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Home History The Glorious Fifties
Jets and Growth 1948-64

Veteran Recollects

1. My Tryst with the Indian Air Force by Air Marshal Sir Thomas Walker Elmhirst (Retd.)
A biographical account from the first Chief of the Indian Air Force.
2. Partition Troubles by Wing Commander Verghese Kuriyan (Retd.)
As a young Flying Officer during the time of Partition, presents a candid look at the events and happenings in his Squadron during those tumultuous days.
3. ......And One Flew Under The....... by P V S Jagan Mohan
Lack of flying skills is not always the reason for the disqualification of Cadets from Flying Training. For some, like Flt. Cdt. R.B. Menon, It could be an over abundance of them.
4. The Catterpillar Club - Air Vice Marshal Cecil Vivian Parker, MVC, VM.
The Hawker Tempest was a powerful and a wonderful machine to fly, and beastly to maintain. A young flight cadet's narrow escape from death is narrated in this candid writeup.
The Hawker Tempest was a powerful and a wonderful machine to fly, and beastly to maintain. A young flight cadet's narrow escape from death is narrated in this candid writeup.
5. IAF Fighter pilots in the United States - Flt Lt Peter Brown (Retd.)
An interesting account of the experience of the first batch of Indian Fighter pilots on an exchange program in the United States.
6. Flying and Gunnery Training in the United States - Air Marshal P Rajkumar(Retd.)
Air Marshal Rajkumar writes a detailed article on the Indian Pilot training with the 4521st Tiger Squadron of the USAF . This replaces the earlier smaller note he had written for us.
7. Anglo - Indians in the Indian Air Force by Group Captain Kapil Bhargava (Retd.)
Group Captain Kapil Bhargava Chronicles the immense contribution of this small community to the Indian Air Force
8. Ground Tenures by Wing Commander Venu Kondath (Retd.)
Its not just the pilots who have work on the ground, as Wg Cdr Kondath finds out in his first posting.
9. Liberator Tales by Wing Commander Venu Kondath (Retd.)
A technical officer's learning experiences with a Liberator Squadron in the 1950s
10. The Naked Apes and General Salute by Group Captain Kapil Bhargava (Retd.)
Hairy travails of a new recruit in the Indian Air Force
11. Exercise Shiksha - India US Face off by Wing Commander Donald Michael (Retd.)
The first India US joint combat aircraft exercise from 1963
12. Black Archers Command by Wing Commander Charlie Fernandez (Retd.)
Wg Cdr Fernandez was the second CO of No.47 Squadron.
13. Memoirs of an IAF Technical Signals Officer by Wing Commander L P Fegredo (Retd.)
Locksley Percival Fegrado belonged to the No.3 Signal Officers Course. This is his autobiography
14. Flying the Spitfire by Group Captain Kapil Bhargava (Retd.)
Training days and joining No.7 Squadron flying the Spitfire.
15. The IAF's First Formation Aerobatic Team by Group Captain Kapil Bhargava (Retd.)
How three pilots of No.7 Squadron started formation aerobatics on the Vampires.
16. How I was (almost) Court-Martialled by Air Marshal S Raghavendran (Retd.)
FIS Training and Instructional duties at No.2 AFA Jodhpur.
17. The HF-24 Glider by Group Captain Kapil Bhargava (Retd.)
The World's last fullscale plywood glider of a fighter aircraft
18. The Day I (almost) missed the Fly Past by Air Marshal S Raghavendran (Retd.)
Executing flypasts on important occasions with precision is a complex exercise - as this story will prove!
19. The 122nd Pilot Attack Instructor Course in UK by Group Captain Kapil Bhargava (Retd.)
Remember the author's first visit to the UK
20. How Halwara was bombed - by me! by Air Marshal S Raghavendran (Retd.)
A pratice attack mission on Halwara goes wrong!
21. Ferrying Vampires from Indonesia by Air Commodore David Bouché (Retd.)
Flying Vampires via Burma in 1963
22. Ferrying Vampires from Indonesia - II by Wing Commander Venu Kondath (Retd.)
A Navigators experience accompanying David Bouche's team.
23. Pioneers of Formation Aerobatics in IAF by Group Captain Bharat Singh (Retd.)
The first nine aircraft formation team in the IAF was formed from the Battle Axes Squadron.
24. The MS755 Fleuret Story by Wing Commander Donald Michael (Retd.)
Darry Michael transcribes one of the stories left behind on tape by his father - narrating the story of what might have been the IAF's first dedicated Jet trainer.

