ASHFIELD, Frederick William

Pugnamus finitum (We fight to a finish)

No.1160840, Sergeant (Observer), Frederick William ASHFIELD
Aged 29

420 (R.C.A.F.) Squadron, R.A.F.V.R.
Killed in Action on Thursday, 12th February 1942

Frederick William Ashfield was born on 5th January 1913 in Norfolk (Wayland Q1-1913 4B:401), son of Frederick Henry and Stina ASHFIELD (née ANDERSEN).
By 1914 his parents had moved to the Post Office at Horseheath where his two brothers Olaf E(buried in Horseheath as an infant) and Leslie (buried in Holland) were born.
His mother was Norwegian and met his father in USA when working for Duleep Singh the estate owner at Elveden.

Early in 1939, a commercial traveller, he married Joan Winifred HARWOOD from Halstead, Essex. In Sept.1939 they were at The King's Head, Colchester Road, Halstead with his father in law Ernest J Harwood, publican, mother in law Winifred E. Harwood.
In 1939 his parents were still at the Post Office in Horseheath. Brother Leslie has not been found, perhaps already in the RAF

His brother Leslie was killed in action in 1940 with the 44 Squadron, RAF. He was also flying a Hampden from RAF Waddington. see here

Frederick was observer in Hampden Mk I, P4400, c/sign PT-J which took off from RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire at 13:37 on operation "Fuller". This was to target the English Channel dash of the German battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. A total nine aircraft from420 Squadron were involved, but the weather closed in and only two aircraft found the target, which they were unsuccessful in attacking. Two of the aircraft were never seen again, PT-K being the other.
The crew consisted of:- Pilot- P/O - John Robert Topping RAFVR; Observer - Sgt Frederick William Ashfield RAFVR; W/Op-Air Gunner F/O Edward Graham Fowler RAFVR; W/Op-Air Gunner Sgt Thomas Henry Mate RAFVR.

Battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau

photo; Commonwealth War Memorial Commission

Frederick Ashfield is commemorated on the Runnymede memorial, panel 77

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details

BACK to Horseheath home page