H2S was the first airborne, ground scanning radar system. It was developed for the Royal Air Force’s Bomber Command during World War II to identify targets on the ground for night and all-weather bombing.

On a clear summer’s day on 7th June 1942, a Halifax bomber on a secret mission crashed into a field and hillside just on the Welsh Bicknor side of the River Wye, Herefordshire. Shortly before crashing, one of the starboard engines caught fire, the starboard wing burned through and fell off, causing the plane to invert and crash violently into a hillside that was part of the peaceful and idilic Herefordshire countryside. So violent was the crash that the already fire ravaged plane exploded on impact killing all 11 passengers on board. A witness to the crash, a farmer, Onslow Kirby must have been stunned by what he had seen and the utter carnage before his eyes. He also would not have known the significance of the crash. Indeed it was a National disaster.

Halifax_V9977

Handley Page Halifax V9977 equipped with H2S radar