Indian Air Force – 86th Anniversary
Indian Air Force (IAF) celebrated its 86th Anniversary on 08 Oct 2018.
IAF was raised as an auxiliary Air Force of the Royal Air Force in British India.Some milestones in its 86 Year old history.
On 01 April 1933 the No 1 Squadron was commissioned with Five Indian Pilots andFour Westland Wapiti Biplanes . The squadron was led by British RAF Commanding officer Flight Lieutenant (laterAir Vice Marshal ) Cecil Bouchier.
During World War II it saw action in Burma & Thailand against Japanese and IAF Pilots took part in operations in Europe. It was conferred the Prefix “Royal” by King George VI for its service. This was later dropped after India became a Republic.
Operations Post Independence
- 1947, 1965,1971 & Kargil War with Pakistan
- Goa Liberation
- IPKF operations in Sri Lanka ,UN Missions in Congo, UN Peace Keeping Missions across Globe.
- 1962 War with China
- Numerous relief operations across the Globe for Humanitarian Aid.
- Recent relief operations during Kerala Floods.
Marshal of the Air Force – Arjan Singh DFC (15 Apr 1999 -16 Sep 2017). He was son of a Dafadar of Hudson’s Horse. Arjan Singh commanded No 1 Air Squadron as acting Squadron Leader in 1943 and later on in 1944 took part in Arakan Campaign where he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC).He became the First IAF officer to be promoted to the rank of Air Chief Marshal in 1966. He was Chief of Air Staff from 01 Aug 1964 to 15 July 1969. He was awarded the Padma Vibhusan in 1966.He was promoted to Five star Rank of Marshal of Indian Air Force equivalent to a Field Marshal on 26 Jan 2002.
Flying officer Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon , PVC . ( 17 July 1943 – 14 Dec 1971)
He was commissioned into Indian Air Force on 04 jun 1967 as Pilot Officer. He was son of a MWO (Hony) Flight Lieutenant Tarlok Singh Sekhon. He was serving with 18 Squadron during 1971 War. He was bestowed the Nation’s highest wartime gallantry award Param Vir Chakra(Posthumous) for his heroic action for defence of Srinagar Airfield on 14 Dec 1971.
There are numerous stories of bravery and valour in the annals of IAF history. We pay a Philatelic Salute to the spirit of Air Warriors of IAF in service to the Nation. A few stamps issued on Indian Air Force are Listed.