The Indian Air Force derives its tradition of Unit Crests from the RAF practice of a Unit heraldic badge. Prior to the formation of the RAF on 1 April 1918, RFC and RNAS crews would paint unofficial emblems onto their aircraft, a practice which peaked during WWI. The significance of these emblems was soon recognised to be as great as that of the badges assigned to Ships and Regiments of the Royal Navy and British Army. The post of Inspector of RAF badges was created in 1935.  No.1 Squadron, Indian Air Force was the first unit to apply for its badge .. in 1940!. Subsequently about half a dozen units of the IAF were officially presented with Squadron Badges. Post independence, the Squadron badges transformed themselves into the current day 'Indian' format. And subsequently many units were officially bestowed with Official "Crests". These pages catalog the various crests /badges of the IAF.

Unit Badges - Pre Independence

Note: The correct term for the Unit "Crests" issued under the authority of the Chester Herald was "Squadron Badges" or "Unit Badges".

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