• Abous us
  • Search database
  • Resources
  • Donate
  • Faq

Saunders Frank Andrew, Jr.

Frank Andrew, Jr. Saunders
First Lieutenant
Serial Number:
359th Bomber Squadron, 303th Bomb Group
Date of Death:
Mount Olivet Cemetery, Key West, Dubuque County, Iowa
Purple Heart, POW Medal

Frank Andrew Saunders Jr. was born on February 24, 1920. He was the son of Frank A. and Ethel (Roddy) Saunders.

Frank Andrew, Jr. served in the 359th Bomber Squadron, 303rd Bomber Group, Heavy, as a First Lieutenant and Pilot on the B-17F #41-24608 'Yahoodi' during World War II.

On January 3, 1943, his crew took off from RAF Molesworth in England on a mission to attack the St-Nazaire submarine base in France. At around 11:30 AM, they were shot down by flak and enemy fighters, and their plane crashed in the town of Batz-sur-Mer - 10 km south of Le Croisic. The incident resulted in the deaths of seven crew members. The rest were able to survive but were captured by the Germans. 1Lt Saunders was one of the survivors. He was taken to Stalag Luft III in Zagan, Poland. While a prisoner of war, he helped in the planning of The Great Escape. He was liberated by Patton's Third Army.

Frank spent six years in the Army Air Force, 28 months of which were spent in Stalag Luft III. After the war, he graduated from Loras College, where he received a bachelor of science degree. He married Marguerite "Peg" Steil on May 28, 1949.

Saunders worked as a postal clerk at the Dubuque Post Office until his retirement in 1984. Prior to this, he was a realtor working for Homefinders Realty, Dubuque, and later was the owner of Saunders Realty. He was the Secretary of the Chamber of Commerce of Dubuque from 1957 to 1963. He worked for the Alexander Film Company, Colorado Springs, from 1952 to 1957. In the late 1940s, he was well-established in a diversified career as a radio, movie, and TV actor and model in Chicago.

Died at the age of 87 on March 17, 2007, Saunders is now buried in the Mount Olivet Cemetery, Key West, Dubuque County, Iowa, USA.

Source of information:,