South East Wales

Australian WW2 Spitfire pilot added to Welsh church roll of honour

Flying Officer Neville Fleming
Image caption Flying Officer Neville Fleming lost control of the fighter plane on 6 February 1943

A 19-year-old Australian Spitfire pilot who died when his aircraft crashed in a south Wales field during World War Two has been added to a roll of remembrance near the site.

Flying Officer Neville Fleming lost control of the fighter plane on 6 February 1943 near Pendoylan, Cowbridge, while on a training mission.

It touched the ground and spun out of control, bursting into flames.

His name has been added to the roll at St Cadoc's Church in Pendoylan.

The young pilot, from Red Hill, Brisbane, Queensland, had taken off from an airfield at nearby Llandow.

'Hero'

The incident went down in local folklore, with tales told about "the field where the Spitfire crashed".

But much more about the tragedy has been discovered in the last year. Local people found that Flying Officer Fleming was buried at a war graves cemetery in Llantwit Major.

They also contacted his family in Australia and his sister sent a package of photographs and documents, including her brother's cap badge and insignia.

Flying Officer Fleming's name was included at St Cadoc's Church and his sacrifice was marked during at the annual remembrance service.

A Church in Wales spokeswoman said: "Neville Fleming, who died in the parish of Pendoylan 70 years ago, is now remembered as a hero by his family, friends and fellow parishioners."

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