Albert Jarrett was 18 years old when he left his home in Jamaica to join the British armed forces in World War Two.
It was a 23-day journey by sea on a packed ship before he set his sights on what he describes as the “promised land”.
The 95-year-old veteran, who now lives in Birmingham, was enlisted as a delivery driver for the RAF after it lifted a so-called “colour bar” restricting recruitment of black crew.
He was among some 10,000 West Indian men and women who crossed the Atlantic to join the war effort.
Mr Jarrett is supporting a campaign for a permanent memorial to honour Caribbean military personnel at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.