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The Royal Indian Air Force in the Second World War


Histories of the Pioneer Squadrons can be found in these links:
No.1 Squadron
No.2 Squadron
No.3 Squadron
No.4 Squadron
No.6 Squadron
No.7 Squadron
No.8 Squadron
No.9 Squadron
No.10 Squadron
No.12 Squadron

WW2.jpg (7452 bytes)Now you can help!

If you know someone who had taken part in WW2, and who is ready to talk about their experiences - Consider interviewing them for the Veterans Project - See some of the veterans already covered in the section on the right.

You can also send us electronic scans of photos / logbooks / documents / medals etc to help reconstruct veteran or aircraft histories. Email us to know more!

Hurricane IIc Lysander

The Eagle Strikes

Researching about Someone?

Trying to find details on any officer who served with the IAF in the Second World War? Try querying our Officer's Database . The Database has nearly 90% names and details of all officers from the Second World War. You can also see our Unit Nominal Rolls for various Squadrons and Units.


Photo Galleries :

The Coastal Defence Flights 17 Photos
Training and Expansion 7 Photos
The RIAFVR Pilots in UK 14 Photos
Indians in the RAF 12 Photos
Portraits18 Photos
Group Photos 9 Photos
Aircraft of No.1 SFTS (India) 11 Photos (Frank Powley Collection)
RAF Station Kohat 10 Photos (Frank Powley Collection)
No.7 Sqn Vengeances in the Arakan 15 Photos
No.1 Sqn - Second tour under Arjan Singh 14 Photos
Hurricanes in the IAF 18 Photos
The Supermarine Spitfire 16 Photos
RIAF Water Colours- Capt H H Sheldon

Veterans Project : WWII Veteran Encounters, Profiles and Memoirs

Air Marshal Aspy Engineer
: Recollections
Air Vice Marshal SN Goyal: Air Force Reminiscences
Wg Cdr VSC Bonarjee: My Days with the IAF (1940-48)
Gp Capt MPO Blake: Hurricane Tales
Flt Lt ESDN Sparkes RAF: Mumblings of Edward Sparkes Ext Link
Sqn Ldr TJ Thomas: Memories of No.8 Squadron

Air Marshal Subroto Mukerjee: The Saga of a Soaring Legend - Sqn Ldr RTS Chhina
Ext Link
Gp Capt K L Bhatia: Reach for the Sky - Col N N Bhatia
Air Marshal M S Chaturvedi:
A Profile of the Multifaceted Leader - Vaibhav Jabulee
Wg Cdr H C Sahgal: A profile Sushil Talwar & Rana Chhina

Air Cmde HS Ratnagar
: Lysanders to Hurricanes - Jagan Pillarisetti
Sqn Ldr MS Pujji: 1. "Then whose war is it?" 2. Album I Great Britain 3. Album II Burma and India - K S Nair
Air Marshal Y V Malse: A Tiger pilot remembers - Jagan Pillarisetti
Wg Cdr Murkot Ramunny:The Sky was the Limit - K S Nair
Air Cmde NK Shitoley: 1. Anatomy of a Tac R Sortie | Notes 2. A Profile - Mukund Murty
Gp Capt CGI Philip:1. By the old Moulmein Pagoda2. "We're getting Spitfires" 3. Album No.8 Sqn 4. Album Portraits
Wg Cdr Hoshang Patel
: 1. An Airman's tour in Burma2. Operations with 6 Sqn - Jagan Pillarisetti
Fg Offr Neville Gill: A World War II Pilot's Story by S Nanda Kumar
Wg Cdr CHL Digby
:1. The Fledgling Years 2. In the land of the Mikado K S Nair
Fg Offr M Balan: 1. A Flying Start 2. With the BCOF in Japan 3.Photo Album I 4.Photo Album II - Jagan Pillarisetti

Photo Albums:
Flying Officer Kartar Singh Saund, No.2 Squadron 
Air Chief Marshal HS Moolgavkar: No.1 Squadron at Risalpur and Trichy Photo Album
Sqn Ldr KB Commissariat: Documents and Photos Hoshi K Press
Frank Shelton (Ex Sgt): No.4 Squadron - Electrical Section
Air Marshal AR Pandit: 1.Training Days 2. Operations in Burma - Amit Javadekar
Fg Offr OD Agnihotri: A Profile and Photo Albums - Arun Agnihotri

