JIS News

A new permanent exhibition, to highlight and honour the contribution of Afro-Caribbean, Indian and other ethnic groups, to the growth and development of the Royal Air Force (RAF), and in the defence of the United Kingdom (UK), opened at the RAF’s Museum at Cosford in Shropshire on January 14.
The exhibition titled: ‘Diversity in the Royal Air Force, is located in the museum’s Hangar I, and charts the exploits of many of the heroes and heroines, who have seen active service in the RAF, and progressed through its ranks, based on their talent and bravery.
Featured are servicemen such as Group Captain Larry Osbourne, the first Afro-Caribbean Officer to achieve the rank, having joined the RAF from Trinidad as a navigator in 1943. An accomplished pilot, who saw active service flying Catalinas and Liberators during World War II, Osbourne remained in the RAF after the cessation of hostilities, before receiving an Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his work in the service. His son later followed him into the RAF as a pilot.
There is also World War I fighter pilot Lt. Indra Lal “Laddie” Roy, who shot down 10 enemy aircraft, and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1918.
“An active supporter of the Commission for Racial Equality, the RAF has welcomed, since its earliest days, servicemen and women from all sections of society on the basis of their talent, drive and ambition. We celebrate them, their talents and honour their contributions, inviting members of their communities and the wider population to do the same,” a release from the museum said.
More than 20,000 Jamaicans and other Caribbean nationals volunteered to serve in the British Military during World Wars I and II. ‘Diversity in the Royal Air Force’, is the second major exhibition to honour the contribution of the Caribbean to the British War effort.
Last year, the Imperial War Museum in London opened a ‘War to Windrush’ exhibit, which chronicled the role played by Caribbean people in both World Wars, including the discrimination they faced.