Some much needed Thursday night eye candy
I do love a man in uniform
More about these gorgeous airmen, lawyers and diplomats below.
Pilot Officer John Henry Smythe, QC, OBE
Born in Freetown, Sierra Leone Smythe volunteered for the RAF as a navigator. On the night of 18 November 1943 his plane was shot down over Germany on his 28th mission. He spent 18 months in a Prisoner of War camp before being liberated by the Soviet Red Army. Smythe helped other prisoners try to escape but did not try to break out himself. He said, ‘I don’t think a six-foot-five black man would’ve got very far in Pomerania.’
After the war Smythe worked in the Colonial Office and in 1948 travelled with Empire Windrush to bring 500 West Indian ex-servicemen and workers to UK. He was called to the Bar in 1951 and later returned to Sierra Leone, where he continued his law career. He was appointed as the country’s Attorney-General and received an OBE in 1978.
Squadron Leader Phillip Louis Ulric Cross, DSO, DFC
Cross, who joined the RAF aged 24, flew as part of legendary 139 Pathfinder Squadron of RAF Bomber Command. He was the only West Indian in his squadron and thought to be the highest ranking West Indian World War II serviceman.
Cross later became Attorney General of Cameroon, and an esteemed judge in Ghana and Tanzania. After his return to Trinidad he served as a High Court Judge and from 1979 as a member of the Court of Appeal. In 1990 he became High Commissioner for Trinidad and Tobago to the UK and Ambassador to Germany and France.
Known as the “Black Hornet”, he was the inspiration for 2002 best selling novel "Hornet’s Flight".
Flight Lieutenant the Rt. Hon, Dudley J. Thompson, OC, QC
Motivated to volunteer after reading Hitler’s Mein Kampf, Thompson flew over enemy territory as a member of a Lancaster Bomber’s aircrew. After the war he an organiser of the 1945 Pan African Conference in Manchester, while still wearing in the uniform of a RAF Flight Lieutenant.
A Pan-Africanist and friend and colleague of George Padmore, Kwame Nkrumah, C.L.R. James, Julius Nyerre and M.K.O. Abiola. He assembled the international legal team that defended Jomo Kenyatta in his trial after he had been seized by the British colonialists in 1952 and charged with treason, accused of being an instigator of the Mau Mau rebellion.
Thompson played an vital role in the independence movement of both Belize and Bahamas, as well as holding various Cabinet posts in his native Jamaica. He was awarded the Order of Jamaica, Jamaica’s most prestigious decorations, for distinguished service in the field of International Affairs and his contribution to the legal developments in Jamaica.