1/24 Trumpeter Hawker Hurricane Mk IIC - Sqn Ldr Arjan Singh DFC
I was really keen to get my hands on the Hurricane IIC by trumpeter, coz this is the ac that truly represents the Indian Air force during the Second World War and the Burma campaign. The IAF began the war by flying cast-off Wapitis, Audax/Harts, Lysanders Blenheims and Vengeances. Almost all the nine IAF sqns then converted to the Hurricane I/II B, C/IV by the final Arakan campaign in end 1943 as RAF sqns converted to the Spitfire V/VIII/XIV and Thunderbolt. Initially the IAF carried out mainly TacR roles but then moved onto ground attack against Japanese bridges, rolling stock, river craft and troop concentrations. Nos 6 and 9 sqns also escorted RAF/USAAF Dakotas and Commandos on supply drop missions as well as guiding them to the various scattered groups of the SOE ‘force 136’ and Wingate’s Chindits.
This model has been named “Five Star hurricane” becoz its pilot- then a Sqn Ldr rose to become the first and so far only, Marshall of the Air Force- Arjan Singh. The model represents Hurricane IIB AP953 ac flown by then Sqn Ldr Arjan Singh who flew TacR sorties during the siege of Kohima while commanding No 1 Sqn at Imphal/Sinthe in Mar 1944. The sqn spent 14 months in-theater, a record, not matched by any allied sqn. As the Japanese 33 Div encircled Kohima and cut off the Kohima-Imphal Rd, the British Indian garrison was squeezed into the tennis courts behind Government house. Arjan while flying a TacR sortie on the evening of 22 Mar spotted a battalion of Japs closing around the besieged garrison. Four Hurribomber sqns including No 1 sqn IAF scrambled and using landing lights strafed the Japs and landed at night. Arjan was later awarded the DFC in Apr 44 and received it in the field by none other than the supreme commander ACSEA, Admiral the lord Louis Mountbatten. In Mar 44 the IAF was also allowed the prefix “Royal” by royal warrant of his majesty the king.
Arjan Singh was born on 15 April 1919, in Lyalpur (today Pakistan), completing his education at Montgomery. He was still in college in 1938, 19 years of age when he was selected for the Empire Pilot training course at RAF Cranwell. Arjan excelled both in the air and on the ground and won blazers for swimming and hockey. His first posting on being commissioned was flying Westland Wapiti biplanes in the North Western Frontier Province as a member of the No.1 IAF Squadron. Promoted to Squadron Leader in 1944, Arjan Singh led the squadron against the Japanese during the Arakan Campaign. After the war, he was given command of the IAF Display flight flying Hawker Hurricanes which toured India giving demonstrations. On 15 August 1947, he had the unique honour of leading the fly-past of over a hundred IAF aircraft over Delhi, over the Red Fort the last seat of the Mughal Empire.
On 01 August 1964, Arjan Singh took over as the Chief of Air Staff in the rank of Air Marshal. Arjan was called to testing time came in September 1965, when the subcontinent was plunged into war. When Pakistan launched its Operation Grand Slam, in which an armoured thrust targeted the vital town of Akhnur, he was summoned into the Defence Minister's office with a request for air support. With a characteristic nonchalance, he replied "...in an hour." And true enough, the air force struck the Pakistani offensive in an hour.
Arjan Singh was awarded the Padma Vibhushan (Second highest Civilian award)for his leadership of the air force, and subsequently in recognition of the air force's contribution in the war, the rank of the CAS was upgraded to that of Air Chief Marshal and Arjan Singh became the first Air Chief Marshal of the Indian Air Force. He retired in August 1969, thereupon accepting ambassador ship to Switzerland. He remained a flyer to the end of his tenure in the IAF, visiting forward squadrons & units and flying with them. Arjan Singh was a source of inspiration to a generation of Indians and airmen.
In recognition of his services, the Government of India conferred on him the rank of the Marshal of the Air Force in January 2002 making him the first and the only 'Five Star' rank officer with the Indian Air Force
The model is placed on a wooden base depicting five stars for the Marshall of the Air force. The model was built in about five days as there are relatively few parts. I did very little work in the engine though I displayed it open. Nothing except a few wires were added and the rest is OOB. Paints are MM with pastel weathering and silver-an- toothpick chipping. The kit came with the windscreen broken in half. Just had no option but to stick it together and press on. Tail markings are painted and SEAC roundels are from a 1/48 Spitfire from model decals that had a scheme with oversized roundels on a PR Spitfire. They came to exact scale. The rest of the decals are from the spares box.
Size: 7 items