The website Caribbean aircrew in the RAF during WW2 aims to provide a permanent archive of volunteers from the West Indies who flew for the RAF but whose contribution has been generally overlooked. It is the initiative of Cy Grant and Hans Klootwijk, the son of Joost Klootwijk author of Lancaster W4827: Failed to Return, which recounts the fate of Grant and his fellow crew members after their plane was shot down over Holland in 1943. The book is based on research carried out by Hans’ father, Joost, who was 11 when the bomber crashed into a farmhouse in his village.
In May 2008 Grant went to Holland to visit Joost and Hans, [see links] and the idea for the website took root. It was launched on October 17, 2008, with the names of 70 West Indians who had flown for the RAF. But thanks to regular updates by surviving crew and relatives, as well as by historians in the field, it is now known they numbered around 440 and that at least 70 were commissioned and 103 were decorated.