 

Encounters with Veterans

1. Wg Cdr PS Bhachu - Flying Otters in NEFA - Anandeep Pannu
2. Wg Cdr CHL Digby - Squadron Service and Instructional Duties - K S Nair
3. Wg Cdr CHL Digby - Panther Boss - K S Nair
4. Wg Cdr CHL Digby - Senior Officer and Retirement - K S Nair
5. Air Commodore HS Ratnagar - Back to India - Jagan Pillarisetti
6. Air Marshal YV Malse - Dakotas in the North East - Jagan Pillarisetti
7. Air Marshal S Raghavendran - Panther One - K S Nair

Personal Photo Albums

  51 Pilots Course ITW Coimbatore - Air Marshal S Raghavendran (Retd)
  53 Pilots Course Gp Capt K Bhargava (Retd)
  54 Pilots Course - More Photos Sqn Ldr IS Loughran (Retd) and AVM Arvind Dalaya (Retd)
  58 Pilots Course at CTU Hakimpet Wg Cdr CHL Digby
  60 Pilots Course Wg Cdr WH Marshall (Retd)
  63 Pilots Course Sqn Ldr A Chatterjee (Retd)
  65th Pilots Course
  69 Pilots Course and No.4 Squadron IAF Sqn Ldr Pramod Chandra Chopra
  70th Pilots Course

Squadron and Unit Photo Albums

1. No.7 Squadron - 1950s
A Collection of photographs of No.7 Squadron from that golden era of the 1950s. These photographs are from Mr. Pushpindar Singh's Battle Axes - History of No.7 Squadron . Other photographs have been sent by Group Captain Kapil Bhargava
2. No.10 Squadron - 1950s
The Winged Daggers collection of photos from the 1950s and 60s. The photographs have been sourced from the Ministry of Defence via Mr. Pushpindar Singh and the collection of Mr. Anandeep Pannu
3. No.221 Squadron - 1960s
The photographs of No.221 'The Valiants' from the collection of Flight Lieutenant Desmond Peters.
4. Technical Training College - Later AFTC
The early years of the Technical Training College, which is the birth place of the Indian Air Force's Technical Officer Training. Photographs from the collection of Air Cmde RHD Singh and write up by Sree Kumar
5. No.23 Squadron from 1957
Pilot Portrait Photographs from Wing Commander CHL Digby's album of his tenure with No.23 Squadron in 1957-59
6. No.45 Squadron (1960-63)
Photographs from Late Wing Commander MS Grewal's tenure as CO - Courtesy of Dr G S Grewal
7. No.20 Squadron (1957)
Photographs from Sqn Ldr D M Cruickshank's Collection
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Photo Albums

