Personnel Index - Detail
Sgt Randall became a PoW on his first operation.
An early image of Sgt Randall
30/31 May, 1942; COLOGNE (THE FIRST 1,000 BOMBER RAID)
The Squadron was able to detail 13 aircraft, but 1 became unserviceable and had to be withdrawn. The maximum effort required resulted in 83 Squadron borrowing 3 Manchesters from 49's Conversion Flight.
With a full moon beginning to rise, 49's Manchesters (along with 13 Lancasters from 83 Squadron) started taking off from Scampton at 22.50hrs. A record 1,047 aircraft were dispatched, of which sadly, a record 41 failed to return.
The Cologne attack was a dramatic success for Bomber Command and a great boost to the morale of the country. This 1,000 bomber raid, and the two that followed, would be a turning point in the history of Bomber Command. The publicity confirmed Bomber Command as one of the main forces taking the war to the enemy, and its commander 'Bomber' Harris would forever remain in the public eye.
P/O Philip Floyd (L7290) held his flak shattered aircraft steady whilst his grateful crew jumped to safety. Before the pilot could escape, the aircraft plunged into the ground instantly killing P/O Floyd and front gunner, Sgt John Smith. Those crew members who escaped by parachute landing in the Mulheim-Oberhausen area. The 2nd pilot, Sgt Randall RAAF, was posted missing, but the remaining 4 crew members survived to become POW's.
P/O P.N. Floyd Pilot (Killed)
Sgt D.E. Randall RAAF 2nd Pilot (P.o.W.)
Sgt J.R. Valentine NAV (P.o.W.)
Sgt F.E. Woodrow RNZAF W/AG (P.o.W.)
Sgt J. Smith A/G (Killed)
Sgt E. Probert A/G (P.o.W.)
Sgt J.F. Wight A/G (P.o.W.)