Flying Fortress crash in Alresford Pond

Nelson Trowbridge of Alresford recently wrote to the Alresford Historical and Literary Society:

“I feel sure you will know that in September 1943 the centre of  New Alresford narrowly escaped being blown up by a damaged B-17 Flying Fortress bomber (Lady Luck) of the 303rd bomb group, US 8th Air Force, which was carrying a full bomb load on course to crash at or near St John’s Church and the top of Broad Street.  The pilot, Captain Cogswell, ordered his crew to bail out then stayed with the plane and  steered it to a field on the far side of Old Alresford Pond.  He baled out at the last minute, and survived.

Captain Cogswell is a war hero who should be remembered.  In connection with this you might like to know that the exhibition of the Lady Luck events has been restored by Mike Adams in The Globe Inn and is now open for visitors to explore.  I hope your members will do this.  I donated my scale model of Lady Luck, a copy of my booklet  “Lady Luck: What really happened”, photographs and more. There is a lot to examine and think about.”

Editor’s notes: There is now a plaque, in Soke Gardens, honouring Captain Robert Cogswell: Soke Gardens can be found down the lane to the right of the ‘Globe on the Lake’ pub and the cottages next to it. This cobbled lane leads to the sluices, or “Shettles” which control the flow of water from the lake down the main stream that flows under the bridge, past the Town Mill and then forms the River Alre. It is said that the Shettles  were the landing place for the Bishop of Winchester on his travels to and from his palace at Bishop’s Sutton, presumably getting into a coach in front of the Globe. When first formed, the pond reached as far as his palace at Bishop’s Sutton, but over the years silting has reduced its size and depth.

In the 1980s when my son fished in Alresford Pond, from the Great Weir, he caught pike, trout – escapees from the Bishop’s Sutton fishing lakes – and carp. The largest carp caught by anyone was reported as 34lbs. More recently the otters have ensured that there are no more carp.

There is a photo of the Lady Luck crew on the Alresford Heritage photographs website, see–weir/p-017.html


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Len Strong on January 25, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    I was with my newly wedded wife on our honeymoon in my home town of Alresford on that fateful day.In fact we were on the platform at Alresford station waiting to board the train up to Waterloo when we saw and heard this B17 come over very low.Didn’t know it had crashed till my Dad wrote and told me several days later.


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