Indian Air Force - Pilot

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The Indian Air Force was started as a dominion air force extension in 1932 under British colonial command. The insignia of the IAF was a standard royal air force design with a Tudor crown but with the IAF cypher. The force served with distinction during WWII primarily fighting the Japanese on the Burmese and Thai fronts. In recognition of the distinguished service of the unit, the British crown conferred a Royal charter on the service in 1945, making it the RIAF with a subsequent change in the insignia. The RIAF name was retained even through India's independence in 1947. In 1950, the force dropped the royal title, reverting to the India Air Force. The wing style was retained with the British crown being replaced by the Indian national symbol of the Lion Capital of Sarnath (A symbol of 3 carved lions facing different directions featured at the top of a stone column from 250 BCE.)
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4 1/8"
1 1/2"




5/6/2002
These are Indian Air Force wings of the 1942-1945 period, before the IAF became the Royal Indian Air Force.
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Tod Rathbone Collection
4/15/2020
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Tod Rathbone Collection
4/15/2020
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Tod Rathbone Collection
4/15/2020
RIAF Pilot wing. This wing belonged to Fl Lt Douglas "Duggie" Clift, Ace and Battle of Britain veteran. He started the war flying Hurricanes with 79SQ out of Biggin Hill, volunteered for the very dangerous duty of flying rocket launched Spitfires on Atlantic convoys and ended with the RIAF in 1945. He had a long, adventurous career finally retiring in 1974. He passed away in 2008.
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Aviation Wings and Badges of the World Wars