- Category: Reviews
- Last Updated: Friday, 12 June 2015 04:10
- Written by Somnath Sapru
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Towards the end of November 1944, No.2 Squadron IAF moved from Kohat to Mambur airstrip on the Burma Front to take part in the operations against the Japanese. Within a day of the operations starting, On 2nd December 1944, Flying Officer K V Nair failed to return from a sortie. His Hurricane aircraft, LA316 was seen force-landing near a Chaung 15 miles NE of Akyab. Nair was seen clmbing out of the aircraft but his fate remained a mystery till about five months later when he was one of the Prisoners of War liberated from the Rangoon Jail. Nair would give the following account of the period he spent as as a POW under the Japanese.
The HAL built Ajeet Trainer is one of the odd-ball aircraft in the IAF's history. Only two examples were inducted and they were introduced at the fag end of the career of a legendary fighter. Wg Cdr A K (Lui) Gupta goes over their short career in the IAF - which lasted less than four years!
Soldiering is not a profession which gives one the opportunity to learn on the job. The lessons thrown up by realistic exercises play an important role in a soldier's training for war. This article is a look at the IAF's participation in various International exercises between 1999 and 2007, and the lessons it learnt from its international exposure.
The official history of the No.43 Squadron carries the following tantalising tidbit . "On 6 September 1965, the squadron had its first direct encounter with the enemy. Three aircraft took off from Amritsar in the evening with for Hunter escorts when they were attacked by a formation of four Sabres and a B-57 bomber. The Hunters latched on the Sabres. The B-57 got a chance and fired at the last DAKOTA, which was still on the ground about to take off. The DAKOTA was not hit and got airborne safely." . This incident did not get told anywhere else till now - as Sqn Ldr Arunesh "Bachu" Prasad puts on record what happened that evening.
Did the IAF ever use the Tu-124 Moss AWACS? As first alleged by John Fricker in an article written on behalf of the Pakistan Air Force? Air Marshal Subhash Bhojwani sets the record straight.
A young Canberra jock in a much decorated and revered squadron is faced with an emergency that could take his life and that of his navigator. This is the story of a rare Canberra 'belly landing' that helped save a much valuable aircraft
In 1954, a the prototype Morane-Saulner MS-755 Fleuret trainer arrived in India for an evaluation in training Flight Cadets. Wg Cdr Don Michael was one of the two instructors who evaluated the aircraft during its short stint in Begumpet. Article updated with new photos.
Many years ago (circa 2002) we published the story of Flight Cadet Balan Menon and the escapade that caused his exist from the Air Force. Balan Menon passed away on 24th April 2018 at 1630 hrs, due to respiratory complications, at the old age home in Thumba (Trivandrum).
"A man with a brilliant mind, determination and undying passion for aviation, a maverick who lived by his own rules of right or wrong, never afraid to explore frontiers of science and technology far ahead of his peergroup, a man who could have achieved fame and fortune but didn't care; he has left us quietly." ~ Wg Cdr U G Kartha
Now Updated with the contents of an old letter - that Balan's late mother has written fifteen years ago when she read this article.
On 6 December 2014, Marshal of the Air Force, Arjan Singh reviewed the gathering of the Canberra Veterans at "Bomber Night" in Pune. The event was a major success with several veterans of the Canberra fraternity gathering from all over India in one night to celebrate the role of a beloved aircraft in the presence of a living legend.
Group Captain Kapil Bhargava (3939 F(P) who passed away on 17th December 2014, a was a good friend and a supporter for this website . He contributed so many articles on History that he had his own "sub-site" on Bharat Rakshak. He was also one of those behind the Gnat Get-together event and the Gnat Golden Jubilee website (now hosted on bharat-rakshak). Several tributes rolled in when he left for his final flight. we reproduced two such tributes to him in this page.