Book of Remembrance - Volume  I


Flight Lieutenant William Lee Saunders

Royal Canadian Air Force

Son 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.

The 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 hours.

The 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 A.7767

Following entry is from The Canadian Virtual War Memorial website courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

J/22803 F/L W.L. Saunders is buried at REICHSWALD FOREST WAR CEMETERY, Germany Grave Reference: 12. B. 1.


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