Vickers Wellington Mk.X LP397 of No.28 OTU, crashed at Mayfield, which is just to the west of Ashbourne on the 13th June 1944

Vickers Wellington Mk.X at the Royal Air Force Museum


Joseph Starr Flying Officer, RAF Pilot Killed
George David Wills Buchanan Flying Officer, RCAF Navigator Killed
William Corley Davis Sergeant, RCAF Bomb Aimer Killed
William George Paterson Sergeant, RAFVR Air Gunner Killed
James Joseph Urban Stevens Sergeant, RCAF Air Gunner Killed
Richard John Taylor Sergeant, RCAF Air Gunner Killed


The crash occurred while the aircraft was on a cross country exercise from Castle Donington, about 25 minutes after it took off it entered a thunderstorm, shortly afterwards the aircraft was seen to dive near vertically out of the cloud and into the ground near the village of Mayfield.

Of the crew all were Canadians except for William Paterson, Joseph Starr having travelled to England before the Second World War and joined the RAF

Additionally Sgt John Frederick Potts, RAFVR, has been recorded as being onboard this aircraft. However he was killed the same day in Anson EG472 on Moel Hebog in North Wales. His death was registered at Pwllheli, the district which covered the area around Moel Hebog.

The field in which Vickers Wellington Mk.X LP397 crashed, close to the village of Mayfield, Staffordshire
A photo taken looking into the field in which the aircraft crashed. When we visited the site we found some small badly corroded items from the aircraft.
The site was excavated during the 1970s by the Derbyshire Historical Aviation Society, this removed most of the remaining wreckage.

On Sunday June 12th 2011 a memorial was unveiled in the churchyard of Mayfield parish church, the event was organised by the Mayfield Heritage Group with the assistance of many others. The very wet weather on the day did not prevent a large gathering of young and old around the memorial stone for a service of remembrance.

Memorial in the churchyard at Mayfield Parish Church, dedicated to the crew of Vickers Wellington Mk.X LP397
The memorial shortly after it had been unveiled by Lt Col Agnew of the Canadian Forces.
Wreaths laid around the memorial during the dedication ceremony
Wreaths were laid by relatives of Sgt Paterson (either side of the stone), Lt Col Agnew on behalf of Canada, the Mayfield Heritage Group (front), Mayfield Memorial Hall Committee (Right hand RAF wreath), and Mayfield Parish Council (Left hand RAF wreath)
The crash site of Vickers Wellington Mk.X LP397, viewed from the memorial
The memorial with the crash site in the background.
Temporary display inside Mayfield St John the Baptist Church for the memorial service
Inside the church a display was put on by the Derbyshire Historical Aviation Society showing some of the artefacts they had recovered from the crash site in the 1970s, along with a few other general items from their collection. Another display by the Mayfield Heritage Group gave information about the crew of the aircraft.

The four Canadian members of the crew were buried at Brookwood Military Cemetery near London, below are photographs of their graves.

Grave of Pilot Officer George David Wills Buchanan at Brookwood Military CemeteryGrave of Sergeant William Corley Davis at Brookwood Military CemeteryGrave of Sergeant James Joseph Urban Stevens at Brookwood Military CemeteryGrave of Sergeant Richard John Taylor at Brookwood Military Cemetery

Graves of the Canadian crew members from Wellington LP397 at Brookwood Miltiary Cemetery
They lie in the first, second, fourth and fifth graves from the right in this photograph of the plot they are in.