Joan Strothers (1937) - courtesy Newnham College CambridgeJoan Strothers (later Curran) went to the Cavendish Laboratories at Cambridge as a research student under the direction of Philip Dee.  It was there that she met Sam Curran who she married in November 1940.  They both moved to Worth Matravers late in 1940.

RV Jones, was developing ideas for for 'window' or 'chaff' - a radar decoy comprising strips of metal dropped from aircraft that would resonate with German radar to give the impression of ghost forces.  In late 1941 and early 1942 Joan Curran undertook trials of 'window' at Swanage under the direction of Robert Cockburn.  The form that was eventually chosen comprised strips of aluminium foil about 25cm long and 1cm or 2cm wide. 

Window was used in April 1942 to help protect bombers from flak by confusing the German gun laying radar.  Its most impressive success was probably when used to simulate a phantom invasion force of ships in the Straits of Dover in June 1944 for the D-Day landings.

Early in 1944 Joan went to the United States with Sam to work on the Manhatten Project - the American development of the nuclear bomb. 

In 1946 they returned to the United Kingdom where Sam worked at Glasgow University with his wartime boss Philip Dee, later moving to become principal of Strathclyde University.

While in the United States, Joan gave birth to their first child who was to be severely mentally handicapped.  After the war Joan and Sam set up the Scottish Society for the Parents of Mentally Handicapped Children, called 'Enable'.

Lady Joan Curran (ne Joan Strothers)
26 February 1916 - 10 February 1999

If you have additional information or materials - please contact the Radar Trust
Papers & Links etc.
Wikipedia page:  biography Joan Curran  accessed Mar 2011
or try:  http://en.wikipedia.org/  with search words:  Joan Curran
Obituary - The Independent - 19 February 1999 - Joan Curran 
  or go to: www.independent.co.uk  with search words:  Joan Curran obituary
Group in March 1942:  Group 6 - Countermeasures

copyright Purbeck Radar Museum Trust 2013  |  www.purbeckradar.org.uk  |  version 8f - 9 May 2015

Page last updated: 30 July 2011