The Late Arrivals Club was formed in Cairo in 1941 by Sqn Ldr George Houghton who, in a PR story, wrote about evaders and referred to an aircrew evader who had returned late to his base
as a ‘late arrival’ if they had returned to base much later than the expected time due to the intervention / activity of the enemy [ie. they were shot down!]
After the article was published many evaders contacted Houghton with their stories and a ‘Late Arrivals Club’ was formed. He produced a certificate and designed a silver badge, a silver flying boot with wings, which was produced by local silversmiths in Cairo.
The badge and certificate were first issued to the Desert Air Force in June 1941. By the end of the Western Desert Campaign nearly five hundred badges had been awarded. Although it is an unofficial insignia, many aircrew wore the badge on the left breast pocket of their flying suit or on their left sleeve. The insignia was also adopted by aircrew of the USAAF and has been incorporated into the logo of the AFEES [Air Force Escape and Evasion Society].