Wartime Aircrash in Ashton under Hill
At 0952 on the morning
of Friday 16th July 1943, a Lockheed Hudson MkIV FK571 took off
from RAF Defford, near Pershore, Worcs. The plane was piloted
by 39240 Squadron Leader J.A.Mead DFC, RAF, and 404434 P/O A.J.Slaughter,
RAAF, aged 25.
According to the investigating
officer, a malfunction of the starboard engine occurred and in
attempting to feather the Starboard propellor,the pilot inadvertently
feathered the Port prop instead. The plane was now unable to maintain
height due to the loss of power and the pilot closed the throttles
for a forced landing. The Starboard engine then seized, and while
trimming the aircraft it stalled, went into a spin and hit the
ground at around 1008.
The site of the crash
is at O/S map reference 999.389, which is farmland on the lower
slopes of Bredon Hill, to the west of Elmley Road at the northern
end of Ashton under Hill, opposite the modern building of Bredon
Hill Middle School.
James Anthony Mead, son of James Thomas Meade, M.T.D.
and of Selina Delphine Meade (nee Artis), of Calcutta, India;
husband of Sylvia Nancy Meade (nee Sayers), of Woodley, Berkshire
is buried in Pershore Cemetery.
Allan John Slaughter, RAAF, son of Harry Newey Slaughter
and Sarah Ann Slaughter, of Brisbane, Queensland; husband of Agnes
Bowman Slaughter, of Harpenden, Hertfordshire, England, is buried
in East Wemyss Cemetery, in Fife, Scotland.
Details of this incident
and many others in the Vale of Evesham during World War II can
be found in 'Angry Skies across the Vale' by Brian Kedward,
War Graves Commission
of a Lockheed Hudson IV