The untold story of the RAF’s black Second World War fliers over Europe11.06.2014

mark johnson

Mark recently delivered a presentation at the National Archives in London based on his recent title, Caribbean Volunteers at War. We have now received the final audio recording of the event, which you can access by following the link below to the National Archive’s official website!

About the presentation:

“While the United States boasted 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, while exploring the possible significance of their legacy for current day integration and race relations.”

The link to the audio presentation is provided here: