Tag Archives: 97 Squadron

John David Fletcher: Part 4

I recently wrote about the collision of two Lancasters from 97 Squadron on June 23rd 1944 in the sky above Crowland in south west Lincolnshire, as they practiced formation flying.

Seventy years later, on June 23rd 2014, a ceremony was held to commemorate the sacrifice of these young lives.

A memorial service took place in a field behind Bank’s Farm and a plaque was unveiled on a farm building near the crash site:plaque 5

It is on the metal wall of a barn:

plaque 1

Here it is in close up:

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The events of this commemoration were all scheduled to begin at three thirty in the afternoon, more or less the exact time the two huge bombers collided all those years ago. Should anyone wish to visit the site, the directions I have are to “Go into Crowland, find Cloot Drove, travel down about 2 miles where you’ll see the farm buildings on the right, the plaque is facing the road and the postcode is PE6 0JL.”

Years ago, a simple wooden cross stood alone in the middle of a field to mark the exact site of the crash, but by 2014, it was long gone.

Fortunately, members of Lincolnshire Aircraft Recovery Group (LARG) had decided, initially in 1979, to attempt to recover the wreckage of the two Lancasters. Here is their workshop, with other remains that they have found:


Their researches have ensured that the exact location of the old wooden cross, marking the crash site, was rediscovered.
The wreckage they recovered is now on display at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre, the home of LARG.

Needless to say, as I was not a witness to all of these dreadful events, this article could not have been written without using the series of excellent books by W.R.Chorley, and a number of other websites.


Filed under Aviation, Bomber Command, History, Nottingham, The High School