Lieutenant Arthur Brown USAAF

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Lieutenant Arthur Brown USAAF

Post by sixer » February 23rd 2016, 12:53pm

I noticed a strange memorial in St Mary's Church in Nantwich Cheshire, it is to Lt A. Brown USAF, who stayed with his plane to avoid it hitting the town centre.
Account here from Crewe chronicle.

AN AUCTION house is preparing a sale that will add extra poignancy to this year’s Remembrance events.
Included in the Peter Wilson auction three days after Remembrance Sunday is a small, but iconic, piece of the wreckage of a fighter plane whose heroic American pilot steered away from houses before it crashed into the River Weaver.
Each year wreaths of poppies are laid at the memorial to 23-year-old 1st Lieutenant Arthur L Brown of the US Army Air Force on the banks of the river behind houses on Shrewbridge Road.
It was there, on January 14, 1944, that the Republic P-47D Thunderbolt flown by Lt. Brown, from New York, crashed and sank into quicksand. It is thought the plane developed engine trouble but rather than bail out, heroically he stayed at the controls to avoid plunging into the town centre where it would inevitably have caused untold damage and loss of life.
Neither Lt. Brown’s body nor the main structure of the plane was ever recovered.
However, among the small amount of wreckage at the scene was what is believed to be a valve rocker arm from the plane’s engine, which was recovered by Harold Forster, then living in Station View. It has remained in Mr Forster’s family until now.
Auctioneer Chris Large said: “The story of how an American pilot deliberately steered his stricken plane away from the town has intrigued me ever since I was a young boy. I thought it was terribly sad that this young man should lose his life like that and his body be so far from his home.
“My father and I visit the memorial every year, usually on Christmas Day, to pay our respects and it is very moving when wreaths are laid on Remembrance Sunday. Whilst I have read about the incident, I would love to meet anyone who knows more about what happened that day. I remain fascinated by the story and would love to learn more about it.
“The relic is a piece of metal less than six inches long. It is stamped ‘Made in USA’ and having researched the numbers stamped on it, we know it came from the plane’s Pratt & Whitney R-2800 double wasp engine. I think it might sell for around £100, but its significance is far greater than its monetary value.”"

The Shrewbridge road memorial is now maintained by the Cheshire Regiment Association and the local Boy Scouts group. It is nice to see that he is not forgotten by the locals.
Last edited by sixer on January 14th 2024, 11:43am, edited 1 time in total.

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Mortuus Fakeuus

Re: Lieutenant Arthur Brown USAF

Post by Mortuus Fakeuus » February 23rd 2016, 11:36pm

“Uncommon valor was a common virtue.” – FADM Chester Nimitz, USN

A fitting epitaph for an unforgettable and never-to-return generation of men and women. I worshipped them as a little boy, and will continue to do so as long as I have a memory.

Thank you for another excellent post, sixer, and Cheers, Lt. Brown!
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