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Mount Gaunce

  • 2286 m (7,500ft)
  • Naming History
53.5786N -118.299W
Located at the head of Broad Creek and the head of Moberly Creek; north of Mumm Creek

Range: Hoff
Province: Alberta
Park: Willmore
Headwater: Athabasca
Year Named: 1949
Named for: Gaunce, S/L Lionel Manley DFC (S/L Gaunce was killed when his Spitfire aircraft was shot down over the English Channel off St. Ro, France on November 19, 1941. A native of Derwent, Alberta, S/L Gaunce was 25 years of age.)

An officer in the Royal Air Force, Squadron Leader Gaunce served with No. 615 Squadron flying Hurricane aircraft and was shot down and killed on August 19, 1940 during the Battle of Britain. He was shot down a total of five times, surviving to fly again four times. S/L Gaunce had been the officer commanding No. 46 Squadron flying Hurricanes and was an ace, having destroyed 5 1/2 enemy aircraft. He was the officer commanding No. 41 squadron at the time of his death. He has no known grave, his name is inscribed on the Runnymede War Memorial, Englefield Green, Egham, Surrey, England. The following information is from the website of the Airforce Association of Canada: GAUNCE, S/L Lionel Manley (37632) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.615 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette 23 August 1940. Born in Lethbridge, 20 September 1915; educated in Edmonton. Appointed Acting Pilot Officer on Probation, 9 March 1936. In No.3 Squadron, 17 September 1939 to 28 February 1940; No.615 Squadron, 28 February to 26 August 1940 (baled out over sea, rescued) and again 14 September to 31 October 1940; No.46 Squadron, 31 October to 1 December 1940; supernumery to Station Kenley, 21 June 1941; to No.41 Squadron, 16 July 1941; killed in action 19 November 1941. Victories listed by Chris Shores, Aces High (2nd edition) as follows: 20 July 1940, one Bf.109 destroyed (Hurricane P2966); 25 July 1940, one Bf.109 destroyed (Hurricane P3109); 12 August 1940, one Bf.109 destroyed plus one Bf.109 probably destroyed (Hurricane P2966); 16 August 1940, one Bf.110 damaged (Hurricane P9266), 18 August 1940, one Bf.109 damaged (identified by him as a He.113, flying Hurricane P2966); 26 August 1940, one Bf.109 destroyed (Hurricane P2966); 11 November 1940, one BR.20 (shared with another pilot) plus one CR.42 destroyed plus one CR.42 probably destroyed (all on Hurricane V6928 during Italian raids on Britain; see H.P. Blatchford); 20 August 1941, one Bf.109 damaged (Spitfire W3374); 21 August 1941, one Bf.109 probably destroyed (Spitfire W3626); 27 August 1941, one Bf.109 damaged (Spitfire P8759); 28 August 1941, one Bf.109 damaged (Spitfire P8759); 17 August 1941, one Bf.109 damaged (Spitfire AB858). Specifically listed in AFRO 1292/41 dated 7 November 1941 as a Canadian in the RAF who had been decorated as of that date. Air Ministry Bulletin 1416 refers to award. A mountain in the Moberly area, Jasper National Park is named for him. This flight commander has displayed excellent coolness and leadership since the return of the squadron to England. In July his flight took part in resisting an enemy air attack on Dover when three of our aircraft were attacked by forty Junkers 87s. At least two of the enemy were shot down. Flight Lieutenant Gaunce has shot down three enemy aircraft since returning to England. NOTE: Public Record Office has an undated recommendation for this award, prepared by a Squadron Leader J.R. Kayll: This officer took over command of "A" Flight on May 16th, 1940, and his coolness and leadership since return of this squadron to England has been exemplary. His Flight took part in the Battle of Dover on July 14th when three of our aircraft were attacked by 40 Junkers 87s of which two were definitely shot down and one probably destroyed. Flight Lieutenant Gaunce has personally shot down three enemy aircraft since returning to England quite apart from taking part in numerous patrols whilst in France. On 8 August 1940, Air Vice-Marshal Keith Park adds his comments: I understand this officer has already been recommended for an award for his work in France, which recommendation may have been mislaid by his Wing Headquarters (61 Wing). He is a gallant young Canadian and has personally destroyed three enemy aircraft. He has shown exceptional ability as a leader of his flight; for this in particular as well as for his successes, I consider him well worthy of the immediate award of the Distinguished Flying Cross for which I strongly recommend him. Air Chief Marshal Hugh Dowding wrote "Approved" on the form on 11 August 1940.