Eyes over the ARAKAK

During a major Japanese offensive, a newly raised fighter-reconnaissance squadron, part of a nascent Indian Air Force, was responsible for a number of ‘firsts’, ‘mosts’ and ‘onlys’, says Andrew Thomas

GROUND CREW PREPARE AN IAF HURRICANE MK.IIB FOR ANOTHER SORTIE OVER THE BURMESE JUNGLE IN FEBRUARY 1944
GEOFFREY J THOMAS

From its humble beginnings, the Indian Air Force (IAF, known as the Royal Indian Air Force from March 1945 until 1950) blossomed under the pressures in the Far East during World War Two. The air force expanded to counter the threat of Japan invading India, and nine squadrons were eventually formed. Most of these specialised in fighterreconnaissance, and IAF squadrons would provide much support to the advance of the British 14th Army, which had been tasked with reclaiming Burma after it was invaded by the Japanese.

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