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eMedals-A Royal Air Force (RAF) Gold Coast Veteran's Blazer Patch

Item: GB5445

A Royal Air Force (RAF) Gold Coast Veteran's Blazer Patch


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A Royal Air Force (RAF) Gold Coast Veteran's Blazer Patch

Eight-colour embroidery on a black wool base, white pressed reinforcing fabric on the reverse, 73 mm x 98 mm, extremely fine. Footnote: Takoradi Airport is an airport in Sekondi-Takoradi, a city and capital of Western Region southern Ghana. During the Second World War, the United States Army Air Forces Air Transport Command Trans-Africa Ferry Route, was a major transportation link between the Atlantic Ocean port of Lagos in Nigeria, and the Sudan and other supplies sent to British forces in Egypt and the Middle East. At Takoradi various buildings had been commandeered and a large landing strip laid down. With the help of the Free French, a series of landing strips had been built en route to Khartoum, spaced so that Fighter Aircraft could make the journey on their limited fuel. The route had been pioneered in 1936 by Imperial Airways, but was dramatically expanded during the war. Takoradi Airport was a major refueling stop between Monrovia-Roberts Field, Liberia and Apapa Airport, Nigeria. Takoradi Airport was utilized as a Royal Air Force station known as "RAF Takoradi", where crated aircraft, that had been shipped over the Atlantic, were assembled prior to being flown to operational areas in North Africa. 26 Squadron SAAF was also based in Takoradi during the war flying Vickers Wellington bombers on anti-submarine and convoy protection patrols over the Atlantic. RAF airmen arriving at Takoradi on the Gold Coast (now Ghana) had heard the expression "The White Man's Grave", one that had been around for centuries, due to the conditions and tropical diseases present, and were told that their time there would count double for overseas service. Many men died of Malaria, Yellow Fever, Blackwater Fever, Septicaemia and Pneumonia. There was a hospital with Nursing Sisters, the only women employed in the theatre, along with male Orderlies. The British War Office refers to this as the "West African Reinforcement Route". There is no Memorial there to the men who died or to the pilots who braved the hazardous route across primitive country to get the air supremacy and photo intelligence that enabled the British to win the Battle of El Alamein. A number of South African Air Force airmen are buried in the Takoradi European Public cemetery adjoining the Airport.
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