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  • Snoopy
    Aviation Bookworm
    • Jan 2000
    • 146

    #21
    RE: Non-European aircrew in European theatre during WW2

    Jagan, thanks a million for the post to the site about P/O Mehta.

    Interesting that he was with the famous No 43 Squadron -- I think Mahinder Singh Pujji also flew with No 43. And didn't Douglas Bader also fly with that unit?

    (At the risk of over-elaborating, a small correction to my earlier post -- Mahinder Singh Pujji flew Hurricanes, not Spitfires, during his service in the UK.)

    About aircrew of Indian / subcontinental or generally non European origin who spent the entire period of their service in the RAF, I know of none, but I'm no authority. There may well have been a few, possibly Anglo-Indians, some of whom chose to migrate to the UK around the end of WW2, and did not necessarily identify themselves as Indian in official records. But with the huge force reductions immediately following WW2, I think it unlikely any non-Europeans (who would mostly have been non-regulars) would have remained in service.

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    • Jagan
      bharatiyayuddhapakshulu
      • Jan 2000
      • 610

      #22
      RE: Non-European aircrew in European theatre during WW2

      Talk about coincidences....

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/newsid_1645000/1645374.stm

      an interview with M S Pujji...IMagine my surprise when someone sent me this link

      ---------------------------------
      Co-Webmaster
      http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF
      http://www.warbirdsofindia.com
      ---------------------------------
      My Books: The Westland Wapiti in the Indian Air Force (1933-1943) | Eagles over Bangladesh | The India-Pakistan Air War of 1965

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      • Snoopy
        Aviation Bookworm
        • Jan 2000
        • 146

        #23
        RE: M S Pujji and other Indian aircrew in WW2

        Whee!! :-) