Johnny Smythe RAF World War 2

Johnny Smythe RAF World War 2

Johnny Smythe OBE 1915 - 1996

Following the declaration of War in 1939, Johnny Smythe born in Freetown, Sierra Leone volunteered for the RAF, training as a Navigator Officer. A year later he became Navigator of a bomber squadron  before being promoted to Flying Officer.

In 1943 he was taken prisoner after being shot down by enemy fighters. He spent the remainder of the war helping on the escape committee at Stalag Luft One in Pomerania, Germany until he was freed by the Russians in 1945.

3rd Battalion British West Indies Regiment

3rd Battalion British West Indies Regiment

The following article was contributed by Paul Finnegan Royal British Legion, Halesowen Branch July 2015

On a recent visit to Ypres I visited Ypres Reservoir Cemetery in the town, primarily to see the grave of VC recipient Brigadier General Francis Aylmer Maxwell. The information panel at the entrance to the Cemetery stated that there were six graves of men who served with the British West Indies Regiment So I sought to find one. 

SS Empire Windrush Remembrance Sunday Service

HMS Forward Supports SS Empire Windrush Remembrance Sunday

SS Empire Windrush Remembrance Sunday is an annual event held at Holy Trinity Church. As with all Services of Remembrance it offers us a moment of reflection, contemplation and celebration for the achievements made by the people from the Caribbean who once again answered England's call for help.

In 1948, skilled professionals joined returning military personnel to help rebuild, care and protect a war torn country.

ANZAC, Gallipoli and WW1

ANZAC Day - Cannock Chase

ANZAC Day (25th April) honours the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli against the Ottoman Empire. It also marks the anniversary of the first military action fought by the Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.

ANZAC day is observed in the Cook Islands, Niue, Pitcairn Islands and Tonga. It was previously a national holiday in Papua New Guinea and Samoa.

In memory of the SS Mendi

In memory of the SS Mendi

On 21 February 1917, during the 1st World War, Mendi was transporting 823 personnel of the South African Native Corps to France. She had sailed from Cape Town to Lagos (Nigeria) where a gun was fitted to her stern, then on to Plymouth; before proceeding towards Northern France.

At 5am, while being escorted by the destroyer HMS Brisk, Mendi was struck amidships and almost cut in half by the SS Darrow, an empty meat ship bound for Argentina.

616 South Africans (607 of them black troops) plus 30 crew members, mostly British, died in the disaster.

India's Contribution to the First World War

India's Contribtion to the First World War. British Empire

Undivided India which includes the Countries today called Pakistan, Bangladesh, Burma (Myanmar) Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Nepal contributed to the war efforts by sending over 1,105,000 Indian personnel overseas.

India's contribution was not confined to the army. The Royal Indian Marine was armed in 1914, some of its ships serving with the Royal Navy on escort duties and others as costal minesweepers or river gunboats in the Mesopotamia campaign.

The role of the Indian merchant services in transportation and supply was no less essential than that of their comrades in arms.

Forces TV: Pilots of the Caribbean

Pilots of the Caribbean Exhibition at RAF Museum Cosford

Here's a fine example of the WAWI Project working in partnership with RAF Museum Cosford; supporting Pilots of the Caribbean: Volunteers of African Heritage in the RAF.

See Julie Knox reporting for Forces TV: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fj7fKfyWJcc

The exhibition is open daily, 10am - 5pm, Free Admission at Royal Air Force Museum Cosford, Shifnal, Shropshire, TF11 8UP - 01902 376200

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