New York County (Manhattan)
New York, USA
|Death: ||Jan. 14, 1944|
Cheshire East Unitary Authority
Arthur, aged 23, was a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Forces;Headquarters, 495th Fighter Group
Service # O-886150
He entered the Service from Long Island, New York
His Thunderbolt plane crashed near to the River Weaver behind Shrewbridge Road, Nantwich while he was flying with colleagues in a practice flight for D-Day. It was always said that he died a hero flying his plane away from the town to avoid buildings. Newer information suggested anoxia (not enough oxygen in his body tissues) might have caused him to black out and the crash site was a matter of luck. But he remains a hero as he was "over here" helping Britain with the war effort. Local Guides and Brownies have regularly tended the spot and have been paying tribute to him ever since the war, and a local branch of the Cheshire Regiment Association has taken responsibility for the fabric of the memorial at the site of the crash.His grave/memorial is a feature of the riverside walk just off Shrewbridge Road.
Townspeople erected a memorial to his memory at the spot where it is thought he crashed and every January, local people pay tribute to this American airman.
His relatives have been over to England to visit. There is a Nantwich street called Brown Avenue named after him.
He had taken off from A.A.F. Station code F-342 (previously RAF Atcham, Shropshire) on a high-altitude training flight; his aircraft bearing the serial no. 42-7925.He was flying the latest model of Republics P47 Multipurpose attack plane, the P47D,the largest single-engine fighter aircraft of World War II weighing in at over four tons when fully loaded; twice the weight of a Spitfire. The range which the P47 offered enabled the American daylight bombing offensive to have fighter protection all the way to Germany and back. Shortly after 14:00, the flight, probably consisting of 12+ aircraft, was over Nantwich having just completed the first of their high-altitude crossover turns. At this point, Captain Potter, who was leading the formation, noticed that one aircraft was missing from Purple section. Captain Potter tried to call the missing aircraft but received no response. He then requested the controller at Atcham to call Brown but unfortunately they too received no response. During the crossover turn, Staff Sergeant Decker was in the formation above Brown's and observed as Brown's aircraft broke from the formation and was seen to make several sharp turns, climbs, and dives. Next time Decker glanced back he noted only two aircraft in Purple section.
The official investigation conclusion from the USAAF states that Brown suffered from anoxia - insufficient oxygen in the body tissues - as a result of a failure in his breathing apparatus. Although it is dependant on the individual, most people require oxygen from 8,000 to 12,000 feet upwards and we know that Brown was flying at 22,000 to 24,000 feet from the statement of S/Sgt Decker.
Lieutenant Brown's aircraft impacted the ground at high speed at approximately 14:10. Witnesses report a loud bang upon impact but no fire was seen thereafter and the aircraft quickly sank into the ground leaving little for RAF salvage teams who arrived shortly after the accident.
Lieutenant Brown's perceived resting place is approximately 15 to 20 ft to the left of the current gravestone.
Most of the information here is the joint effort of John Brough, Daniel Cornes and Andrew Lamberton and is used with their kind permission.
Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial
South Cambridgeshire District
Plot: Plot A Row 4 Grave 36
Maintained by: Martin Douglas Packer
Originally Created by: CWGC/ABMC
Record added: Aug 06, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 56288113