LEST WE FORGET

Flying Officer James Albert SAYER

Service No: 404547
Born: Carlton NSW, 24 December 1915
Enlisted in the RAAF: 14 October 1940
Unit: No. 455 Squadron, RAF Station Wigsley
Died: Aircraft Accident: (No. 455 Squadron Hampden aircraft P5329), Somerset, 25 March 1942, Aged 26 Years
Buried: Burnham-on-Sea General Cemetery, Somerset
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Charles Frederick James Sayer and Mary Ann Sayer, of Carlton, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Carlton NSW
Remembered: Panel 106, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Hampden P5329 took off from St Eval on 25 March 1942 to return to base at RAF Wigsley. It had completed a gardening (mine laying) mission off Lorient, France and had been diverted to St Eval after the raid along with other aircraft from the Squadron because of bad weather at base. While returning to Wigsley, the starboard propeller came off and the aircraft crashed at 1743 hours on 25 March and burst into flames at Sparks Farm, Watchfield, 2 miles east of Highbridge, Somerset. All the crew members were killed.

The crew members of P5329 were:

Sergeant Frederick Max Donohoe (402591) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flight Lieutenant Alan Herbert Metcalfe DFC (67621) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Flying Officer James Albert Sayer (404547) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)
Flight Sergeant George Stevenson Wilson (971301) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)

References:

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 163/56/116

Bibliography:

Gordon, I. (Ian) Strike and Strike Again: 455 Squadron 1944-5, Banner Books Belconnen ACT 2616, 1995
Lawson, John Horwood Wightman (251634) The Story of No. 455 Squadron (RAAF), Wilke and Company, Melbourne VIC, 1951