Shropshire Star

Tragic pilot's body undiscovered for 34 years after last flight in skies of Shropshire

A book telling the story of a Spitfire pilot killed in a mid-air collision in Shropshire's wartime skies 80 years ago has been published – in French.

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Jean Noizet was 28 when he died in a wartime Shropshire air accident.

The body of Pilot Officer Jean Noizet lay in the wreckage of his plane for 34 years, finally being recovered when the crash site at Hincks Plantation, near Lilleshall, was excavated in 1977.

Shrewsbury aviation historian Michael Davies has written a book about Noizet, who was Belgian, one of thousands of foreign pilots who served in Britain during the war.

Noizet was based at RAF Rednal, near Oswestry, which was a major Spitfire training airfield. He died when his stricken plane plunged to earth on August 22, 1943, following a collision with another Spitfire during a mock dogfight. He was 28.

A Spitfire landing at RAF Rednal during the war.

The product of years of research, Michael's book called The Limitless Horizon was written in the 1990s,and he successfully tracked down the pilot's relatives. It has so far not found a publisher in the UK.

However last July he was approached by an 84-year-old local historian in Belgium, former school teacher Edouard Hizette, who had taught Jean's niece and nephew in his home town of Florenville.

"He asked if I would let him have my original manuscript in English and he volunteered to translate it into French," said Michael.