Regulation? What regulation?


Men living in Canada who wished to join the RCAF did so at a RCAF recruiting centre, where qualifications were checked, tests conducted and the regulations enforced. Leonard Braithwaite, who enlisted in 1943 and later became a lawyer in Ontario and then a member of the provincial parliament, recounted going to the recruiting centre in Toronto on several occasions, only to be turned away each time. Allen Bundy, who became a pilot with 404 Squadron, told a similar story.

 It was not until October 1941 that Blacks and Orientals could enlist in the “general duties” category of trades, which excluded trades that worked on aircraft and, more importantly, the coveted aircrew trades. In March 1942, the government approved the lifting of the colour barrier, nine months after the RCAF had recommended its elimination.

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