Ian White Articles

Ian White is a prolific writer and a very valued contributor of a great many articles and bits of information on this website. It is only appropriate that there should be a section providing easy access to articles produced by Ian. It is also very appropriate and equally very interesting to learn a bit about Ian:


Ian White was born in the West Riding of Yorkshire in 1947 and educated at secondary schools in Rotherham and later in Ilford, Essex. He joined the Post Office Engineering Department (GPO) in August 1963 as an apprentice and later served as a technician in the City of London. In 1973, on promotion to engineer, he was appointed to the Post Office’s Air Defence (AD) Group in London to provide landline and ground to air communications for the Royal Air Force (RAF) in the UK, Germany and Cyprus.

The latter part of this period was spent in the provision of special to type communications equipment for Royal Signals, the Royal Observer Corps and a number of police forces. It was whilst serving with the AD Group that he first became interested in the technical aspects of airborne radar and the history of British night-fighters. In 1974 he began his research into the history of the development and deployment of air intercept (AI) radar and its role in the night air defence of the UK. His research has expanded since then to take account of the development of the British night-fighter and especially the role played by night-fighters in the home defence of the UK in both world wars and the Cold War.

In 1979 Ian was seconded to the Army’s School of Signals at Blandford, Dorset, to act as the liaison officer between the Post Office and Royal Signals on telecommunications’ matters. During this period he was involved in the communications planning aspects of the Falkland’s conflict following the restoration of the Islands in 1982 and proposals to introduce fibre optic communications into the Army and RAF airfields in Germany.

Ian returned to what was now BT in April 1984 and joined the Company’s Defence Sales Organisation as a Senior Systems Engineer and later as an engineering manager. The final three years were spent as a liaison officer within the defence and law enforcement community. Ian retired from BT in May 2000, following which he attended Anglia Polytechnic University (now Anglia Ruskin University), Cambridge, as an undergraduate history student. In 2003 he was awarded an honours degree in Modern European History. Ian joined the Royal Aeronautic Society in 1977 as an Associate, before being appointed an Associate Member (AMRAeS) in 1984. He was awarded Incorporated Engineer (IEng) status by the Society in March 1999. He is a member of the Royal Air Force Historical Society, Air Britain and an associate member of No.604 (County of Middlesex) Squadron Association.

He has written a history of No.604 Squadron (If You Want Peace, Prepare for War,2005) and a history of the British night-fighter (A History of Air Intercept Radar and the British Night-Fighter, 1936-1959, Pen & Sword Ltd, 2007) and is currently engaged in writing a history of the Vickers Wellesley bomber for Warpaint Publications.

Ian, in association with the late Douglas Fisher, FRPS, has prepared the draft for a book on the history of the RAF’s radar research flights and recently part wrote the history of the Post Office/BT’s contribution to UK defence, A Call to Arms, published by Focus Publishing in February 2001. He has also prepared and presented papers at Bournemouth University on the history of IFF (1998) and the History of British Night-Fighters, 1940-1955 (2001) and others on behalf of the Royal Aeronautical Society Branches at Cranwell, Brough & Yeovil.

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