Jack Randall

John Victor Randall

Born Liverpool 21st September 1917
Died off Boulogne France 7th December 1941

Sergeant Jack Randall 974663 served with the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve 61 Squadron. He died when his Avro Manchester bomber crashed in the sea near Boulogne France on the Sunday 7th December 1941 his body was never found. His name can be found on Panel 51 at the R.A.F. Memorial at Runnymede Surrey, United Kingdom commemorating the 20,000 aircrew from World War 2 with no known grave.This Memorial overlooks the River Thames on Cooper's Hill at Englefield Green between Windsor and Egham on the A308, 4 miles from Windsor. His name is also on the war memorial at Shevington near his home village of Appley Bridge in Lancashire.
Jack Randall
Jack at Yatesbury 1940

Jack Randall's aircraft was listed as missing on operations on the night of 7/8 December 1941.
L7494 had taken off at 17.42 from Woolfox Lodge. It was part of a force of 19 aircraft consisting of Manchesters, Wellingtons and Hampdens tasked to attack Boulogne. It was the only aircraft lost. The Avro Manchester aircraft exploded and crashed, cause not recorded, into the sea off of Boulogne.
The crew were

Squadron Leader John Lawrence RILEY 39620 age 26 of Sandyhills Glasgow ;

Sergeant Cyril Leslie WELLS 918373 age 22 ;

Pilot Officer Reginald ADCOCK 106142 age 30 of Redhill Surrey;

Sergeant John Victor RANDALL 974633 age 23 of Appley Bridge Lancashire;

Flight Sergeant John WILSON 747796 age 33 of Jordanhill Glasgow;

Sergeant James Benjamin LEIGH, RNZAF 40942 age 23 of Grey Lynn, Auckland New Zealand;

Sergeant James CRAWFORD 1379167 age 17 of Linton-on Ouse Yorkshire;

all were killed,
Sgt. Wells is buried in Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, while the remainder of the crew have no known graves and are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

Runnymede Memorial

61 Squadron

"Per Purum Tonantes"
(Thundering through the clear air).

Codes QR. Hemswell Mar 37-Jul 41; North Luffenham Jul 41-Oct 41; Woolfox Lodge Oct 41-May 42; Syerston May 42-Nov 43; St Eval (detachment) Jul 42-Aug 42; Skellingthorpe Nov 43-Feb 44; Coningsby Feb 44-Apr 44; Skellingthorpe Apr 44-Jun 45; Sturgate Jun 45-Jan 46.
Hampden Mar 39-Oct 41; Manchester Oct 41-Jun 42; Lancaster II Jun 42-Jun 46.

A.V.Roe Manchester Mark 1A Bomber

L7494 Mark : IA
Aircraft's Nickname: None Traced
Total Known Ops : 1 - Boulogne 7/8-12-1941
Service History:  Avro Manchester MkIA, 61 Sqn QR-?
Listed as : Missing on Operations night of 7/8 December 1941
Target : Boulogne
Crash Site : English Channel
Production Information:
Part of a production batch of 200 aircraft order from A.V.Roe & Co. Ltd. Manchester, to Air Ministry Specification 19/37 under Contract No. B648770/37 dated 12-37, and covered Works Order No. 5723.
The first 157 aircraft (L7276-L7325, L7373-L7402, L7415-L6434, L7453-L7497, L7515-L7526) were completed as Manchester Mk. Is and IAs (the latter from L7420), the remaining 43 as Lancasters. Deliveries commenced to the RAF on 31-7-40
L4954 was delivered to 61 Squadron on the 4th October 1941.
The Avro Manchester was a fine all-metal airframe marred by extremely unreliable Rolls-Royce Vulture engines, which were little more than experimental. It was a perversity of the Vulture engine that it would often deliver enough power to send the Manchester into the air, and then fail to deliver enough power to keep it there. More Manchesters were lost as a result of engine failure than by enemy action. Avro, refused permission by the Air Ministry to equip the otherwise sound Manchester with four tried and tested Merlin engines, scrounged a quartet anyway, tweaked the wing design, and the result was the Lancaster. No Manchesters exist today.

Thanks to Larry Wright for information on crew & plane.

Bob Randall's ( Jack's brother) WW2 Photograph Album.

This website (in German) has some good photographs of Avro Manchesters. http://www.luchtoorlog.be/manch.htm

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