Lieutenant William Lee Saunders
Canadian Air Force
of Laun A. and Minnie B. Saunders, of Fort Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan,
Canada, age 22, died on 03-Dec-1944 while based at Melsbroek, Holland,
on an armed recce into Germany.
following entry is from 439's War Operations Record Book (Form 540): The
last show brought a gloomy atmosphere when J.22803 F/L W.L. Saunders
failed to return from the operation in Germany. We don't hold much
hope for this congenial pilot who was quite a popular member of the
Squadron. He carried out 25 operational sorties making a total of
27:35 operational hours and giving him a grand total of 1197:55 flying
following entry is from 439's War Operations Record Book (Form 541):
The Squadron did a
recce south of the Munster Railway, turning east and then back north
to it where they discovered four trains, three of them with steam up.
They were effectively clobbered and the locomotives were left spouting
steam. Two of the trains were full of coal and strikes by cannon on
one of them left it on fire. In one attack, Blue Three (J/22803 F/L
W.L. Saunders) was pulling up when several bursts of flak (presumably
40 mm) were seen around him by Blue Four (F/) Sweeny). They both
climbed into scattered cloud above the target and upon breaking cloud,
F/L Saunders could not be seen anywhere. Soon after Blue One (F/L
Carr) reported a crashed aircraft on the ground at map reference
entry is from The
Canadian Virtual War Memorial website courtesy of
the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
F/L W.L. Saunders is
buried at REICHSWALD FOREST WAR CEMETERY, Germany Grave Reference: 12.
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