Indian Air Force
Indian Air Force - Bharatiya Vayu Sena
Nabha Sparasham Deeptam - Touching the Sky with Glory
The Indian Air Force was established by the passing of the Indian Air Force act on 8th October 1932. Accordingly, No.1 Squadron IAF came into being on 1st April 1933 at Drigh Road, Karachi. There were five pilots commanded by an RAF officer and the first batch of Hawai Sepoys. The complement of the squadron consisted of four Westland Wapiti Biplanes comprising 'A' Flight of the squadron.
The first five Indian Pilots commissioned into the Indian Air Force were H C Sircar, Subroto Mukerjee, Bhupendra Singh, A B Awan and Amarjeet Singh. A sixth officer, S N Tandon had to revert to Ground duties as he was too short! All of them were commissioned as Pilot Officers in 1933. Bhupendra Singh and Amarjeet Singh died in an air accident in Sept 33. HC Sircar left the IAF after less than an year. Tandon died during World War Two. AB Awan opted for the Pakistani Air Force and retired as a Wing Commander. Subroto Mukerjee went on to become the first Indian Chief of Air Staff of the IAF.
Subsequent batches inducted before WW2 included stalwarts like Aspy Engineer, K K Majumdar, Narendra, R H D Singh, S N Goyal, 'Baba' Mehar Singh, Prithpal Singh and Arjan Singh.
The Royal Indian Air Force in World War 2
It is not so well known that the Indian Armed Forces were the largest all volunteer force to fight in WW2. Nearly 20 million volunteers fought with the Indian Army, the Royal Indian Air Force and the Royal Indian Navy.
1947-48 Kashmir operations
In a bid to gain control of the erstwhile principality of Jammu & Kashmir, Pathan tribesmen, armed and aided by Pakistan poured into Kashmir on October 20, 1947. They went into a frenzy, killing, ransacking and pillaging as they advanced to Srinagar, the capital of Jammu & Kashmir. The Maharajah of Kashmir appealed to the Indian government for assistance.
The Government of India (GoI) made its assistance conditional upon Kashmir's accession to India. Within hours of his signing the Instrument of Accession, the first Indian troops, commanded by Lt Col Dewan Ranjit Rai, were airlifted to Srinagar in Dakotas from No.12 Squadron.
Taking off from Safdarjang, then known as Willingdon airfield, the first Indian troops were landed at Srinagar airfield at 0930 hrs IST on October 27. The fighting ended on December 31, 1948, the cease-fire bought about by UN Mediation.
No air-to-air encounters took place between the Royal Indian Air Force and the Royal Pakistan Air Force.
1961 Congo Operations
In India, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was quick to respond to the initial appeal for help. India loaned personnel to the UN effort.
The request to the Indian Air Force was for ground support aircraft, and the Hunter was at first considered. This was changed to the Canberra, however, despite the fact that the UN decreed that no bombs would be carried or dropped.
Historical Aircrafts of Indian Air Force
Current Aircrafts of Indian Air Force
Future Aircrafts of Indian Air Force