Flight Sergeant Jack McDonell - 153 Squadron  

Flight Sergeant Jack James Lewis McDonell - RAAF

Flight Sergeant Jack McDonell was serving as Navigator on board Lancaster Mk.III PB 636  coded P4-D during an operation to Duisberg on January 22/23, 1945. The aircraft left Scampton at 1645hrs but failed to return. The entire crew was lost.

The crew consisted of:

Name Service Trade Hometown  Age
F/L Alan Jones  RAF Pilot Stoke Newington,London 26
Sgt Sydney James  RAFVR Flight Engineer Wimbledon, Surrey 39
F/Sgt Jack McDonell  RAAF Navigator Ormond,Victoria,Australia 20
F/Sgt Charles Cullen  RAFVR Bomb Aimer Lincoln 24
W/O John Bateup  RAAF W/Op/AG Gunning,NSW 22
Sgt Reuben Trafford  RAFVR M/U Gunner Scunthorpe,Lincs 20
Sgt Albert Simpson  RAFVR Rear Gunner  Preston,Lancs. 24

Flight Sergeant Jack James Lewis McDonell RAAF was born on the 19th July 1924 at Boronia,Victoria,Australia to Mr and Mrs Alexander McDonell.He was the third child, having two older siblings, Bill and Betty and two younger, Lola and Barry. He was nicknamed “Coogan” by his family and friends after the actor, Jackie Coogan.Educated at Melbourne High School, he was an excellent scholar , playing  cricket  and  was a member of the school rowing team. He worked as an audit clerk before enlisting in the RAAF on the tenth of October 1942 aged 18.

Some of his training was done in Canada and he was awarded his Navigator’s badge on the 14th of October 1943.After serving in 166 Squadron, he joined 153 squadron on the 7th of October 1944.

All of the crew are remembered on the Runnymede memorial, Warrant Officer Bateup is also remembered on the Roll of Honour for Gunning, N.S.W.

  Photo courtesy of Colin Rees (nephew), research by Linda Ibrom.