This is a portrait of more than 495 Caribbean and West African volunteers who served as aircrew (pilots, navigators, gunners and flight engineers) in RAF Bomber and Fighter Commands between 1939 and 1945. More than 25% of these men were decorated and one third were killed in action.
The most senior of the Caribbean volunteers eventually rose to the rank of Group Captain, yet the story of their joining, training and in particular of their operational experiences is rarely told, their sacrifice having been largely ignored, even forgotten.
At the heart of the tale are the personal interviews the author conducted with survivors during his 17 years of research, as well as other gripping first hand accounts of battle provided via various newspaper and television interviews, and autobiographies, as well as reviews of operational records from the time. Significant support was also received from the RAF Museum and this allowed the list of black fliers to grow from 450 to its current figure of 495.
The account includes the stories of black POWs held in German ‘Stalag Luft’ camps until 1945 when they were rescued by the tanks of the Soviet Army which crashed through the barbed wire fences and into their compounds.
The full list of the names of those who flew is included as an Appendix, with squadron details and dates of death, where known.
WHERE TO BUY:
Booksellers are rapidly lining up to offer this title, so here is an updated list of retailers:
1. You can already buy it directly from the publisher here: http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Caribbean-Volunteers-at-War/p/6184/.
2. Waterstones are offering it online here and in stores from 20 March 2014: http://www.waterstones.com/waterstonesweb/products/mark+johnson/caribbean+volunteers+at+war/10046051/
3. Barnes and Noble list it here: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/caribbean-volunteers-at-war-mark-johnson/1117484047?ean=9781783462919
4. Foyles UK have it listed here: http://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/history-politics/caribbean-volunteers-at-war-the,mark-johnson-9781783462919
5. Amazon UK shows it as available now: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Caribbean-Volunteers-War-Forgotten-Tuskegee/dp/1783462914/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1394920409&sr=1-1&keywords=caribbean+volunteers+at+War
6. Amazon.com also lists it, but with an available date of 19 May: http://www.amazon.com/Caribbean-Volunteers-War-Forgotten-Tuskegee/dp/1783462914/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1394920472&sr=8-1&keywords=caribbean+volunteers+at+War
If you prefer to purchase from your local book shop, just quote the ISBN (9781783462919) and /or the title and they should be able to order it for you.