Plane Crash at Arnesby.

    I do remember where the tree was when we found the pilot, and where the plane crashed. We children were the only ones who saw it happen!

    It was a hot July day; I was 9 years old. We were all playing on the Bruntingthorpe Road, where I lived, when we all heard this sort of screeching noise. We looked up and saw this plane in a nose-dive and thick black smoke pouring out of its tail end. We knew it was going to crash, so we all took off down the road, running towards the Peatling Magna Road, about half a mile away. On the way there, we saw this parachute coming down. We ran down the Peatling Magna ‘cart-track’ Road, climbed over the first five-bar gate and ran on. Then, in the field to the right of us, we saw this big old tree and this parachute all tangled up in it and a man in a harness with straps and strings hanging in the tree. He never spoke to us, or moved. His eyes were open and his brown wavy hair fell forward on to his forehead. It scared the hell out of us. We all turned and bolted back to the road. That’s when we saw in the next field great clouds of thick black smoke rising from the crashed plane. We ran back to Arnesby village, went and told Charlie Cook (the village policeman) about it.

     A few days later, we were all given a small chunk of Perspex cockpit, from the crashed plane, as a reward. I kept mine in an old shaving can of my dads for years, but I don’t know what became of it.

By H. Brewster

Postscript: The pilot a Flt/Sgt W K F Merrett RAAF bailed out but was badly injured but to the best of my knowledge survived. The accident report just stated " Pilot baled out & was seriously injured" by the aerial wires & tail unit. Information supplied by John H Collier. 11th May 2012

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