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Stan Jones, Radio Operator

Stan Jones served with the RAF/RCAF for two years during WWII.


In the final days of the war, when he had just turned 20 years old, he and six other gutsy young men were chosen for a special test mission, which would serve to launch the Allies’ ambitious “Operation Manna.” On April 29, 1945. Stan and his crew mates, led by Pilot Bob Upcott, flew their Lancaster, Bad Penny, to Holland just a few hundred feet above the heads of German gunners.

Stan served as the Wireless Operator and recalls that the Germans “said they wouldn’t shoot – but they wouldn’t sign any papers.” Obviously, Stan and the crew of Bad Penny risked their lives in this daring guinea pig mission.

The crew’s goal was to drop bundles of food in strategic spots to help feed the Dutch. This dangerous first mission by Bad Penny proved to be a resounding success. Lancaster squadrons in Operation Manna were able to dispatch 6,684 tons of food supplies to the Dutch in May 1945. Jones served 24 missions in Bad Penny.

A native of London, England, Jones moved to Windsor in 1982 after meeting his wife Helen on previous trips, while visiting Upcott, a Windsor native.

Stan passed away in May of 2009. A granddaughter recalls: "My Grampa Stan was the bravest man I've ever known, and yet he was also the most humble. He was an inspirational story teller, holding audiences captive with his words. As a little boy, Stan often listened to his mother play the piano for the silent movies. He remembered in detail the theatres, the people, the beautiful clothes they would wear. Even though he couldn't read music, if you gave him the name of a movie or mentioned a scene from pretty much any silent movie, he could play the piano part that accompanied it perfectly."

WATCH: Interview With Stan Jones and Glen Mitchell

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