Warrant Officer (pilot) Frank Needham, 659072

  • Batt -
  • Unit - Royal Air Force
  • Section -
  • Date of Birth -
  • Died - 19/02/1945
  • Age - 24

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Source: Leicestershire War Memorials Project.
Airspeed AS.10 Oxford HN311 from 1533 BAT Flight, based at RAF Church Lawford outside Rugby, Warwickshire The instructor, Warrant Officer Frank Needham and his student Sgt Eric Kershaw died when their aircraft struck trees near Thurlaston Grange, Warwickshire. The weather was poor with a low cloud base and poor visibility and the accident site was on the extended centre line to Church Lawford, the aircraft had struck one of the numerous Elm trees Warwickshire was famous for. From the weather records of the day they were caught out by a deterioration in the weather. Fog settled across RAF Church Lawford near Rugby with visibility down to 1,800 feet.
Warrant Officer (659072) Frank NEEDHAM (pilot) RAF - killed
Sgt (1588318) Eric KERSHAW (pupil) RAFVR - killed

Frank Needham was the son of Albert and Ursula Needham of Whitwick, and the husband of Gwendoline Laura Needham, also of Whitwick.

Sgt (Pilot) Eric Kershaw, aged 26, was the son of Eveline Kershaw, of Bolton.
Research submitted by J. Parrott 2018. Text taken from Aviation Safety Network website:

Biographical information for Frank and Eric taken from Commonwealth War Graves Commission Website.

Leicestershire Project Findings
  • Conflict - World War II
  • Burial Place - Sec A Nc, Grave 250, Coalville (whitwick) Cemetery
  • Other Memorials - Coalville War Memorial Clock Tower

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