Article and Photographs: Jonathan White
A Memorial Service to remember First Lieutenant Arthur Leslie Brown of the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) took place at his memorial, off Shrewbridge Road in Nantwich, on Sunday 9th January 2022.
On 14th January 1944, First Lieutenant Brown died, aged 23, when flying a Republic Thunderbolt type P-47D, which plunged into soft ground on the banks of the River Weaver, behind houses in Shrewbridge Road.
The inscription on the surface of his memorial tablet reads: HERE LIES 1ST LIEUTENANT / ARTHUR L. BROWN / USAAF / AGED 23 YEARS / OF NEW YORK / WHO CRASHED / IN HIS THUNDERBOLT / TO AVOID THIS TOWN / JAN 14TH 1944 / WITH SYMPATHY AND RESPECT
The Memorial Service was led by Rector of St Mary’s Church Nantwich Revd. Dr Mark Hart, and included standard bearers, the Last Post, a one minute silence, Reveille, and the laying of wreaths.
Wreaths were laid by Nantwich & District Branch of the Royal British Legion, Royal Air Forces Association, 100 (Nantwich) Squadron Royal Air Force Air Cadets, and Nantwich Town Council (two wreaths).
A representative from Nantwich & District Branch of the Royal British Legion (Nantwich RBL) said: “This service had previously been held on Remembrance Sunday, but of late, it was felt Lt Arthur Brown’s remembrance deserved to be honoured on a day closer to his death. So, the second Sunday every January will now mark the sacrifice he made, by guiding his stricken aircraft away from a populated area of Nantwich.”
The Nantwich RBL website address is: http://branches.britishlegion.org.uk/branches/nantwich and the Royal British Legion website address is: https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/