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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.

Squadron Leader 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.

Pilot Officer 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, pub 1998.

Useful links:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Picture of a Lockheed Hudson IV