|Jack Noel Francis was born in Reading on the 11th December 1921. His parents
were Edwin Francis and
On 27th October 1942 he married Eve Carter at Stoney Cross. They had three
Jenny, and Margaret.
He died, aged 63, in Gainsborough (on the 27th April 1983)
Second World War
|During the Second World War Jack served in the Royal Air Force
(service number 47316).
He was in 299
squadron, which on the 17th September 1944 played a critical part by dropping
paratroopers and towing gliders for operation Market Garden at Arnhem. Two days
later on the 19th September 1944 Jack was the radio operator of the lead
Stirling plane in 299 squadron, piloted by Wing Commander Davies D.F.C, leader
of the squadron. Seventeen planes of 299 squadron were resupplying the
Airborne-Forces in Arnhem with 24 containers and 4 panniers at drop zone "V"
just after 4:30 in the afternoon. All planes managed to drop their supplies, but
Jack's plane (either LK135 or EF319, and 5G-N) was hit by anti-aircraft guns,
and caught fire, but continued to drop their supplies before the plane crashed.
Jack managed to get out of the plane and parachuted to the ground. But he was
then captured and sent to the prisoner of war camp Stalag Luft 1 which was
situated at Barth, Germany, a small town on the Baltic Sea.
Many details of the plane being shot down are given by the
website of the town where the plane came down.
information was found on the Netherlands Military History web site in a
list of plane losses for 1944:
||Place of Loss/Crash
||W/Cdr P.B.N. Davies
Stalag Luft I
After being captured Jack was kept as a prisoner of war
5970) in Stalag Luft I, in Barth. His room was
South - Barrack 10 - Room 11
19.9.44 Stirling IV
299 Sqdn RAF W/C Peter Brian Newsom Davis DSO, RAFVR
- Pilot - killed
Dvr Richard Entwistle Ashton RASC
- Dispatcher - killed
F/Lt Fred Mason RAFVR - Nav/Bomber - killed
S/L Cecil Aubrey Gerald Wingfield RAF - killed
buried at Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery,
north of Arnhem,
T/O Keevil failed to return from
resupply mission to Arnhem
a/c crashed 16.33 hrs at
Schaarsbergen, north of Arnhem,
The dispatcher was from 63 Comp
W/C Davis, D.S.O., F/L
R.Lovegrove, D.F.C. F/L Mason, F/L J. Francis, F/L
Chalk, D.F.C., and Sgt Auld and
also a passenger S/L Wingfield from Group.
This Aircraft was seen to be in flames and crashed on the