Wg Cdr A B Awan – The Photo Collection on Flickr.com

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Wing. Cmdr. Aizad_Bakhsh_Awan by Asad AwanVery rarely do we find an external website or link to be of sufficient value that it is linked directly from our website.  The Photo Collection of late Wing Commander Aizad Baksh Awan (Retd) falls under this exceptional category.Hosted by his Grandson Mr. Asad Awan (of Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan) on the Flickr website, this collection of photos features previously unseen photos. Moreover , the captions accompanying them uncover previously unknown facts.

Wg Cdr Awan, was one of the pioneering officers of the Indian Air Force.  He was the first batch of six Indians sent to Cranwell in 1930 for Officer Training. On return, along with Subroto Mukherjee, H C Sarcar, A Singh and B Singh, he would form the core of No.1 Squadron, Indian Air Force under the command of Flt Lt Cecil Boucher.

As the years progressed through the 30s, he grew up in rank along with Subroto Mukherjee and held the rank of Wing Commander in 1945. In early 1945 he left Indian Air Force Service. He lived a retired life in Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan and passed away in 1989. He was buried with full military honours in Karachi.

The Photo Collection is hosted on the Flickr Website by his Grandson Mr. Asad Awan (of Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan). These Photos can be seen at http://www.flickr.com/photos/asadawan . This collection of photos features previously unseen photos of rare historical value. Additionally the captions accompanying them uncover previously unknown facts.

For example, the photo First Five of the RIAF is the only known photo of all the five pioneering Indian officers together – featuring H C Sircar, A Singh, B Singh, Awan and Mukherjee together. (an aside – prior to this photograph, the webmasters had no idea that A Singh and B Singh were clean shaven Sikhs).

Of greater significance is the Group_Photo   which appears to be passing out photo of the Cranwell Batch in which the five were part of.  What is of real historical significance is that this photograph bears the signatures of the officers – and thus the only known document that has the signatures of all the pioneer batch.  Considering A Singh and B Singh died shortly after returning to India in a Wapiti crash, there wouldnt be too many documents out there that has a direct connection to all the five officers involved in the Birth years of the Indian Air Force.

Another photo that deserves a mention is the Inspection of IAF by Sir Philip Chetwode 1934 Photograph. While this photo was previously seen in various IAF publications, little was known about the circumstances behind it. The caption to this photo correctly dates it and identifies the visiting dignitaries as well.

Without much ado, please visit  http://www.flickr.com/photos/asadawan to see all the photographs in their pristine glory.

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