With today being the 75th anniversary of ‘ Operation Chastise’, and the destruction of Ruhr Valley dams in Germany. I thought that I would give you a quick insight into the man who invented the device infamously known as ‘ The Bouncing Bomb’ …Sir Barnes Wallis.
Sir Barnes Neville Wallis was born in Ripley Derbyshire on the 26th September 1887 (Blue plaques, Butterley Hill), where he lived with his parents for the first 5yrs of his life.
After training as a Marine engineer at Cowes, he became a designer in the air ship department of Vickers Ltd, whilst there, he designed the famous R100 airship, which successfully crossed the Atlantic Ocean.
After being promoted to Chief designer of Structure at Vickers Aviation in Surrey, Wallis was responsible for the Wellington and Wellesley bombers.
Perhaps(undoubtedly) the pinnacle of his career came in World War 2, when he devised the ‘ Bouncing Bomb’, which destroyed the enemy dams and industrial structure in Mohne and Eder , Germany.
After the war, Wallis was head of aeronautical R & D at Weybridge from 1945 to 1971.
Also, in the 1950s, he developed the first swing-wing aircraft, used in the Tornado fighter.
Wallis was knighted in1968 (Albert medal & Royal medal also awarded)
Wallis died on the 30th October 1979, aged 92.
A true Brit indeed!