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.
following entry is from 439's War Operations Record Book (Form 540):
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.
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
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
entry is from The
Canadian Virtual War Memorial website courtesy of
the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. :
John Walton Saville (J/8146 ) is buried at : Grave Reference: Panel
following is from correspondence I have had with F/L Saville's
nephew, Peter Watson, of Dorset, England.......
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.
Peters found John's Typhoon recently and there will shortly be
placed at Castle Cornet, a memorial to him.