* Interviews with surviving WWII Veterans.
Coming Soon : AVM SN Goyal, Air Chief Marshal HS Moolgavkar, Sgt BH Ghyara, AVM Ranjan Dutt



Air Commodore Mehar Singh: Legends of the IAF Wg Cdr A S Bedi Ext Link
Flying Sikhs: History of Sikh Fighter Pilots
 Navdeep Khandola (Ext Link)
Planes of Hindustan
 Imperial War Museum (Ext Link) NEW!!


Short Profiles

Plt Offr S D Thyagarajan RAF - David McMahon
Air Cmde R Sitaram - Obituary - Ram Sitaram
Wg Cdr Frank S "Logger" Powley DFC AFC

Featured Articles :

Brothers-in-Arms : The Flying Engineer Brothers - Mrs Farida Singh
The Indian Gift Squadrons - Polly Singh
No.6 Squadron - The first five years - K S Nair
Sikhs in the IAF by Mr. Pushpindar Singh

Aircraft Features:

A flight of Eagles : The Westland Wapiti- Polly Singh
The Westland Lysander II - the first 'Monoplane' Bomber - Jagan Pillarisetti
Tales of Vengeance - Mukund Murty
Lord - Let thy servant go in Peace : The Supermarine Spitfire - Polly Singh
The Boulton-Paul Defiant TT.1 and TT.III- Jagan Pillarisetti

Training and Auxillary Units from WW2

No.1 Service Flying Training School, Ambala (No.1 SFTS)

Odds and Ends

Recruiting Posters and Advertisements
The Eagle Strikes : Book Review
The Runnymede Memorial
List of Indian Air Force Units Pre 1947 [coming soon]
Plt Offr Hukum Chand Mehta - Crash site and documents
No.1 Squadron RIAF - 15 years anniversary dinner Invitation
10 Squadron vets get together at Simon Watsons book shop


PDF India at War (1.75 MB) [Courtesy of Jyotirmay Bareria] NEW
London Gazette AVM Stevensons despatch on Air Operations in Burma Jan-May 1942 (2.70 MB)
Aeronautics [Jun-1942] - The Indian Air Force(500 KB)
FLIGHT and the Aircraft Engineer [Sept -1942] Indian Air Force (0.67 MB)
Indian Information [Apr-1944] IAF dive bombing squadrons at work (1.61 MB)
Flying Review [Jan-1945] - India in the Air (1.45 MB)
The Aeroplane [Jun-1945] - Growth of the Royal Indian Air Force (1.41 MB)
RIAF Journal RIAF Journal "PIX" (483 KB)
JPG: A Map of airfields in India - Courtesy of Vayu Aerospace
Pilot Notes Hawker Hurricane I, II, IV (1.6MB)
Pilot Notes Hawker Tempest II (1.7MB) [Courtesy of]



Gallantry Awards for the Indian Air Force in World War II
RIAF Officers Database from the Second World War
Officers and Aircrew Rosters of IAF Units in WW2
Roll of Honour - IAF Officers and Men who died in the Second World War
Indian Air Force aircraft losses 1933-1947 []

Acknowledgements: Bharat-Rakshak acknowledges the help of various publications bought out by the Indian Air Force, The Society for Aerospace Studies in New Delhi, Anandeep Pannu, Flypast Magazine, Ministry of Defence, UK and the Ministry of Defence Publications Division India.  


No.1 Squadron “Tigers” and the Imphal Siege Jagan Pillarisetti
Video : Vultee Vengeances of No.8 Squadron, IAF Video Channel
Wing Commmander Alfred Anthony (2824/GD(P)) Gallery
Video : Planes of Hindustan Video Channel
RIAF Aircraft Service Timeline Jagan Pillarisetti
Video : Flying Officer K V Nair repatriated after fall of Rangoon Video Channel
The search for my uncle - Plt Offr Mehmood Butt Syed Ali Hamid
In the Skies of Calcutta : A tribute to Maurice Pring Joydeep Sircar
Officers and Aircrew - Unit Rosters Jagan Pillarisetti

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