7 JUNE 2002

The 60th anniversary of the death of

Alan Dower Blumlein


 

June 7th 2002, marks the 60th anniversary of the crash of Halifax V9977 in a field at Welsh Bicknor in Herefordshire,
a crash in which Alan Blumlein and ten others lost their lives carrying out essential wartime radar research.

The full list of those who died is as follows:

Pilots:
First Pilot: Pilot Officer D.J.D.Berrington (115095)
Second Pilot: Flying Officer A.M.Phillips (44185)

Crew:
Observer. Flight Sergeant G. Millar (751019)
Flight Engineer. Leading Aircraftman B.D.C.Dear (571852)
Wireless Operator/Air Gunner. Aircraftman II, B.C.F. Bicknell (1271272)

Passengers:
Squadron Leader R.J.Sansom (33372) (Attached T.R.E.)
Pilot Officer C.E.Vincent (110285) (Attached T.R.E.)
Mr. G.S.Hensby, Civilian T.R.E.
Mr. A.D.Blumlein, Civilian E.M.I.
Mr. C.O.Browne, Civilian E.M.I.
Mr. F.Blythen, Civilian E.M.I.

On that day in 1942, the world lost a man of incalculable genius, and it can only be speculated at this distance in time
what incredible feats Blumlein would have completed had he lived longer.

Halifax V9977 in which Alan Blumlein was killed 7 June 1942

(photograph courtesy of Sir Bernard Lovell)

Ten years ago, in June 1992, the 50th anniversary of Blumlein's death was marked by an unveiling ceremony of
The Memorial Window at Goodrich Castle.
This exquisite work of stained glass remembers all those who gave their lives for Radar Research
between 1936 and 1976, Alan Blumlein among them.

The Memorial Window at Goodrich Castle unveiled in June 1992

Ten years prior to that in 1982, it had been widely expected that the publication of the biography of Alan Blumlein
by Francis Thomson would appear. Thomson himself did nothing in the months leading up to the 40th anniversary
to dispel the idea that his long-awaited book would appear.
Of course, the book was not published in 1982, nor was it ever destined to appear,
and subsequently Thomson was revealed for the fraud and charlatan that he was.

It was ten years prior to that in 1972, during the 30th anniversary of Blumlein's death, that articles and requests from
Francis Thomson first appeared in periodicals requesting information and documentation about Blumlein.
These, he said, he required for the book he 'intended' to write!

It would have been fitting if, for the 60th anniversary in June 2002, the television documentary tribute to
the life and works of Alan Blumlein which I have been working on for over two and a half years now,
could have been broadcast. But this has proved an impossible deadline to meet and so must wait.

Instead, as a private tribute to those who lost their lives, I have published here for the first time extracts
from Chapter 9 and Chapter 10 of my book in which the specific details of the crash
and the subsequent investigation are outlined. I hope that you find this of interest.

Chapter Nine and Chapter Ten

In addition, I have also published here as an exclusive to the Official Alan Dower Blumlein website, photographs of actual wreckage of Halifax V9977. This wreckage was recovered by myself during excavations at the crash site in 1998.

V9977 Wreckage

On Tuesday, 10 September 2002, a memorial will be unveiled by Sir Bernard Lovell, dedicated to the
RAF Aircrew, Scientists, Engineers and Civiliam Personnel
who lost their lives in the furtherance of Radar Research between 1941-1957.

Naturally, I shall be attending. Details of this memorial can be found using the link below:

September 2002 - Defford Memorial Unveiling

June 2003 - 100th anniversary of Blumlein's birth

Significant anniversaries in
2003, 2004 & 2005

November 2006 - 70th anniversary of Television at Alexandra Palace

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