International Bomber Command Centre Lecture – The Royal Air Force, Bomber Command and ‘Wakey-Wakey’ Pills


Tiredness etched on the face of a young Halifax pilot of No 405 (Vancouver) Squadron, RCAF, after returning from an operation over Germany, July/August 1942. © IWM (CH 6627)

Member Dr James Pugh (University of Birmingham) will talk on ‘The Royal Air Force, Bomber Command and ‘Wakey-Wakey’ Pills: The Evolution of Policy and Practice before and during the Second World War’ as part of the International Bomber Command Centre’s lecture series at the University of Lincoln.


James Pugh explores the evolution of research, policy and practice about the use of Wakey-Wakey pills (Benzedrine) in Bomber Command during the Second World War. He draws on original research with veterans and unused archival material to illustrate the functional use of Benzedrine and the pragmatic attitude towards its use. Challenging suggestions that Benzedrine was used as a frontline ‘psychiatric medication’, he argues that the RAF recognised the strengths and limitations of the drug.


Wednesday 27 April 2016, 7-9 PM

University of Lincoln – Riseholme Campus, Conference Centre, Lincoln, LN2 2LG


The cost of the lecture is £2.


A Teaching Fellow at the University of Birmingham, James Pugh’s research focuses on air power, and the use of stimulant drugs in society and Britain’s armed forces. He has published on air power doctrine and air power leadership, and his monograph, The Royal Flying Corps, The Western Front and the Control of the Air, 1914-18, is due for publication with Ashgate’s First World War Series.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s