April 15, 2024

West Bengal

Hawker Hunter is displayed outside the Nehru Museum at Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur.  Pic © IIT Kharagpur Alumni Network.

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The airfields of West Bengal along with those in Present day Bangladesh and the North Eastern states were the mainstay for the Allied air war effort during the Second World War. From the numerous airfields that dotted the area, a myriad types  of transport, fighter and bomber aircraft led the airwar against the Japanese airforces. At the end of the second world war, a few airfields were still active. The IAF decided to keep only one main base, stationed at Kalaikunda. The Eastern Air Command was formed in Calcutta in the 60s.  Till its eventual shifting to Shillong, EAC was responsible for meeting all air threats from China and East Pakistan. It  maintained airbases at Calcutta (Dum-Dum), Panagarh, Kalaikunda, Hashimara, Barrackpore and Baghdogra all of which are in West Bengal.