1. Air Marshal G E Gibb's tenure in India - A Photo Album
Photographs of Air Marshal G E Gibbs and the various investiture ceremonies he had attended. Of Particular interest would be the DFC Investiture ceremony.
2. Air Commodore R H D Singh's Personal Photo Collection
Photographs from the Personal Collection of Air Commodore R H D Singh. Air Cmde Singh was the AOC-in-C Training Command in 1948, and one of the earliest Indian Pilot to be trained at RAF Cranwell.
3. Air Marshal AR Pandit's Photo Archive - Independence and After
Photographs from the Personal Collection of Air Marshal AR Pandit DFC from the period 1950-1970
4. Squadron Leader J F 'Joe' Josephs Photo Archive
Photographs from the Personal Collection of Squadron Leader J F Josephs from 62 F(P) Course.
5. Flight Lieutnant Desmond 'Des' Peters Photo Collection
This page features Des Peters collection with his time with the Auxillary Squadron at Tambaram.
6. Wing Commander PS Bhachu Photo Collection - 2
Flying the De Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou
7. Sqn Ldr PC Chopra Photo Collection -2
Personal photo albums of Sqn Ldr Pramod Chandra Chopra from the 60s till the 65 War
8. Air Commodore PM Wilson - Cadet Days Photo Album
Collection of photos from the Cadet Days and the Passing out Parade
9. Air Commodore Eric Lionel Birch - Photo Album
Collection of photos his Instructor days and later
10. Air Vice Marshal Arvind Dalaya - No.3 Squadron
Photos from AVM Dalaya's Tenure with 3 Squadron
11. Group Captain B S Raje - Album 1 (1956-71)
Profile and Photos by Rakesh Raje
12. Air Vice Marshal Arvind Dalaya - Instructional Duties
Photos from AVM Dalaya's Tenure as an instructor in the 50s
13. Air Marshal R S Bedi - Battle Axes Formation Aerobatics
The IAF's Nine aircraft formation aerobatics team from 1960.
14. Sqn Ldr D M Cruickshank - 101 Sqn and 2 Sqn
Photographs from Sqn Ldr D M Cruickshank's Collection
   

Downloads

1. 1957 Air Force Day Brochure
A 1.97 MB PDF File (Requires Adobe Acrobat) . The Air Force Day Brochure of 1957 gives a unique view of the Air Force from the 50s. See some rare photos of Toofanis, Transports, IAF Crests, Auxillary Air Force Squadrons etc.

Courtesy: Deepak Singh

Click to download / View
2.icon-PDF.jpg (1278 bytes) 16 Glorious Years
A 1.5 MB PDF File (Requires Adobe Acrobat) . This is an article on the 16th Anniversary of the Indian Air Force. Published in BLITZ newsmagazine dated April 2, 1949

Courtesy: Deepak Singh

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3.icon-PDF.jpg (1278 bytes) Vimana Samachar
A 649 KB PDF File (Requires Adobe Acrobat) . Select pages about the handover of the first batch of HT-2s to the Indian Air Force

Courtesy: Ronald Birch

Birch-VimanaSamachar_Small.jpg (20788 bytes)

 



The last flight of LOCUS 65

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On a dark night, exactly 57 years ago,  two young lives were extinguished in the skies of england near RAF Bassingbourn.  Flt Lt S H K Naidu and Flt Lt D P Pandey were killed in a Canberra crash during the night. And for many years, only a paragraph of information was all that was available.. till his nephew decided to find out more..

Last Updated on Friday, 25 July 2014 03:04 Read more...
 

A Chance Encounter with Hanna Reitsch

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An aspiring teenager has a once in a life time opportunity to meet the legendary test pilot - Hanna Reitsch 

 

Last Updated on Friday, 11 July 2014 01:24 Read more...
   

Video: Boss Panther Recollects - Air Marshal S Raghavendran

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June 16, 2013 marked the book launch of "Panther Red One"   - The Autobiography of Air Marshal S Raghavendran. Air Marshal Raghavendran's book took shape from the series of articles he had contributed to our site. The book was published earlier this year by Knowledge World India.  The Book launch included a Panel Discussion in which the Air Marshal shared some of his experiences in the IAF in Video. (Length 38 minutes)

Last Updated on Saturday, 06 July 2013 22:45 Read more...
 

Air Marshal Y V Malse : Dakotas in the North East

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Air Marshal YV Malse narrates his career after he shifted to flying Transports. After spending about ten years flying fighters, as recounted in the first part, the transition to Transports would initially be difficult to accept . But in the end, as he admits, it was a much more rewarding experience that he never regretted.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 February 2014 18:12 Read more...
 

54th Pilots Course

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Spit-Group01.jpgParticulars of No.54 Pilot's Course that got commissioned on 19th Jan 1951 at Ambala. The Passing Out Parade programme has been added to the page as a download.

Last Updated on Saturday, 06 February 2010 04:03 Read more...
 




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