RAF wartime exhibition celebrates the forgotten fewest of the Few





His daring exploits were typical of fighter pilots during the Battle of Britain: he shot down Messerschmitts, was forced down twice and lost a lung flying at altitude. But how many other RAF squadron leaders used to keep a spare turban in their cockpits?
Mohinder Singh Pujji was one of 18 qualified Indian pilots to join the RAF in 1940. Now 90 he is the only one left to tell the tale and is still disgusted at the lack of recognition given to the role of black and Asian airmen and women during the war.

Pujji was treated as a hero in wartime Britain. He was ushered to the front of cinema queues and often treated to free meals in restaurants. But after the war films such as The Dam Busters presented a white-only view of the RAF - a fact that appalled him.

"The British people are foolish. They don't even know we Indians were there," he said.

In an attempt to put the record straight a new permanent exhibition was opened yesterday at RAF Museum Cosford in Shropshire, called Diversity in the Royal Air Force. The launch comes in a week when Prince Harry's comments have reignited the debate about racism in the armed forces and the RAF is hoping that the exhibition will help to challenge negative perceptions by celebrating the racial diversity of its history...



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