In two World Wars black people from the Caribbean, Africa and from Britain volunteered to serve in the Royal Air Force. These volunteers fought, and died, for the Mother Country and for freedom, and thereby helped to preserve the values and the heritage they shared with their white comrades. The tradition of service to the Crown continues today, and the RAF is proud to welcome new generations of black volunteers into its ranks.
In a brand new exhibition, curated in partnership with the Black Cultural Archives, the Royal Air Force Museum will tell in ‘Pilots of the Caribbean: Volunteers of African Heritage in the Royal Air Force’ the inspirational story of these volunteers, commemorating and celebrating their vital contribution to the defence of Britain, her Empire and Commonwealth.
The exhibition will also highlight the RAF’s success in embracing diversity and also demonstrate how the rich, cosmopolitan nature of modern Britain owes much to the black men and women who wore air force blue.
Although we have a wealth of archive materials to draw from, the Royal Air Force Museum would welcome stories and photographs from former, and serving, black RAF Service Personnel and their families. If you would like to assist in the Museum with this appeal, in the first instance, please email the Museum’s Research Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 020 8358 4873.
The exhibition will open initially in London on 1st of November 2013 and will then transfer to our sister Museum in Cosford Summer 2014.
Pictures show Flight Lieutenant Trevor Edwards in 1992 and First World War Pilot William Robinson Clarke.