Operation Manna
Interview with Sergeant Stan W. Jones  - Wireless Operator,     Lancaster 101 (Special Duty) Squadron, Bomber Command Ludford Magna, Lincolnshire, U.K. April 29th. 1945
Liberator of the Netherlands 



Regardless of pleas from the Red Cross and both the British Government and the Dutch Government-in -Exile, the Germans refused to sign a pact to permit planes to drop desperately needed food into Occupied Holland. Ultimately, the British informed Germany advising them that planes would fly a certain track, to a specific point, and drop food. Should these planes be shot down,  the Germans would be tried as war criminals.  Food supplies were already being amassed at RAF stations. Two Lancasters of # 101 (Special Duties) Squadron bomb bays were loaded with food.  Two crews were briefed to fly at under 500ft., to a specified area marked by a red cross and fly across the field dropping down to 50ft and opening the bomb bay doors. The sacks of food would bounce once or twice and come to a stop, to be collected by the Dutch police and distributed.
Sunday the 29th , after being held up for three days due to bad weather, these two planes left Lincolshire with food in their bomb bays and the crew with hope in their hearts that
they would reach the drop zone and return safely.  Over the Dutch coast we watched the coastal guns follow us across the sky. Fortunately all was well and we reached the drop zone in good time. It was well marked and the two planes were able to drop the sacks of food with no problem. It was now we had to make our way back home, which was no trouble.  I believe we collected just one rifle bullet hole. On our return to base, that afternoon over 200 planes, from other squadrons, made the trip over Holland. We ourselves made five more trips in the next week or so.  We will always remember the great reception we received each and every time. There were so may Dutch and English flags everywhere that it was quite overwhelming.



photo: July 5th, 2005
Early morning breakfast
Windsor ON