Boxted Airfield in 1944 was the home to the USAAF 56th Fighter Group. On the 2nd November 1944, a P47 Thunderbolt took off from the airfield, piloted by Lt Wallace W. Knief. The aircraft was stripped of its armament and was to be used as target towing practice.
three other members of the Fighter Group, he was instructed by his leader
to carry out an "Immelman" manoeuvre. Soon after the P47 was
seen spinning helplessly from a height of 11,000ft towards the ground.
The pilot managed to escape from his cockpit at about 4,500 ft, stating
he never saw his aircraft again after opening his parachute. The P47
subsequently crashed into a field at Mount Bures, narrowly missing the
Thatchers Arms by only 143 m.
One of the first objects located at a depth of 1.5m was the recognisable framework of the pilot`s armoured seat; the buckles of his safety harness together with the cockpit levers and tailplane assembly. The most impressive find was the nose of the engine (see photo above), finally located at a depth of 4m, giving credance to the power and dive of the P47 as it plummeted into the earth.
All of the pieces found were transported to the 93rd Bomb Group Museum at Hardwick, Norfolk where they are still to be found.
Start the manoeuvre flying straight and level, pulls up into one-half (1/2) loop
immediately followed by one-half (1/2) roll and finishes flying straight and level
and exactly 180 degrees fromthe heading at entry