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
Code: Not known
Base: RAF Fassberg, Germany
Location: Larkhill, Wiltshire
Pilot: Plt.Off. Nigel Robert Lumsden Saunders 607122 RAF Age 21. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
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.
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.