Category Plane crash

It happened on Thursday 2nd May 1952

So – what was it that justifies being here to day? It was  the day that the world’s first passenger carrying jet airliner, a BOAC De Havilland Comet, call sign G-ALYP, with 36 fare-paying passengers aboard, set off on its’ maiden, scheduled flight from London to Johannesburg. It was, in fact, a part of BOAC’s […]

Buddy & Maria Elena – a short life sadly lost.

Buddy’s wife was born María Elena Santiago in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Her mother died when Maria was 12 years old and, in 1953, her father had sent her to live with her aunt in New York City where she worked as a receptionist for a music publisher – ‘Peermusic’.  As a receptionist Maria Elena […]

Manchester United – Munich – and me

It was on Monday 6th February 1958 that the Munich air disaster occurred when British European Airways Flight 609 crashed on its third attempt to take off from a slush-covered runway at Munich-Rien Airport, West Germany. On that plane was the Manchester United football team, nicknamed the “Busby Babes”, along with supporters and journalists. Twenty […]

Buddy and ‘Peggy Sue’ and others will be remembered.

In my younger days – the 1950’s that is – I was one of those thousands, or maybe millions, of British teenagers who latched on to the US ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’ performers. Elvis was my number one with Buddy Holly a close second.  I can remember hearing – and then getting dad to buy – […]

John Derry & the speed of sound

It was on Monday 6th September 1948 that John Derry became the first British pilot to exceed the speed of sound. The de Havilland DH.110 Sea Vixen was designed during the late 1940s at its facility in de Havilland’s Hatfield site and was a carrier-based fleet defense fighter that served into the 1970s.  In September […]

An airplane crossed the English Channel

It was on Sunday 25th July 1909 that Louis Blériot became the first person to cross the English Channel in a airplane. Blériot was a graduate of the École Centrale in Paris who had met and married Alice Vedène while performing military service as a lieutenant of artillery. He had built up a modest fortune […]

Britain’s Jet Age of travel begins

It was on this day – Thursday 2nd May 1952 – that the world’s first passenger jet service from London to Johannesburg took off.  It was a BOAC De Havilland Comet Yoke Peter with 36 fare-paying passengers on board. The journey was some 7,000 miles with stops at Rome, Beirut, Khartoum, Entebbe and Livingstone.   At […]