Home History 1947-48 Kashmir War

The 1947-48 Jammu & Kashmir Operations

The first test for the Independent Royal Indian Air Force came within months of August 15. The Operations of the 47-48 War were unique in the sense that this was the first time Transport aircraft of the IAF saw full time deployment in operations. Fighter squadrons also gained exposure and experience of operating in mountainous environment.

Tempests over Skardu

Wg Cdr K L "Livy" Mathur wrote this article first in 1999 in response to the media coverage of the Kargil War. Wg Cdr Mathur recollects some of the pioneering missions flown in the Poonch and Gilgit area in the 1947-48 Kashmir Operations with No.8 Squadron.

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The Dakotas of the 47-48 War.

No.12 Squadron, RIAF was the only Squadron at the time of Independence operating transport aircraft. Equipped with the venerable Douglas Dakota, the Squadron had the distinction of flying many of the legendary flights that saved Kashmir for India. Additionally several Dakotas of civil operators also helped in the war effort.  Nearly sixty years after the operations, it is now possible to piece together the identities of the aircraft involved in the Kashmir Operations.

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Aircraft Losses in the 47-48 Operations

 

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My Experiences in the 47-48 War with 8 Squadron

Gp Capt Micky Blake continues his personal story on his experiences in the Jammu and Kashmir Operations 1947-48. He was the Flight Commander with No.8 Squadron. No 8 Squadron moved to Jammu towards the end of Dec 47 under Sqn Ldr Padam Singh Gill. It had just eight Tempest IIs and one Harvard trainer on its strength. They were involved in repeated attacks and tactical recce missions over Naushera, Poonch, Rajouri, Jhangar and Handwara areas causing heavy damage to enemy strongholds.

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Exceptional Courage : Flt Lt A W Barrett

Among the gallantry awards given to IAF personnel for the 1947-48 Operations, only one out of the Four Maha Vir Chakra and 28 Vir Chakra awards was made posthumously. This went to Acting Flight Lieutenant Aloysius William Barrette 3172 GD(P), No.8 Squadron. 

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Battle Damage!

An account based on the personal recollections of Wing Commander Donald Michael (Retd) about his return from a mission during the 1947-48 Kashmir War in a Battle-damaged Tempest.

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Inside Occupied Kashmir

P.N. Sharma was a reporter for the well known weekly magazine the BLITZ being published from Bombay. He was one of the first war correspondents on scene in Kashmir during the 1947 airlift of troops to Kashmir. His 1957 book, Inside Occupied Kashmir is not well known, but is a rare insight of some of the first combined operations of the war. Sharma's adventure started with his being on a public relations joyride in one of the IAF's Harvards. This account tells what happened on that fateful day.

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Operation Poonching

The story of No.12 Squadron's effort to save Poonch, including the effort to airlift the 25 pounder guns into a beseiged garrison.

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The Relief of Leh

It is somewhat ironic that in 1999 we should be fighting to relieve pressure on the very region that had to be secured in 1948. In the following piece from the BHARAT RAKSHAK Monitor recounts the first defense of Leh.

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An Overview of the RIAF in the Kashmir Ops

The Royal Indian Air Force (RIAF) went into action shortly after Independence in 1947. It was involved in the airlift of troops to Srinagar, as well as offensive operations against the hordes of tribals invading the state. This is an overview of the operations in that war.

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Home History 1947-48 Kashmir War