The Radio Broadcast of Wg Cdr K K Majumdar

01555Among the various artefacts that were part of the Jumbo Majumdar Collection sold by Morton and Eden was an audio recording. That recording was a speech given in February 1945, emphasising the importance of airpower and looking to the future of the Indian Air Force 

The recording is now presented in this video:

 

 

Transcript:

Speech by the late Wing Commander KK. Majumdar DFC and Bar, Royal Indian Air Force.

May I begin by saying I'm very glad I am to address you his evening.

The Indian Air Force Display Flight is traveling around India to meet young Indians, especially students, and to spread the doctrine of the air.

The first question that comes to one's mind is why are so many officer pilots doing this instead of fighting against the enemy?

The reason is that all the officer pilots of the Display Flight have recently spent many months in operations against the enemy and are now having a rest. They are utilizing this rest period to go round and meet the young men of India and to tell them something about the Indian Air Force.

You will all remember the outbreak of the war more than five years ago. If you recall the event which has taken place since then and the general course of the war, you will find that the strategy of the war has been controlled by the balance of airpower. It was airpower which enabled the Germans to destroy the British State and the British Army. It was airpower which enabled them to fight a very successful campaign in Norway in the face of superior Seafare. It was airpower which led to the German victories in Western Europe and the destruction of the Allied armies on the mainland of Europe.

Then came a bitter struggle for airfare between the Lutfwaffe and the Royal Air Force in the skies of the British. The outcome was the defeat of the German in the air over England and the Channel. The loss of airpower by the Germans meant that they could never launch an invasion of Britain.

Similarly, in the Pacific it was an overwhelming and unexpected concentration of Japanese airpower which led to the destruction of a large part of the American fleet at Pearl Harbor. It was airpower that enabled the Japanese to think through with his battleship in Eastern waters.

Having achieved air superiority, the Japanese were able to gather up Siam, Indochina, Malaya, the Dutch East Indes, the Philippines, Burma and part of New Guinea, which fell into their hands like ripe fruits.

On the Eastern European front. It was airpower which enabled the German Army to drive relentlessly into the part of Russia.

Then came a period when the Allies rebuilt and regrouped their air forces and put the cream of their engineering resources into them. After bitter fighting in the air, the Allies gradually built up air superiority over the enemy. And from air superiority, they developed air supremacy. The Allied air effort gradually equals and then out witted the enemy airfare until it became 5, 10, 20 times as great. That is why the Japanese never entered India. That is why the Germans were driven out of Africa. That is why the Allied armies were able to land successfully on the continent of Europe and drive the Germans out of France. That is why the Americans are back in Manila. And that is why the Russian Army of East is going to Germany.

The lesson from this is that if India is ever to become a great Navy, he must have air power. Airpower must include a good airport, good airfields, extensive commercial aviation, and a large aircraft industry.

Above all, It needs good airmen and good leaders in the air. It takes weeks to build airplanes, months to build airplanes, but it takes years to build leaders.

That is why we are travelling around India and meeting the students. It is because we hope to find among you some of those men whom India will need in the future to lead and direct that airpath. Every service benefits from good leaders, but for a fighting service, they are essential.

The Indian air force has expanded much since the war and our squadrons have done well against the enemy. But the limiting factor in our ability to expand and develop is a lack of young Indians with powers of leadership.

Leadership requires qualities of initiative, character, energy, determination. We hope to find some among you with those qualities.

We do not expect all of you to join the air force here and now. But if we have found the seeds of air mindedness in your heart and mind, and if we find a few of those for whom we are speaking, we should be satisfied.

Flying is a strange and novel idea to many people. And those who wish to take it up as a career must face a great level of opposition and prejudice in their home. This alone caused  some of those qualities required of leaders.

For those of you who are interested, a special officer has been deputed to offer information and advice. He is known as the IAF general duty recruiting officer. And you can always get in touch with him. at 22 Davis Road, Lahore.

The Indian Air Force offers a happy life and a good career in a new field of human activity. But if any of you should come forward from those motives alone, I would not advise you to go further. You will be fundamentally unsuited to yourself. Those alone who seek to serve their nation out of a spirit of patriotism and adventure will find fulfilment in the air.

Finally, I would like you to meet the officers of the Indian Air Force Display Flight when they come to your town. They have all been in combat against the Japanese. Some of their comrades are now dead. They have been killed by the Japanese. On the other hand, a great many Japanese are also dead. They have been killed by these young Indians. You will see that these officers are just like yourselves. They are the same race and they have the same background. It is very encouraging to think that young Indians can do these things as well as any other young men in the world. What they have done, you can do. And I hope that someday I should have the pleasure of serving alongside some of you.