Monday, December 12, 2011

"Life is a city of crooked streets, death is the market place, where all men meet" .



"When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say,
For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today"


The words are attributed to John Maxwell Edmonds (1875 -1958), an English Classicist, who had put them together among a collection of 12 epitaphs for World War One, in 1916.

The verse is thought to have been inspired by the Greek lyric poet Simonides of Ceos (556-468 BC) who wrote after the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC:


"Go tell the Spartans, thou that passest by,
That faithful to their precepts here we lie."

"People sleep peacefully in their beds at night, only
because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."-
George Orwell


Its a little known fact that that the Royal Indian Armed Forces were the largest all-volunteer armed force in history, with nearly 2.85 million men fighting with the Indian Army, the Royal Indian Air Force and the Royal Indian Navy in WW2.Twenty-four Indian pilots were sent to England during the summer of 1940 alone. They joined the various OTUs and subsequently spread out among the Squadrons in Fighter, Coastal and bomber Command. Eight of them were killed in operations.
RIAF recruiting posters-- World War 2Flag India animated gif 120x90






^ GD(P) Sqn Ldr K K Majumdar DFC in the cockpit of an Hawker Typhoon fighter bomber during his tenure with No.268 Squadron during the D-Day Operations in Europe. Note the 'INDIA' shoulder flashes

^Twenty four Indian pilots were sent to England during the summer of 1940. They joined the various OTUs and subsequently spread out among the Squadrons in Fighter, Coastal and bomber Command. Eight of them were killed in operations.
Even after returning to India,Sqn Ldr Pujji continued the practice of naming his aircraft Amrit, after his fiancee at the time. Here(ABOVE) Pujji is seen on a Hurricane IIB in Burma.


Sqn Ldr MS Pujji(above) in 2004. He is wearing his medals with his DFC first, his FAI gliding pin in his right lapel, a poppy (symbolizing remembrance of those who fell in battle) plus his Burma Star Association pin on his left lapel.


^ The Vengeance Mk III can be identified by the twin .30 Machine guns to be operated by the 'Observer'. Here an Indian pilot climbs out of his aircraft.
^ Sqn Ldr Hem Chaudary with his gunner Flt Lt Murat Singh by his Vengeance. Hem commanded No.3 CDF during the first Burma Campaign. Earlier he flew with No.353 RAF squadron.


By the end of the war, the RIAF had risen to seven squadrons, with substantial numbers of Indian personnel flying in RAF and many other colonial nations. This airforce fought side-by-side with the British and Americans against the Japanese all over Asia, and Indian-manned squadrons distinguished themselves in the air war in Europe, as well as in the Middle East and North Africa.The inauguration of the Indian republic in 1950 had the force redesignated as the Indian Air Force

Indian Soldiers
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