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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
Further data available at Allied Losses & Incidents database

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453 Squadron Crest
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

Serial: MH487

Code: FU-Z

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.

Burial details:

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:

KTY 27.09.2018

Acknowledgements: Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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