by Raymond Pidgley
My brother Oliver was scouting around in the New Forest, (before he joined the Royal Artillery like his Father) just a little way from Godshill where we lived over towards Godshill Wood when he saw two American Lockheed Lightnings crash into each other in the sky during the war.
One crashed into a farmhouse near Stuckton, and he noticed that one of the pilots had parachuted out over the forest near Godshill Wood near him.
He made his way over to the pilot who had lost a leg, and was in a bad way.
My brother wrapped his parachute around his wound, and made his way to where one of the planes had crashed on to the farmhouse, which was surrounded by American Military Police and rescue services.
When he got near, he found that he could not contact anyone because they were so busy with the crash and would not take any notice of this English boy that was trying to contact someone, and the Military Police were too busy to bother.
Then an American Officer in a 'jeep' approached the site and became interested in what Oliver was trying to say.
Oliver took him across the forest in his jeep, to where the pilot was laying, and the pilot was rescued and taken to Odstock Hospital, which was then an American Military Hospital which had been built just outside Salisbury.
The pilot was sent back to America, and he wrote several letters to Oliver, before Oliver joined the 'Royal Artillery' like his Father, serving many years in Alexandria, Egypt, with the Consul General.
This is a really wonderful family history Ray, your family must be very proud of Oliver.
Thanks very much for sharing it with us.