Earlier this month marked the 80-year anniversary of an RAF aircraft crash landing in Bushey, an incident which tragically took the lives of all five crew members on board.
On September 2, 1943, in the depths of the Second World War, a squad of nine RAF aircraft took to the skies for a training operation.
At 10.15 pm, a Whitley plane, manned by a crew of five all aged between 19 and 26, crashed into the ground and burst into flames near the allotments in Finch Lane.
The accident investigation concluded that the accident was caused by a loss of control during evasive action when engaged by searchlights. It is thought the pilot became so dazzled by the searchlights that, in trying to evade them, he exceeded the safe limits of the aeroplane. The excessive loads imposed on the airframe in the dive resulted in the failure of the aircraft structure which broke off both outer wings in mid-flight.
A sign honouring those who lost their lives was erected in 2021 after retired geologist, Dr Nigel Moore, contacted Hertsmere Borough Council.
Dr Moore said: “Every time I walked by the site, I was aware it was ‘missing history’. No one else knew of the tragic incident that happened there, hence my approach to Hertsmere.”