AN appeal has been launched to honour the memory of war-time scientist Alan Blumlein.

The Halifax bomber in which Blumlein was flying crashed on the banks of the river Wye in Welsh Bicknor, Herefordshire, in 1942.

It had been converted into a flying lab for tests on top-secret radar technology and had taken off from RAF Defford, near Malvern.

But it caught fire at 15,000ft and plunged to earth killing him and all the other 10 passengers and crew, including five other scientists.

Blumlein's immense contribution to the war effort, as well as the development of stereo sound and other technical innovations, was hushed up after his death on the orders of Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

He perhaps felt the loss of such an important scientist would give succour to the Nazis as they plotted their conquest of Europe.

So while the contributions of other Second World War boffins such as Alan Turing (who helped crack the Nazis' Enigma code) and radar pioneer Bernard Lovell have been lauded, Blumlein's role has been largely overlooked.

Our sister newspaper, the Hereford Times, is calling on people to help create a tribute to his memory.

It plans a permanent memorial to Blumlein and his colleagues who died in that crash 76 years ago.

It will take the form of a metal plaque mounted on a plinth near a riverside path overlooking the site of the tragedy.

The appeal has the support of the Blumlein family and Jerome Vaughan, on whose land the memorial will be placed.

It is being spearheaded by Garth Lawson, the Hereford Times walks writer, who has long believed a tribute to Blumlein was overdue.

The aim is to raise £5,000 to pay for the tribute. All you have to do is visit to contribute online.

Alternatively, cheques made payable to the Hereford Times Blumlein Memorial Appeal can be posted (c/o Garth Lawson) to the Hereford Times office, Holmer Road, Hereford HR4 9UJ.