Whitley Mk.V BD230 of No.42 Operational Training Unit (OTU) crashed on Bullhurst Hill close to the village of Weston Underwood near Derby on the 24th July 1944
|John William Edward Cooper||Flight Sergeant||Pilot||Killed – Missing|
|William Brooksbank Smith||Sergeant||Bomb Aimer||Killed|
|Henry Cowan||Sergeant||Navigator||Killed – Missing|
|Walter Clifford Norcross||Sergeant||Wireless Operator||Killed – Missing|
|Maurice Mitchell Lyon||Sergeant||Air Gunner||Killed|
The crew had flown a night cross country navigation flight and were returning to their home base at Ashbourne when the aircraft dived into the ground only a few miles short.
Following the crash three of the crew could not be accounted for and were assumed by No.42 OTU to have “disappeared with the aircraft which went fifteen feet into the ground“. On the 1st August the vicar of St Saviour church in Ashbourne, Canon Farrow, took the memorial service for those who had died after which he held a committal service at the crash site.
Sgt William Smith was buried at Ashbourne cemetery only a few miles from the crash site and Sgt Maurice Lyon was buried at St Helens Cemetery in Lancashire.