Book of Remembrance - Volume  I


Flight Lieutenant John Walton Saville

Royal Canadian Air Force

Son of William Saville, and of Florence Ilma Saville, of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Died on 05-Jun-1944 (D-Day-1) at the age of 34. F/L Saville was the Squadron's first member to be lost as a result of enemy action. Flying from Hurn airport - Dorset. His Typhoon was hit by flak and was unable to pull out from his dive on his bombing run.

The following entry is from 439's War Operations Record Book (Form 540): Cloudy all morning with a fairly strong breeze becoming milder in the afternoon with scattered cloud. An operation was carried out on a Radar Installation at St. Peter's Port on the Island of Guernsey in the early morning. Eight of our aircraft loaded with 500 lb. bombs participated. All bombs appear to have burst in or near the target area.  We had the misfortune to loose J8146 F/L Johnny Saville on this operation. In spite of the ASR search that was made very shortly after, no trace of him was found.

The following entry is from 439's War Operations Record Book (Form 541): Having received confirmation of the Photo Sect the last raid on the Radar Installation at St Peter's Fort was 75% complete, this Squadron set out to finish the job by braking over the  ??????? in the northeast corner of the target area. Carrying two nose fused (instantaneous) 500 lb.  bombs each , the Squadron led by F/L Saville against the highly defended target in a long dive from 11,000 ft. to 3,000 ft in an easterly direction . All of the bombs appeared to burst on or near the target itself. A large explosion was reported in the sea about  a mile offshore and at the time it was believed to have been a bomb. F/L Saville was not seen after the dive and it was later presumed that his aircraft had been hit by the intense flak and failed to recover from the dive. Immediately upon their return, a section of 4 aircraft led by F/O Burton was dispatched to search for traces of the missing aircraft. The search was unsuccessful.

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

F/L John Walton Saville (J/8146 ) is buried at : Grave Reference: Panel 244.

Webmasters Note:

The following is from correspondence I have had with F/L Saville's nephew, Peter Watson, of Dorset, England.......

My uncle, the late John Walton Saville, a Canadian, volunteered to serve in the war. He was a Flight Lieutenant in 439 Squadron RCAF and flew his last mission in June 1944, the day before D-Day and, flying a Typhoon, bombed the German Freya radar base on Guernsey. He made 2 bombing runs. He was shot down and killed on the second run, 200 yards from Castle Cornet, Guernsey.

 Mick Peters found John's Typhoon recently and there will shortly be placed at Castle Cornet, a memorial to him.

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