Wednesday, October 14, 2015

"Colored Guys in the RAF"

When I was a lad,..yeah in Brooklyn. Like all other young boys I was watching all them WW2 movies on black, & white TV. This back in the 1950's, and 60's. I never saw any guys like my dad blowing the bad guys away. I certainly knew that there were Colored troops in the war.

For heaven's sakes my dad, all my uncles, all my friends dads'n uncles, and the mailman were either fighting the Nazis or the Nipponese.

They beat'em too.

However they never made it into any of the movies. Well not till the 70's, and 80's. Also they couldn't keep us out of the few Viet-Nam flicks. What with more than half of the black teenagers being drafted out of the American race ghettos to fight that war.

Anyway I came across some Coloreds in the RAF stuff. Interesting. I knew from family that in Trinidad the Raf had Caribbean Colored flying officers during the war. As you know part of my mother's family is from there.

I may have had "uncle-cousins" in all that somewhere. I have memories of family talk about having this or that relation flying in the war.

Anyway I was happy to find these images. Imagine Colored Guys in the Battle of Britain. It seems there were some from Jamaica. Cool.

(...what on earth sort of dog is the above?!!)

*In 1953 the movie ‘Appointment in London’ was released. The story was about a Bomber Command squadron in 1943. Someone involved in the movie had the knowledge and courtesy to include a reference to black aircrew. It lasted only a few seconds, but must have confounded the audience at the time – as it did me when I watched a few days ago!

Above is a screen shot. It shows the Wing Commander (played by Dirk Bogarde) chatting to a black airman.

One of the script writers for the movie was John Wooldridge, a commander of 105 Squadron RAF during WW2. It seems reasonable to assume that he was aware of the presence of black aircrew in the RAF and inserted the scene into the movie as a mark of recognition and respect.

*[courtesy Tom Graham from Perth, Australia]


  1. I think it might be partly a poodle..? They can be pretty big. Clearly a bold flying ace like Snoopy, so he may have some beagle in him too.

    They should have put some of these men of bronze like your dad and uncles in that old TV show Twelve O'Clock High, but I don't think they did. What unadmirable selective historical amnesia.

    I've read that WWII fighter pilots had a 90 percent fatality rate. Yikes!


  2. The Japanese had a 96% death rate. They didn't rotate them home to teach new pilots like we, and to a lesser extent the Germans did. The Russians were like the Japanese. You were in for the duration...period full stop.

    Basically a death sentence.

    No sense of humor them guys.