April 14, 2024
Note on Sources for Pre Independence Losses: The data for the pre-1947 crashes has been built from several sources. Operational losses are taken from the Official History of the Royal Indian Air Force 1933-45 (Ed by SN Gupta , pub by MoD India) but the names could only be confirmed after referring to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Web Site at www.cwgc.org .

With the operational losses covered, it was time to cover Non-operational losses.

Many of the non-operational losses of the Squadrons and Coastal Defence Flights come from the Operational Record Book copies – held with the National Archives in Kew, UK. The ORBs that have been consulted include ORBs of 1 Sqn (From Apr 42), 2 Sqn, 3 Sqn, 4 Sqn, 6 Sqn, 7 Sqn, 8 Sqn, 9 Sqn, 10 Sqn, 12 Sqn, 101 Sqn, 104 Sqn, 2CDF, 5CDF, 6CDF, FTS (Risalpur), 151 OTU, 152 OTU, No.1 AACU, No.2 AACU, No.22 AACU  and No.1 TTF (India) . Some of the these are also supported by logbook entries of pilots who flew in operations.

The losses of training and non-combat units have also been procured by other sources. details of crashes related to 151OTU, 22AACU , AFTS / SFTS, AGS(I) after March 45 can be found in the three books, Final Landings by Colin Cummings , Broken Wings by James J Halley, pub by Air Britain Ltd and Price of Peace by Colin Cummings . These books do an excellent job in covering ALL losses in the SEAC sector after May 1945 till Aug 47. Including the squadrons and combat flights.

Type Histories are another excellent resource – Spitfire International by Helmut Terbeck and Co, pub by Air Britain Ltd addresses all Spitfire fates in SEAC. The K-File by J J Halley, again published by Air Britain is an excellent source for K serialled aircraft, including the Wapiti, Hart, Audax, Valencia and any other type that served with the IAF. The Impressment Log (Air Britain) addresses various civvie types that were impressed into the Coastal Defence Flights – it also covers many of the civilian impressed Tigermoths. The Bristol Blenheim History book is a good source on the type. Various RAF Serial Number series , published by Air-Britain, helped fill in details of various losses that cannot be got from the Cummings / Halley book or the ORBs – they cover the J Series (wapitis), L, N, P, R series (Lysanders). the AA-ZZ series which should cover many types as the Hurricane Vengeance etc.

So what else is left?

For starters, the losses for the following units for types that exclude the ones mentioned above – are not available above upto March 45

No.1 AGS Bairagarh
No.1 ATU Bairagarh
No.1 SFTS Ambala
No.1 EFTS Begumpet
No.2 EFTS Jodhpur
No.3 AACU Calcutta

The ORBs of many of these units are located in NA in Kew and I do plan to procure them at some point of time in the future.

Note on Sources for Post 47 Losses:

All News reports are collated from PTI, UNI , Reuters India and other News agencies in India. Some of which are: Daily Herald, Tribune India, Express India, Gomantak Times, Daily Excelsior, Rediff News, and Air Forces Monthly.

Additionally Squadron Histories published over the years have been used to build this list.

Additionally Our Thanks go to the following:


  • History of the Indian Air Force 1933-47 , Ed by SN Gupta , pub  by MoD India
  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission Web Site at www.cwgc.org
  • Final Landings by Colin Cummings
  • The Price of Peace by Colin Cummings
  • Broken Wings by James J Halley, pub by Air Britain Ltd
  • Spitfire International by Helmut Terbeck, pub by Air Britain Ltd
  • The Battle Axes by Pushpindar Singh, pub by Society for Aerospace Studies
  • Sir James Martin by Sarah Sharman


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