One of our Aircraft is Missing
by Jonathan Myerson

Jonathan Myerson - One of our Aircraft is Missing

BBC Radio 4: Saturday Night Theatre

Broadcast: Saturday 22nd July 1989 @ 7:45 p.m.

In this thriller, members of the upper-echelon at the Ministry of Defence gather to discuss the ramifications of the recently discovered ditched British fighter plane, probably a Hurricane or Spitfire, that was found on the coast of Norfolk in a marsh near the fens, just a quarter of a mile from the North Sea. The plane was only found because of a recently long heatwave that dried up the marsh and revealed the wreck. The plane went missing in 1945 while on a secret mission with a special payload and for the MoD, they were 44 years of blissfully thinking that it was rotting and decomposing somewhere in the deep of the North Sea; 44 years and many a retirement happily begun and ended; and now they are left to dig the Ministry out of the quagmire before those left behind will be blamed for it all.

Peter Renshaw, Head of the Archive Department at the MoD, believes they can get away with it just by observing normal procedures. The squadron markings found on the plane are unofficial so the plane cannot be traced; they'll claim no pilot remains were identifiable so that will ensure there is no inquest. To handle it from their end, Renshaw puts the very green Simon Rosen, a recent arrival in his department from Oxford University, who will do it according to the rules. The good part is Simon can be easily manipulated to cover it up. Unfortunately for the MoD, the stressed out Simon can also be manipulated by the Press to uncover the secrecy of the long ago mission...

With Deborah Findlay [Jenny Lodge, Newspaper Photographer], John Moffatt [Tom Renshaw, Simon's Boss at the MoD Archive Dept.], David Rintoul [David Phelan, Newspaper Reporter], Jonathan Tafler [Simon Rosen, Archivist at MoD Archive Dept.], Geoffrey Whitehead [MacInerney, an MoD Dept. Head], John Warner [Hawtrey, an MoD Dept. Head], John Bull [Major Hanson], Joe Dunlop [Guy, Newspaper Editor], Philip Sully [Police Sergeant], Ian Targett [Police Constable Jeffrey], Joanna Mackie [Carrie, Simon's Secretary], Peter Craze [Smith, an MoD Henchman], Joan Walker [Telephonist], Ian Michie [Corporal], Richard Pearce [The Boy], Eva Stuart [Mrs. Bennett, Dead Pilot's Mother], and Irene Hanlon [Miss Helen Bennett, Dead Pilot's Sister].

Directed by Marilyn Imrie.

90 minutes.


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