"Stephen Graham" <gra...@speakeasy.net
> wrote in message
> On 5/11/2017 7:36 AM, Geoffrey Sinclair wrote:
>> In June 1942 it began equipping with Hurricanes while
>> based at Risalpur
> If I recall correctly, these were almost all hand-me-downs from RAF
> squadrons re-equipping. Is this correct for all the IAF squadrons? Also,
> they were primarily Hurricane IIs? And also normally serving as part of
> RAF Wings and Groups?
Most aircraft present in theatre could be described as hand me
downs at times, the forgotten army had a forgotten air force. The
Hurricanes that arrived in 1942 would have been front line and
somewhat scarce for a while. It is also true the RAF moved from
Spitfire VIII to XIV in 1944/45. Hurricane I were trainers in 1942,
and out of combat unit service.
1 Squadron IAF would probably be, in mid 1942, one of the more
experienced units in the area, with a high number of pre war regular
pilots. More so than an RAF that had been cutting training times
and expanding to gain numbers in 1940/41.
3 squadron IAF explicitly mentions its Hurricane II were the first
IAF fighter bombers.
According to John Foreman the RAF had 23 Hurricane
squadrons active in South East Asia in mid/late 1943, after
converting the Blenheim squadrons but with 3 squadrons
converting to Spitfires by the end of the year.
By the end of 1944 the RAF was down to 8 Hurricane squadrons
as Spitfires and Thunderbolts arrived, by the end of the war against
Japan there were 2 RAF Hurricane squadrons left in theatre, of
which 1 had begun converting to Spitfires.
I have no direct evidence the Indian units were treated any
differently than RAF units if fighting the Japanese. I can easily
see the command allocating older aircraft to North West Frontier
It does look like the Indian units were definitely not in the front
of the queue for new aircraft, but not quite always at the back.
As far as I am aware all Indian Air Force squadrons were treated
as part of the RAF.
I was curious where they were when not in Burma.
>> Number 8 squadron On 1 August 1945 the squadron commenced operations
>> from Mingaloon, Rangoon.
> I suspect there was a mis-transcription at some point. It's usually
> transliterated as Mingaladon. Pretty much anything I've seen from the 20th
> century uses that.
Correct, but in fact my typo, probably aided by the spell checker.
>> There were also 5 Volunteer Reserve Coastal Defence Flights,
> I would expect that these were largely British and Anglo-Indian personnel.
Could be, you had to have a certain amount of wealth to fly, then
more again to own an aircraft. I have no idea on whether the
clubs the reserve flights came from were open to all or restricted.
Number 1 squadron was using Indian pilots in the 1930's, judging