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Road named after test pilot who tragically died when experimental jet plane crashed at Burtonwood


A new road on the residential part of Omega has been named in memory of Major Frederic A Borsodi, USAAF, who tragically died whilst flying an experimental jet plane over Burtonwood airbase in January 1945.

Borsodi Boulevard is set to be officially unveiled on May 26th as part of a Burtonwood airbase reunion event.

The new ‘R3’ spine road through the residential part of Omega, extending from the signal-controlled junction at Burtonwood Road / Kingswood Road, down to the Green Heart) is being named ‘Borsodi Avenue’ in memory of the American WW2 Test Pilot who died towards the end of the war whilst flying an experimental jet plane.

Although built, the road is not yet open to the public so to coincide with this year’s Burtonwood Association’s reunion, it is proposed to hold an official opening ceremony on Thursday 26 May.

Major Frederic A Borsodi (November 4, 1916 – December 28, 1945) entered US Army Air Corps service in Connecticut and served from 1941 to 1943 as a second lieutenant in the African, Sicilian, and Italian campaigns, completing 130 missions as a P-40 pilot. His flying experience with the P-40 in the Mediterranean area probably formed his basis of comparison of the Bf 109G-6/trop and the US Army Air Forces fighters.

He became chief of fighter testing from 1943-45 at Wright Field in Ohio. He was the first man to witness the compressibility shock wave on an aircraft wing while diving a P-51 plane from 40,000 feet.

On January 28, 1945, when testing YP-80A Shooting Star 43-83026, the engine exploded and the aircraft crashed approx three miles west of Burtonwood airfield, pilot, Major Borsodi was killed and the aircraft completely destroyed. This aircraft was the first US jet-propelled fighter and one of two jets on the field. Both planes had received a first flight check; this plane crashed during a routine second flight. As a result, the YP-80A was temporarily grounded. Had he survived WWII, he would almost certainly have been a candidate to fly the Bell X-1 and be the first man to exceed the speed of sound.

Major Borsodi is buried at the US Military Cemetery at Cambridge. Plot C, Row 4 Grave 73.

His awards were: Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Medal with six Oak Leaf Clusters.


Major Frederic Austin Borsodi

Information provided by the RAF Burtonwood Association


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