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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.
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98 Squadron Crest
12.10.1951 98 Squadron Vampire FB5 WA143 Plt.Off. Nigel Saunders

Operation: Training exercise

Date: 12th October 1951 (Friday)

Unit: 98 Squadron

Type: Vampire FB5

Serial: WA143

Code: Not known

Base: RAF Fassberg, Germany

Location: Larkhill, Wiltshire

Pilot: Plt.Off. Nigel Robert Lumsden Saunders 607122 RAF Age 21. Killed


During an exercise the aircraft was seen to break away from the practice attack and was seen to be on fire from both the engine and the wing roots. A call was made to the pilot but no acknowledgment was received.

Shortly afterwards the Vampire made a crash landing at Asherton Farm, Larkhill, Wiltshire. The pilot was thrown clear of the aircraft but received fatal injuries.

In March 2018 Aircrew Remembered visited his grave as shown above - any relative, researcher who would like a higher resolution copy of the grave are invited to contact us.

Burial details:

Plt.Off. Nigel Robert Lumsden Saunders. RAF Cranwell Churchyard (St. Andrews). Grave inscription reads: "Modesty Became Him". Born in 1930 in Uxbridge, Middlesex. Son of Air Chief Marshall Sir Hugh William Lumsden Saunders, Deputy Supreme Air Commander Allied Powers in Europe at the time of his son's death. Mother was Lady Phyllis Margaret Gertrude (née Mabbett) Saunders.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to sources as quoted below also National Archives - AVIA 5/31/S2547. Thanks to Paula Patterson for Plt.Off. Saunders' NoK details.

RS 07.02.2020 - Addition of NoK details

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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', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. 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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Last Modified: 29 August 2021, 14:04

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