The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. A E Ashcroft
Alfred Edward Ashcroft was born on 29th August 1920 in South Africa, the son of Alfred Ashcroft and Edith Maud Ashcroft nee Paris.
The family arrived aboard the ss GAIKA in London on 18th November 1923.
He joined the RAFVR in April 1939 as an Airman u/t Pilot. Called up on 1st September 1939, he remustered as an Air Gunner. With his training completed, he joined 141 Squadron in July 1940.
When 141's Defiants were replaced by Beaufighters he retrained as a Radio Observer.
Early on 7th May 1941 Ashcroft was flying with S/Ldr. EC Wolfe. They shot down a Ju88 near Lennoxtown, Stirlingshire. When Wolfe took command of 456 (RAAF) Squadron in March 1942, Ashcroft went with him.
In the early hours of 30th July 1942 they shot down a He111. Ashcroft, who had been commissioned in November 1941, was serving with 29 Squadron in 1943. He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 22nd February 1944).
In the second half of 1944 Ashcroft was flying with 157 Squadron from Swannington, intruding over German night-fighter airfields. On 6th October he failed to return from a sortie to Dortmund.
Mosquito NFXIX MM678 RS-A came down in Belgium, cause unknown. His pilot P/O WS Vale RAAF was also lost.
Ashcroft is buried in Brussels Town Cemetery, Belgium.
Above cemetery images courtesy of The War Graves Photographic Project
Above: the crash site is marked by a memorial that also commemorates an American P-47 Thunderbolt pilot.