Spitfire Vb AD189
F/Sgt Frederick D. Schofield (RCAF) baled out safely.
Crashed 12th March 1942
Flt/Lt Hall and F/Sgt Schofield took off from Kenley at 11.55 hrs to relieve two other Spitfire pilots who were providing top cover to a damaged destroyer on convoy patrol off Brighton. On completion of assignment F/Sgt Schofield set his heading to return to Kenley, but became completely lost – he had wandered over Somerset! With his fuel running low he elected to bale out at 1300 hrs. He suffered slight shock, but returned to Kenley the following day.
The aircraft, however, had dived vertically into a field near the town of Crewkern and buried itself. Many years after the war the field was purchased to extend the burial grounds for Town’s End Cemetery, thus the crash site found itself in consecrated ground.
Planned as part of the ‘World War II Unearthed’ BBC TV series, an excavation was arranged with the full assistance of the local authority and Chancellor of the Diocese of Bath & Wells.
As the dig progressed it became clear that the war-time recovery crew had done a very thorough job in recovering AD189, despite it being deeply buried. A trail of disturbed ground and small pieces led 20 feet down to the shattered Merlin engine that had been too awkward for the RAF to recover.