April 23, 2024

Gnat IE1221 at Bishop Cotton School is one of the oldest Gnats that was inducted in IAF service - and a veteran of the 65 War

Bishop Cotton School, Shimla, (Himachal Pradesh, India) is one of the oldest boarding schools for boys in Asia, having been founded on 28 July 1859, by Bishop George Edward Lynch Cotton. Bishop Cotton also founded the Bishop Cotton Boys' School and Bishop Cotton Girls' School in Bangalore. The alumni of Bishop Cotton are known as Old Cottonians. The Bishop Cotton School, Shimla celebrated 150 years of existence in 2009.



Gnat IE1221 at the War memorial area at Bishop Cotton School. It sports the markings of No.2 Squadron  "Flying Arrows"
Another view of the aircraft – mounted on a platform.
The school is home to a  Folland/HAL Gnat [IE1221], forming part of the war memorial for the school. The school has the honour of sending many of its alumni to join the armed forces, including many veterans of the RAF and IAF. The veterans include a former Chief of Air Staff. In recognition of this fact, the Gnat aircraft was presented to the school by Air Chief Marshal S K  on 1st June 1990,
View from the rear – confirming the identity of the war veteran.
A view from the front

The Gnat is mainted in good condition by the school. The aircraft  was inducted in IAF service around 1964, possibly one of the examples assembled by HAL from imported kits. It is noted as taking part in the 1965 operations, flying with No.23 Squadron "Panthers" the very unit that claimed several PAF F-86 Sabres in air combat in the war.

Photos Courtesy: ???  

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