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Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Francis Winburn Gunn

In memory of:

Pilot Officer Francis Winburn Gunn

April 25, 1944

Military Service


Service Number:

J/85972

Age:

29

Force:

Air Force

Unit:

Royal Canadian Air Force

Division:

626 (R.A.F.) Sqdn.

Additional Information


Born:

July 2, 1914
Regina, Saskatchewan

Enlistment:

November 14, 1941
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Son of George Francis and Dorothy Louise Gunn; husband of Mary Elizabeth Gunn, of Carrot River, Saskatchewan.

Commemorated on Page 324 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page. Download high resolution copy of this page.

Burial Information


Cemetery:

BROOKWOOD MILITARY CEMETERY
Surrey, United Kingdom

Grave Reference:

48. I. 8.

Location:

Brookwood is 30 miles from London (M3 to Bagshot and then A322). The main entrance to Brookwood Military Cemetery is on the A324 from the village of Pirbright. Brookwood Military Cemetery is owned by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and is the largest Commonwealth war cemetery in the United Kingdom, covering approximately 37 acres. In 1917, an area of land in Brookwood Cemetery (originally The London Necropolis) was set aside for the burial of men and women of the forces of the Commonwealth and Americans, who had died, many of battle wounds, in the London district. This site was further extended to accommodate the Commonwealth casualties of the Second World War, and American, Belgian, Czech, Dutch, French and Polish plots containing the graves of Allied casualties. There are also German and Italian plots where prisoners of war lie buried.

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

  • Memorial– Pilot Officer Francis Winburn Gunn is also commemorated on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, AB … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Memorial– Pilot Officer Francis Winburn Gunn is also commemorated on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, AB … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Memorial– Father J P Lardie's comments as inscribed on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, AB … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Photo of Francis Winburn Gunn– Francis Winburn Gunn RCAF Navigator. Served at RAF Wickenby 626 Squadron.

On the 24/25th April 1944 Francis was aboard Lancaster UM-K2 
Serail No. DV 177 on a mission to Karlsruhe, Germany. With the mission completed the aircraft was returning to Wickenby in Lincolnshire U.K. when it was attacked over England. This is recorded in German records as occurring at 0358 hours on 25.04.44  5-15 Km south of Diss 51.00 N / 00.50 E and the German pilot was Unteroffizier Beier of 6/KG 51.
(Diss is in Norfolk - the aircraft would not long have been back over land).

In the attack the British rear gunner was killed, the aircraft damaged and set on fire. The Canadian pilot Murray McPherson made an attempt to carry out an emergency landing at Boxted airfield which is near Colchester north Essex. This was a large American base known as Boxted Station 150. It was situated near the village of Langham.

At 0410 hours 25.04.44, the aircraft went out of control and crashed in fields near the edge of the base. Had they remained airborne for another thirty seconds they would have reached the main runway.

Francis came from Carrot River, Saskatchewan and left behind a young daughter, three sisters and his parents.

He is buried alongside his fellow Canadian airmen, Murray McPherson and Robert Cameron at Brookwood Military Cemetery in Surrey U.K. The Lancaster was crewed by four British and three Canadians.

A small memorial to the crew of UM-K2  DV 177 will be unveiled near the crash location on April 25, 2013. 

Information about this can be seen on this forum: WW2talk.com
  • Cross of Sacrifice– Cross of Sacrifice - Brookwood Military Cemetery - April 2017 … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Stone of Remembrance– Stone of Remembrance - Brookwood Military Cemetery - April 2017 … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Grave Marker– Brookwood Military Cemetery - April 2017 … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • War Memorial– This memorial commemorates airman who were killed in aircraft crash on April 25, 1944. Three members of the crew served with the Royal Canadian Air Force. 

Pilot Officer Murray Langtry McPherson of Myrtle, Manitoba, Pilot Officer Francis Winburn Gunn of Carrot River, Saskatchewan and Mid Upper Gunner Robert Edgar Hall Cameron of London, Ontario. 
 
All three were killed near Colchester, Essex, United Kingdom.   

The memorial was unveiled on April 25, 2013.
  • War Memorial– This memorial commemorates airman who were killed in aircraft crash on April 25, 1944. Three members of the crew served with the Royal Canadian Air Force. 

Pilot Officer Murray Langtry McPherson of Myrtle, Manitoba, Pilot Officer Francis Winburn Gunn of Carrot River, Saskatchewan and Mid Upper Gunner Robert Edgar Hall Cameron of London, Ontario. 
 
All three were killed near Colchester, Essex, United Kingdom.   

The memorial was unveiled on April 25, 2013.
  • Inscription
  • Newspaper Clipping– The road names were awarded to the airmen by Colchester Borough Council and the main road sign to the new development was unveiled on the Sunday nearest
the crash date this year 24th April 2016 by Peter Potter. He is a 626 Squadron veteran and lives locally.
  • Street– Lancaster Approach
  • Street
  • Gunn Lake– Gunn Lake is located 59' 38' N  and 108' 51' W
The site was officially gazetted by the Province of Saskatchewan on September 5, 1957.

Photo credit Doug Chisholm
  • Gunn Lake– Gunn Lake is located 59' 38' N and 108' 51' W.
The site was officially gazetted by the Province of Saskatchewan on September 5, 1957.

Photo credit Doug Chisholm
  • Gunn Lake– Gunn Lake is located 59' 38' N and 108' 51' W. The site was officially gazetted by the Province of Saskatchewan on September 5, 1957. Photo credit Doug Chisholm

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