DESFORD ARCHIVES: WWII
Desford's Secret Weapon:
In 1940, invasion by the German forces seemed a real threat and several strange ways of countering this were proposed.
Squadron Leader George Reid DFC, owner of Desford airfield, invented a weapon to attack airborne troops by slicing open their parachutes as they descended. It was proposed to fit the weapon to Tiger Moths which were then being used by the Elementary Flying Training School (EFTS).
It consisted of an 8ft length of aircraft tubing with a sharp scythe blade fitted to it. It was stowed beneath the aircraft fuselage and could be lowered by a lever in the cockpit when needed.
The prototype of this device was produced by Reg Emerson, an engineer with Reid & Sigrist. The first flight took place on 12th June 1940 with Squadron Leader George Lowdell and, with continued practice, he gained considerable expertise. In July a demonstration was arranged for Ministry officials, but it received a lukewarm reception. The contraption was dismantled and that was the end of the Paraslasher.