Opening Hours: 10am to 4pm, Wednesday to Saturday. 1pm to 4pm Sundays. FREE Admission

Alan Morgan

Admitted to:

RAF Ford SSQ. St. Richards Hospital, Chichester (20/02/44).

Date of Injury:

20/02/1944

D.O.B/Age when admitted:

20/02/1923 (21)

Cause of Incident:

Flying Incident. On return from ops, removed gloves to fix oxygen intake and then closed aircraft door without putting gloves back on.

Transferred to QVH:

23/02/1944

Injuries:

Frostbite to hands, no fingers.

No. of Operations at East Grinstead:

5



IDENTITY CARD

This is to certify that the patient mentioned below and whose description is stated hereon is the authorised holder of this Identity card.


Forename:

Alan

Surname:

Morgan

Service No:

1589714

Nationality:

British


Awards/Honours:

---

Patient Unit:

49 Sqn

Profession:

Flight Engineer

Patient Rank:

Sgt

Death:

---

Age at Death:

---

Dr Rank:

Dr Unit:

Notes:

Trained as a Jig Borer/Tool Maker pre-war.

Joined the RAF in December 1942, training as a Flight Engineer.

On return from target, the main rear door was blown open. Morgan retrieved the wireless operator who had passed out from lack of oxygen, connected him to a supply, and went to close the rear door. He passed out as well and was retrieved by the bomb-aimer. In the process, Morgan touched the airframe of the plane with bare hands, which was at around -42F. His fingers had to be amputated.

Despite this, Morgan worked hard strengthening his thumbs and finger stumps, and was declared fit to fly again in May 1945, being posted to the Empire Air Navigation School.

Glossary:

SSQ - Station Sick Quarters

Further Reading:

The Guinea Pig Club' By Edward Bishop.
'McIndoe's Army' By Edward Bishop.
'McIndoe's Army' By Peter Williams and Ted Harrison.
'No Fingers? - No Problem - If You Are A Guinea Pig', The Guinea Pig, July 1998, pp. 20-1.

'Even devastating war injuries couldn't keep teenaged sweethearts apart', Ella Morgan, RAF Benevolent Fund blog, 14 February 2016, https://www.rafbf.org/news-and-blogs/even-devastating-war-injuries-couldnt-keep-teenaged-sweethearts-apart
"They christened me 'Fingers' because I had none!", RAF Benevolent Fund, 21 July 2016, https://www.rafbf.org/news-and-blogs/they-christened-me-fingers-because-i-had-none

References:

'Frostbite! - How I Became a Guinea Pig', The Guinea Pig, July 1986, pp. 11-3.
27.08.2009. Personal letter written by Mr. A. Morgan including list of bombing operations.



East Grinstead Museum Collection:
EGRTM 6600.35.67 - Photograph of 1945 Guinea Pig Club Dinner, including Morgan