Tigermoth AX798 started life as a civilian plane VT-AIF. It went to No.1 Service Flying Training School at Ambala and later to No.224 Gp Comm Flight. It was lost in an accident at a forward airfield in Burma in Jan 1943
Indian Cadets and Instructors at the No.2 Elementary Flying Training School, Jodhpur in 1946. This rare colour photograph was published in the National Geographic Magazine and was taken by Volkmar Wentzel.
At the outbreak of the War, the IAF had a strength of 16 Officers and 144 Ranks. Only one Squadron was operational and all training was undertaken by units in the UK. But the outbreak of the war put a strain on UK's training requirements and also to cater to the Indian training needs, the IAF established new units and set up more combat units.
By the end of the war, the number of personnel trained or under training, by the end of 1944 was in excess of 22000 Officers and men. A mamoth jump considering the initial strength of the IAF.
The aircraft operated initially was the Westland Wapiti. A myriad of types were inducted including Dakota transports and Spitfire fighters. The IAF had Nine operational fighter - bomber squadrons, Four flights for AD gun training. A far cry from the single squadron of about a dozen Wapiti biplanes.
The war saw that the IAF had its own training infrastructure in place. No.1 Initial Training Wing at Lahore, No.1 Elementary Flying Training School (Begumpet), No.2 Elementary Flying Training School (Jodhpur), No.1 Service Flying Training School (Ambala), The Fighter Operational Training Unit and a Bomber Operational Training Unit.
Copyright 2008 Bharat-Rakshak.com. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of BHARAT RAKSHAK is prohibited. If you have any comments, then please send them to us using our Feedback Form.