamburg
11 25-JUL-1943 22:40 3:15 Essen
12

Little Snoring

10-AUG-1943 22:00 7:00 Nurnberg
13 12-AUG-1943 21:00 9:00 Milano
14 16-AUG-1943 20:25 8:30 Turino
15 DS720 23-AUG-1943 21:00 5:45 Berlin
16 DS657 27-AUG-1943 21:30 6:30 Nurnberg
17 DS782 22-SEP-1943 19:30 4:40 Hannover
18 23-SEP-1943 19:35 6:00 Mannheim
19 7-OCT-1943 20:15 6:00 Stuttgart
20 8-OCT-1943 23:30 3:50 Hannover
21 20-OCT-1943 18:15 6:05 Leipzig
22 DS777 22-OCT-1943 18:50 4:35 Kassel
23 Witchford DS765 3-NOV-1943 17:55 3:15 Düsseldorf
24 ? 1-DEC-1943 ? ? ?
25 DS853 16-DEC-1943 17:12     - Berlin

The Lancaster

The Lancaster from Avro Aviation was one of the most reliable and heavily used bomber planes of the RAF during the second World War. Records say 7'377 Lancasters were built and a documented 156'000 sorties were flewn. More than any other plane it represented the force in the name 'airforce' and its silhouette became familiar across all warzones in Europe. It also was the plane which was modified to carry the bouncing dambuster bombs, used to destroy dams in Germany. Read more about that here.
To many, the sound of the four engines when it flew over was the music of freedom.

General characteristics
The lancaster had a crew of seven: pilot, flight engineer, navigator, bomb aimer/nose gunner, wireless operator, mid-upper and rear gunners

Length: 21 m
Wingspan: 31 m
Height: 6.25 m
Empty weight: 16'738 kg
Loaded weight: 24'948 kg
Max. takeoff weight: 30'844 kg
Powerplant: 4 × Rolls-Royce Merlin XX liquid-cooled V12 engines, 954 kW each
Performance

Maximum speed: 454 km/h at 29'000 kg and 4'000 m altitude
Cruise speed: 322 km/h
Range: 4'073 km

(Source: wikipedia)

DISCOVER

Copyright

Fotos

Lancaster: Bombermuseum Canada

Other Material

Archief Ton van Herpen