BLACK THURSDAY was the name by which the tragic occurrences of 16/17 December 1943 came to be known. Late on the 16th and in the early hours of the morning of the 17th, the RAF lost numerous aircraft due to a thick fog blanketing England. Squadron Leader Deverill and five members of his crew lost their lives, as did forty-four other Pathfinder aircrew, all of whom had returned from an operation against Berlin.
Now that we have acquired the Deverill collection, it has been moved to our partners at the Pathfinder Collection, Heritage Centre, RAF Wyton, where it will form the centrepiece of an exhibition on Black Thursday.
The exhibition will be in place for the 74th anniversary of Black Thursday. Material in the exhibition will include pieces of the aircraft Deverill was flying that night, aircraft wreckage from the crash of the Thackway crew, photographs of many of the aircrew involved, and details of the loss of Deverill, including the telegram which was sent to his wife to tell her that he had been killed.
Time being so short this year as it has taken a while to complete the purchase of the Deverill collection, the initial exhibition will be comparatively small. However, it is planned that it will be substantially increased over the course of the next year to form a moving tribute to those who were lost on the worst night of the war in the Pathfinders and Bomber Command for bad weather losses.