Description

Published date: 11 June 2014

While the United States could boast the black fliers of Tuskegee, few people are aware of the important contribution made by 500 RAF aircrew recruited from the Caribbean and West Africa. Overcoming the legacy of the official British Colour Bar to serve over Europe as pilots, navigators, flight engineers and air gunners, these men were pioneers in the truest sense. After suffering a loss rate of more than 30% and, in some cases, incarceration as black PoWs in Nazi Germany, the men returned to their countries of origin and were lost from the historical record. Mark Johnson has spent 17 years researching this tale, based on personal interviews with survivors, one of whom was his Jamaican great-uncle, a former navigator with Bomber Command’s No 102 (Ceylon) Squadron and a holder of the Distinguished Flying Cross. He outlines their backgrounds and motives for joining up and also describes their combat experiences and explores the possible significance of their legacy for integration and race relations.

Mark Johnson is a former soldier, a cyber-security writer and historian. His first history title, which tells the largely unknown story of the black RAF aircrew volunteers, is Caribbean volunteers at war (Pen & Sword). The author posts regular updates on his website at www.markjohnsonbooks.com.

Author: Mark Johnson Duration: 00:39:08

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...

Leave a comment

Help

You can find help on how to download and listen to our podcasts in our quick guide to getting started. If you wish to re-use any part of a podcast, please note that copyright in the podcasts and transcripts in some cases belongs to the speakers, not to the Crown. Please contact the Copyright Officer with queries. If commenting, please be aware of our moderation policy.

Subscribe

Select an option to receive our free podcast series, using either RSS or iTunes. See our help guide for more information on podcast subscription.