We were definitely positively told that the Germans wanted us because we were a stepping stone to the coast of America. It was when three or more came that racism really got sharp. The Caribbean in Wartime The Panama and Caribbean defenses felt the initial impact of war chiefly in the shape of repercussions from Washington. I flew to a special ‘hole’ we had in the North Sea, which no allied shipping ever went near, and dropped my ‘big one’. Many country parts of Jamaica in those days didn’t have electricity. Oh, yes! In 1946, it returned to the West Indies and was disbanded. The Caribbean Regiment (also known as the Carib Regiment) was a unit of the British Army during World War II. But when asked what he wanted to do, he replied at once: "Retrain as a pilot!" There had been resistance from the War Office to form the West Indian regiment, but those who made their own way to the UK were able to enlist in the British Army. Pilot Officer Strachan was famous for his hair-raising but clever way of escaping German fighters. I hadn’t seen it at all - and I was the pilot! You turned the bottle over, the paraffin soaked the cork, you lit the cork, and that was your light for eating, for doing homework or anything. The personalities include a soldier who fought for the English regiment in WWII, a pilot who joined the ATS, plus other individuals who were in the ground crew in the RAF. We were stationed in Lincolnshire and our flight path was over Lincoln Cathedral. Five Italian submarines patrolled the Atlantic side of the Lesser Antillies during Operation Neuland. I knew I simply couldn’t go on - that this was the end of me as a pilot! The Government of Russia, following a study conducted by the Russian Academy of Science in 1993, puts the deaths at 26.6 million, including about 8.66 million military deaths. Two, they coped with. Here’s a TV programme that deserves a big audience this week as we continue to mark the 70th anniversary of VE day: Fighting for king and empire: Britain’s Caribbean heroes. With more experience, and a generally higher degree of education, many of the Bermudian men were made non-commissioned officers and distributed around the regiment. So we were on our tenterhooks all the time.'. It was sheer luck. Soldiers of the Caribbean: Britain's forgotten war heroes.....Fighting for King and Empire: Britain's Caribbean Heroes, which airs at 21:00 BST on 13 May BBC Four. Heroes Of The Caribbean (WW2 Documentary) | Timeline A Channel 4 film about West Indian ex-servicemen and women who served in the British forces in both world wars. I used to collect pictures of Margaret and Elizabeth, you know? I was carrying a 12,000 pound (6,000 kilogram) bomb destined for some German shipping. This was due partly to inadequate training (with only a single battalion, it had not trained as part of a larger brigade; the smallest unit the British Army normally fielded on its own) and partly because of the anticipated political impact in the British West Indies if heavy casualties had been incurred. This was the last straw. contribution, while around 30 joined the ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service). If you ever wonder why the history books fail to acknowledge the African Caribbean involvement in World War 2 , watch this program tonight . Episode 2 of the West Indies at War, a four part feature created for the Parliament Channel by Savant Films highlighting the perspective of West Indians who participated in World War 1. In turn the next day Britain and France formally declared war against Germany and swore their allegiance as a result of defending democracy. A detachment of 104 officers and men from the Atlantic island of Bermuda, made up of volunteers (conscription had been introduced to Bermuda shortly after the declaration of war, but those who were drafted to the Caribbean Regiment volunteered to do so) from the Bermuda Militia Artillery and Bermuda Militia Infantry, arrived on two ships on 13 and 23 April 1944 to form the training cadre of the new regiment at Fort Eustis, a US Army base near Williamsburg, Virginia. They were recruited for the Royal Air Force. Out of a population of 14 million in the Caribbean colonies of the British Commonwealth, about Caribbean soldiers fought in both WW1 and WW2 The Caribbean soldiers were later praised for their high morale and cheerful demeanour in the … well over a 100 were women who were posted overseas - 80 chose the WAAF (Women’s Auxiliary Air Force) for their So much so, … It is estimated that the Soviet Unionlost 27 million military and civilians in World War II. A collection of photographs taken by a US soldier in Trinidad and Tobago from 1943 to 1944 provides a fascinating look at the nation during this period. The Bermudians had previously trained for the war in Europe. He had several narrow escapes. Britain's first Memorial to the African and Caribbean soldiers of the First and Second World Wars has been unveiled in London. You were loved and fêted. It was the British influence. Improved Allied anti-submarine warfare eventually drove the Axis submarines out of the Caribbean region. We never thought it would happen to us. So you had a bottle, you filled it up with paraffin and you put the cork in. But I had no problems in that respect. Asked how he dealt with racial remarks and prejudice in the war, Billy answered: "It was there, all right. Then I flew back to the airfield. England was our mother country. There were plenty Caribbean Women serving in WW2. ', ‘[During the war] there was a mood of fear in Jamaica - they put the fear of God in us. Against them were the allie… Around 6,000 West Indians served with the Royal Air Force and the Royal Canadian Air They sank shipping in the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico and attacked coastal targets in the Antilles. Enrico Tazzoli torpedoed Cygnet and the oil tanker Athelqueen. ", In 1942 Billy Strachan became a bomber pilot. The West Indians that came from the Caribbean to World War 2 were approximately 50,000 including women who joined the Army Territorial Service (ATS). A memorial to the African and Caribbean soldiers of World War one and World War Two has been unveiled in London. For instance, not many have seen images of the Caribbean Islands during World War, with many nations hosting American military bases. He replied: "We’ve just passed it." World War II Caribbean Islands: Jamaica (1939-45) Figure 1.--Here we see some of the U.S. sailors deployed on Jamaican making friends with the locals. We didn’t grow up with any Jamaican thing - we grew up as British. African, Indian, Caribbean and other colonial troops and personnel played a crucial role in supporting the Allied cause in World War Two. The West India Committee has revealed its archive and collection from the First World War as a part of a Heritage Lottery Fund project. The regiment never saw front line action. 236 Caribbean volunteers were killed or reported missing during the Second World War; 265 were wounded. The Caribbean Regiment (also known as the Carib Regiment) was a unit of the British Army during World War II. 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