Flight EF352 had taken off at 5.45pm from RAF Stradishall in Suffolk. It was a cross country training session.
At 9.20pm after being seen on fire over Tumpy Lakes Lane the Stirling Bomber dived vertically onto the ground at Rosemaund Farm.
All nine crew were killed on impact and a plaque in the Church commemorates the sad event. The exact cause of the crash has never been established but it was noted that meteorological conditions were deteriorating.At the time the RAF was launching “firestorm” raids in Germany and this catastrophe at Rosemaund brought the immediacy of war to rural Herefordshire.
The Stirling had entered service in 1941 as Britain’s first bomber with four engines. It was an enormous, strongly built aircraft – effective for low level operations like towing gliders and dropping paratroopers; but it was difficult to get airborne when laden with bombs and the short wing span prevented it from climbing above 15000 feet.
Gunner Jack Smith’s three sons paid a poignant visit to the site in 1988.On 8th June 1997 Doris Minstram, the widow of 21 year old Jack McMille of Wandsworth attended a remembrance service at Rosemaund farm followed by a service of dedication in this church when the plaque in the entrance was commemorated to this event.
Into the Storm
A book published in 1998 by Dennis William and Sue Minstram - Mason describes the accident and an account of “the making of a Bomber Crew”.