Desmond Ossiter (Des) SANDS DSO, DFC

SANDS, Desmond Ossiter

Service Number: 102110
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Squadron Leader
Last Unit: No. 467 Squadron (RAAF)
Born: Albany, Western Australia , 16 December 1911
Home Town: Perth, Western Australia
Schooling: Subiaco State School, Perth Modern School, Regent Street Polytechnic, and Royal British Institute of Architects
Occupation: Law clerk/Architect
Died: Natural causes, Cottlesloe Beach, Western Australia, 16 November 1999, aged 87 years
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
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World War 2 Service

Date unknown: Involvement Squadron Leader, SN 102110, No. 467 Squadron (RAAF)

Des in UK

When Des was in 44 Squadron at RAF Waddington he was billeted with my grandparents, Bill and Mollie Wray, who lived at 67 Lincoln Road in Branston, which is a few miles from RAF Waddington.

At the time there were so many officers and airmen at Waddington that there was insufficient accommodation on the base for them. So airmen and airwomen were billeted with families who had a spare room and a bathroom. One of the big houses nearby, Ashfield House, became the overspill Sergeants Mess.

Before Des was billeted with my grandparents, they'd had other airmen staying in their home, notably Pat Owen, who was Hampden aircrew, and who died when a Spitfire collided mid-air with his aircraft. He is buried in Newport Cemetery in Lincoln. My gran was terribly upset by this and refused to have any more young men in her home. This led to the billeting officer sending Des Sands, who was somewhat older, but not by many years I think.

My dad John was born in 1933 and therefore a young boy during the wartime. He always referred to Des as Uncle Des, and recalled him bringing Pat Dorehill to visit my grandparents. He was another officer in the Nettleton crew.

When Des was shot down over Germany my grandparents received no notification at all from authorities as to whether he was alive or dead. When he was released from the POW camp he arrived back at Waddington and walked the last few miles from the base to my grandparents house with his kitbag slung over his shoulder. My father John was playing out in the front garden one Sunday morning while my gran was cooking Sunday dinner. He saw this figure walking towards him, realised who it was and ran into the house yelling 'it's Uncle Des! It's Uncle Des!'

Apparently when Des was released from captivity he walked through Germany in a group of former prisoners who were spat at and verbally abused by German women

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