Pilots of the Caribbean - The Sword of Honour
By Paul Hudson, Head of Marketing in London Events
As part of planning " 'Pilots of the Carribbean' : Volunteers of African Heritage in the RAF " various members of the Museum's Curatorial Department conducted research into a wide selection of objects that tell the story of black airmen in the RAF. One object, that is currently on display, has particular resonance for the Museum's Director General, Peter Dye. This object is :
The Sword of Honour kindly loaned by the Royal Air Force College for the duration of the exhibition.
The Sword of Honour is awarded by the Royal Air Force College Cranwell to the most outstanding student officer of the year.
In 1977, Flight Lieutenant David Case became the first black officer cadet to be awarded this honour. He subsequently rose to become an Air Commodore and the RAF’s highest-ranking black officer.
Peter Dye (left) with Flight Lieutenant David Case (1971)
The photograph above shows David Case on his wedding day in November 1981 with his friend and Best Man, Peter Dye, now Director General of the RAF Museum, who remembers:
“As a Sword of Honour winner, David had his own sword - presented to him at Cranwell. The rest of us had to rent or borrow them...”
This sword, presented to the College by Robert Pooley, will be awarded to the next winner.
For those who have not seen the exhibition yet, the sword is a magnificent piece of craftsmanship.