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The Airmen's Stories - S/Ldr. G A W Saunders


Gerald Alfred Wellesley Saunders was born on 30th June 1914 and joined the RAF on a short service commission, beginning his initial training course on 28th October 1935.

Saunders was posted to 7 FTS Peterborough on 4th January 1936 and after completing his training joined 65 Squadron at Hornchurch on 13th July 1936.

He was appointed 'B' Flight Commander on 2nd March 1939 as an Acting Flight Lieutenant.


Above: 65 Squadron at Hornchurch

L to R:

F/Sgt. RR MacPherson, F/O JBH Nicolas, F/O SB Grant, F/Lt. CGC Olive, Capt. Balfour (Air Ministry), S/Ldr. HC Sawyer, F/Lt. GAW Saunders, F/O T Smart, Sgt. JR Kilner


Still with the squadron in 1940, Saunders shared in the destruction of a Hs126 on 24th May, probably destroyed a Me109 and damaged a Ju88 on the 26th and probably destroyed a Do17 on the 27th.

Saunders destroyed Me109's on 7th and 9th July and shared a Do17 and damaged a Me110 on 26th August.

He took command of the squadron on 30th October 1940 as an Acting Squadron Leader.

He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 4th April 1941) and posted away in September 1941.

His subsequent service is currently undocumented until Saunders was released from the RAF in 1945 as a Wing Commander.

He later settled in Kenya and is believed to have died there in September 1999.

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