1. ITV Report

WWII veteran's battle with racism in the British Forces

Allan Wilmot says after the war black servicemen got no official recognition Photo: ITN

As 'Red Tails' has its gala screening in London, it's a sad reminder for one British World War II veteran how being black meant you didn't get equal recognition for your service.

The new Hollywood blockbuster, produced by George Lucas, is the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, an all African American team in the US Army Air Corps, who were given the chance to become fighter pilots in World War II.

They had enemies on two fronts: the men they were fighting and the racist attitudes in the US Army who tried to stand in their way.

Allan Wilmot had a similar fight in the 1940s. He enlisted in the Royal Navy at the age of 16 in 1941 and joined the RAF Sea and Rescue Service two years later.

After the war, he said black servicemen didn't get the same recognition as white British men who were treated as heroes.

He told London Tonight: "After the war ended, everybody was more or less, forgotten. The general consensus was: once you are black you are from Africa; you live in trees; you can't read and write. So how can you be in the RAF with the RAF uniform?"

He said while British soldiers, sailors and airmen were marching in victory parades, when ex-servicemen went home to Jamaica nothing like that was arranged for them.

He was forced to leave the RAF after the war and take another path.

Allan says he's looking forward to the screening of "Red Tails" tonight, which he'll be attending.

Now 87, he's met the Queen four times now and feels after all these years he's finally had the recognition he deserves.

Allan Charles at the Premiere of Red Tails with the cast including Cuba Gooding Jnr Credit: PA