Soon after the formation of the RAF in 1918, members of the RAF Service Police began working alongside other RAF personnel at airfields in India. With the outbreak of World War II however, the RAF quickly expanded both at home and abroad and so did the RAF Police. RAF deployments throughout India, Ceylon, the Far East and the Indian Ocean rapidly spread and additional numbers of RAF Police were established to support RAF commanders on the ground. Following the Japanese invasion of the Pacific Islands and the Far East, the RAF mounted operations mainly from within India in support of ground troops. After the detonation of Atomic bombs forced Japan to surrender, the RAF Police joined the British Commonwealth Occupation Force stationed in Japan.
In 1946 and 1947 violent post-war anti-colonial unrest within India saw the RAF Police at the very forefront in protecting RAF units and personnel and other Europeans from the daily threat of violence as well as assisting the civil authorities in maintaining law and order. Locally recruited RAF Police Auxiliaries were established in Singapore and were so successful that the scheme was quickly widened around the RAF world.
During the Cold War and after the establishment of the Peoples’ Republic of China, the RAF Police were very much involved in fighting Communist guerrillas in the jungles of Malaya and Borneo. By then, RAF Police units were established in Malaya, Singapore, Ceylon, Gan and Hong Kong and were detached to Australia and Christmas Island to provide high-level security during British Atomic tests.
As the global political situation changed and the operational deployment range of military aircraft increased, the RAF withdrew from units within the region but maintained a presence in Hong Kong until it too was handed back to China in 1997. RAF Police were stationed in Belize in Central America as part of the British military presence to counter any threat of invasion by Guatemala and in 1982 RAF Police were established on the Falkland Islands after they had been forcibly recovered from Argentinean forces by a British task force. RAF Police were also established on Ascension Island and at Goose Bay in Canada and also detached to America, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific islands.
Written by Stephen R Davies, who served with the RAF Police for 25 years, this informative book is illustrated with many photographs and enlivened by first-hand accounts from former and serving members of the branch who were stationed within the region at the time of the events related. This easily readable book is full of interesting facts and is certain to be of great interest to those who served in the RAF Police. However, there is also much to be enjoyed by anyone with a general interest in the RAF or modern military history.