13.06.1944 No 453 Squadron Spitfire IX MH487 FU-Z Fl/Sgt. Saunders
Operation: Ferry flight
Date: 13th June 1944 (Tuesday)
Unit: No. 453 Squadron
Type: Spitfire IXb
Base: RAF Ford
Location: Coombe Hill, near Eastbourne
Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Douglas Graham Saunders AUS/417422 RAAF Age 21. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Many websites record and describe losses of pilots and aircrew lost on operations and quite rightly so.
However, so may others were lost during training and other flights that simply seem to go unnoticed. The main reasons for this is the lack further information.
We were sent many photographs from 453 Squadron and came across this one. Labelled as "killed in May 1944". The date confused us at first, but established this was a mistake.
OK So we don't have much information on the sad loss of this young Australian pilot. However, we have placed a page to him regardless of the little information available - someone somewhere, sometime may contact us wit more. It has happened so many times previously.
Some of the Squadron had just returned from the Advanced Landing Ground in France and four pilots were taking their tired aircraft to be replaced at RAF Redhill.
During this trip Fl/Sgt Saunders crashed his Spitfire, sadly losing his life. No further information as to the cause.
Fl/Sgt. Douglas Graham Saunders. Brookwood Military Cemetery. Grave 4.N.15. Born on the 28th March 1923 at Adelaide, South Australia, the son of Magnus Graham Saunders and Bessie Margaret Sunders, of 20 Stanley Street, Leabrook, South Australia. Grave inscription reads: "He Giveth His Beloved Sleep".
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Paul Watts for the many photographs also to Charlie for grave photo, other sources as quoted below: