Plan your day, see when the RAF Museum Cosford is open. Contact us on 01902 376 200 or firstname.lastname@example.org
How to find us and travel to the RAF Museum Cosford by car, train, bus or bike.
Enjoy lunch in the Refuel Restaurant with views overlooking the airfield. The Citroen Van in the National Cold War Exhibition is ideal for morning coffee and a cake.
The Royal Air Force Museum Shop has a gift for everyone from pocket money toys to specialist aviation gifts.
A car parking charge Is payable
See what events are scheduled at Cosford
Find out the latest news and updates for our Cosford site
Plan a day, see the opening hours & closure dates for RAF Museum London. Contact us on 020 8205 2266 or email@example.com
How to find us and travel to the RAF Museum London by car, train, bus or bike.
When you need to refuel during your visit why not visit the Wessex Café in Historic Hangars? At this eatery you will find a variety of delicious home-made offerings to suit all tastes and pockets
The Royal Air Force Museum Shop has a gift for everyone one from pocket money toys to specialist aviation gifts.
See what events are planned at our London site
Read the latest news from our London Museum
Lancaster Membership has been designed for people that wish to support the Museum from afar
Lightning Membership has been designed for people that wish to visit the Museum regularly
RADAR Magazine is a thrice yearly publication of the RAF Museum, bringing you access behind-the-scene
Two of our Trustees set out on an epic walk-a-thon in aid of the RAF Museum Centenary Programme.
Join the RAF Museum as a volunteer and create a unique experience for yourself and our visitors. Bring your enthusiasm, knowledge and skills or try something new.
Without you assistance we would not be able to care for our collections, read our varied audiences or share our objects with a world wide audience.
If you have any questions about supporting the RAF Museum, here you can find out how to contact our Fundraising Department.
The Royal Air Force Museum American Foundation ensures that the shared aviation heritage of the USA and the UK is kept alive in the memories of our two great nations.
The Black volunteers had learned a lot about Britain at school and most considered that they were in a real sense ‘coming home’ to the mother country. On arriving here, however, many experienced culture shock. The people of Britain were not like white people in the colonies and, for the first time, they encountered men, women and children of different social classes and backgrounds. The volunteers also met people from other islands in the West Indies for the first time. There was rivalry and sometimes antagonism between men of the different contingents.
All of the volunteers from the Black colonies had to get used to the British climate and the rationed British food. While it could do nothing about the weather, the RAF sometimes managed to obtain Caribbean foodstuffs for the newcomers. Social and sports facilities were also made available, and in the cricket season the inclusion of West Indian players helped break down barriers and made RAF teams difficult to beat.
Few white British people had met a Black person before and most were ignorant about the volunteers and their homelands. This ignorance, combined with the prejudice and insensitivity of individuals, sometimes caused misunderstandings and conflict between the volunteers and their new hosts. Nevertheless, according to veterans, British people were ‘generally friendly’ and they were grateful that Black people were fighting by their side.
“My first impression was how bloody cold and gloomy it was.”
“A darling old couple humbly begged to be allowed to shake my hand for luck. Until then I thought that sort of superstition was confined to uneducated colonials.”
“We were the first coloured people they’d ever seen and we got the best of everything. We received an allowance from the government for extra sugar because we drank our tea sweet.”
Guyanese Engine Fitter
“I admired their strong sense of justice and the guts with which they were prepared to fight for it. The average Britisher proved to be a very fine and decent person once he got to know the African.”
Sierra Leonean Navigator
“Black men could dance and swing their hips which the white women loved. This caused jealousy and fights. The women stood up for the Black men and fought with their stiletto heels.”
Jamaican Radar Operator
“We were treated very well by the RAF and by the local civilians. People were kind and went out of their way to be helpful because we were all fighting for the same cause.”
“’You will like it in Nigeria, it is just like this.’ That was how he proposed.”
British WAAF Education Instructor
“I never encountered any racism but my fellow officers thought I was mad to have volunteered. They said they would have caught the boat going the other way if they had known what was in store.”
By the end of the war, however, fears of post-war unemployment and a widespread nostalgia for peacetime conditions meant the welcome extended to the volunteers had begun to wear thin.
“It is to be regretted that among ground personnel a spirit of tolerance and broadmindedness is at times lacking.”
“I see you are dancing with the white girls! If you were in Germany you would have been shot, you black b******!”
“After I was demobbed in Nottingham a Padre said to me: ‘When are you going home?’ I was shocked; if a Padre could say that, what must everyone else be thinking.”
“It was as if it was okay to be over here while there was an emergency, but in 1945 we weren’t wanted anymore.”
Jamaican Teleprinter Operator
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