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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
17th January 1899 Born today: Nevil Shute [Norway], London, novelist (On the Beach, Town Like Alice)
17th January 1886 Born today: Ronald Firbank, London, novelist (Flower Beneath the Foot)
17th January 1775 R B Sheridan's Rivals, premieres in London
17th January 1670 Highwayman Claude Duval found guilty of 6 robberies and sentenced to death.
WW2 bravery pilot crashed here
The place where heroic USAF spitfire pilot crash landed.
Location: Douglas Eyre Sports Ground, Coppermill Lane, Wal
Description: This is where American pilot Harvey Dalton Johnson who, on Sunday 22nd November 1942 crashed his plane onto this sports ground (formerly called The Elms). He did so trying to avoid local houses and residents on nearby Edward Road when his Spitfire's engine failed.
He died instantly, but the act of bravery by this USAF pilot has been marked with a plaque at the sports ground and a mural added in 2011 to a local school.
He was 23 and originally from Philadelphia.
Resided at 504 Broadway, Westville, New Jersey prior to enlistment in 1940
Initially trained with the US Flying Corps in South Carolina but served with
402 Sqdn RCAF until transfer to the Eighth USAF shortly before his death
Posthumously awarded the American Air Force DFC in 1943
Parents: Rufus B Johnson (real estate salesman) & Edna Morley of 1337 Gilman
Street, Philadelphia, PA
Siblings: Rufus (born 1921, died 1942 aged 21), Robert born 1923,and Eleanor