- Category: Veterans Project - Interviews, Profiles and Memoirs
- Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 July 2015 03:08
- Written by Arun Agnihotri
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The Internet's best resource on the Indian Air Force in the Second World War. Read about veteran storiess, units, database research tools and the hundreds of photographs and images from that era!
Towards the end of November 1944, No.2 Squadron IAF moved from Kohat to Mambur airstrip on the Burma Front to take part in the operations against the Japanese. Within a day of the operations starting, On 2nd December 1944, Flying Officer K V Nair failed to return from a sortie. His Hurricane aircraft, LA316 was seen force-landing near a Chaung 15 miles NE of Akyab. Nair was seen clmbing out of the aircraft but his fate remained a mystery till about five months later when he was one of the Prisoners of War liberated from the Rangoon Jail. Nair would give the following account of the period he spent as as a POW under the Japanese.
MPO "Micky" Blake hailed from Bangalore in present day Karnataka. He was born 20 Mar 1923 and was commissioned (IND/2630) at the age of 20 in the Indian Air Force on 27 Sep 1943. Blake served with No.42 Squadron RAF and No. 3 Squadron IAF during the Second World War. Recently, Gp Capt Kapil Bhargava got Gp Capt Blake to pen down some of his memorable experiences from the Second World War. Presented here in the own words of Gp Capt Micky Blake is the story of one of his 'unforgettable' sorties.
This is the second part of the recollections of Gp Capt CGI Philip. The first part covers his IAF training, and his first tour of ops with No 8 Squadron on Vultee Vengeances. This part will cover his second tour with the same squadron, flying Spitfires. As before, Gp Capt Philip's words, we believe, convey a unique sense of those unique times, and we have retained them for much of this article.
In this article, the author, Col Bhatia tells the family background and story of Gp Capt Karori Lal Bhatia, who led No.12 Squadron during the 1947-48 War, and was the first pilot to land at Srinagar in Kashmir during the airlift of troops into Srinagar.
VSC Bonarjee was born in Calcutta on the 27th January 1917. He was the third child and only son in a Bengali Christian family. After graduation, He was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in 1940 in the 4th Course as an Observer (IND/1623) and saw action in Burma. He obtained his release as a Wing Commander to join the Indian Administrative Service in 1948. He retired from the I.A.S in 1975, worked for two international organizations till 1989 and lived with his family at Kalyani near Calcutta. In 1997, his friends convinced him to write down his memoirs which were published in the form of a book by Dr Arabinda Dey. He passed away in 2001. The Account on this page is derived from that book - with the kind permission of Dr. Vernon Bonarjee, his son.
This is a short summary of the career of Air Marshal Mohan Swaroop Chaturvedi (IND/1592). It chronicles his service to the nation from a young Observer who fought in the Northwest Provinces and in Burma, through his invaluable role as a Strategist who built the foundations of a strong and successful Air Force, using his able leadership capabilities in many different roles
In the winter of 1980-81, Wg Cdr Joseph Thomas, CO of 106 Squadron took a detachment to Tezpur where his friend, Wg Cdr Manjit Singh Sekhon was commanding 8 Squadron. 8 SQuadron was preparing for its colour presentation and were updating their archival material. When Wg Cdr Thomas mentioned that his father, Sqn Ldr T J Thomas (Retd) had served in 8 squadron from the time of its formation through service in the Burma front and till they moved to Quetta, Manjit Sekhon immediately wanted Sqn Ldr T J Thomas to write about his experiences in 8 Squadron. Sqn Ldr Thomas was then 66 years old and he put pen to paper to record his memoirs from WW2. The result was sent to 8 Squadron who made a typescript and incorporated it in their history folder. The account is now reproduced on this page, courtesy of Wg Cdr Joseph Thomas, who retains the original manuscript. The memoirs offer a rare insight into the life of an airman during those tumultuous times. It offers a view into the difficult circumstances under which the ground crews operated. We concentrate too often on officers memoirs, and in the process miss out on potential contributions from other ranks. This article goes a small way into changing that.
AVM S N Goyal 1560 GD(P) was the seventeenth Indian Officer to be trained in Cranwell. After serving with No.1 Squadron in his early years, he was the tenth in seniority among the IAF Officers at the outbreak of the war. He commanded No.1 Squadron briefly in 1943. AVM Goyal is a recipient of the MBE.
Alfred Anthony joined up to serve in the Indian Air Force at the height of World War Two. He was part of the 21st Pilots Course that commenced its training at Initial Training Wing, Poona in July 1943. After completing the initial training Alfred arrived at the No.1 Elementary Flying Training School at Begumpet on 31 October 1943. Three months of flying training on the De Havilland Tigermoth followed before Alfred was commissioned in the Indian Air Force on 31 January 1944 with service number IND/2824. He was just 26 at that time.
by Padmini Sankar - A daughter's quest to research her father's career - Flying Officer P Krishnamurti was one of the only 28 Officers commissioned in the Meteorological Branch
This album has some rare documents from her collection - including her father's commission parchment, and a service discharge book - the first one we ever saw!
The WW2 Veterans Project : WWII Veteran Encounters, Profiles and Memoirs started off in earnest in 2002 when between a small group of like minded enthusiasts, an effort was made to locate and interview WW2 veterans of the Indian Air Force. With the dwindling number of veterans every passing year, the effort continues in terms of family members writing profiles of their loved ones who took part in the war - and in keeping their memories alive.