Wellington Mk.III Z1744 of No.27 Operational Training Unit, crashed close to Upper Hulme, near Leek, on the 20th November 1942 whilst on a practice bombing and photography flight from Church Broughton airfield
|James Robert Barlow||Sergeant RAAF||Pilot||Killed|
|Keith Pettiford||Flying Officer RAAF||Observer||Killed|
|James Love||Flying Officer RAAF||Observer||Killed|
|William John Baker||Sergeant RAAF||Bomb Aimer||Killed|
|Howell James Buckley||Sergeant RAFVR||Wireless Operator||Killed|
|Kenneth Spencer Cheek||Sergeant RAAF||Air Gunner||Injured|
At about 16:50 on the 20th November 1942 Wellington Mk.III Z1744 flew into the ground above Upper Hulme. It is reported that prior to this the aircraft had be the subject of a mock attack by two USAAF Spitfires, possibly operating from Atcham near Shrewsbury, one of the aircraft had come too close to Z1744 and cut the trailing ariel that the crew were using to communicate with their base. With their primary means of communication cut the crew became disorientated and could not gain a fix on Lichfield, after flying in cloud for some time the aircraft was seen to pass very low over Upper Hulme before crashing about 1/3 of a mile to the north. The aircraft slewed across a field and entered woodland where it was completely destroyed.
The Australian casualties were all buried at Fradley Parish Church close to Lichfield two days after the accident which claimed their lives.
Below are the graves of the Australian crew members at Fradley Churchyard close to the former airfield at Lichfield.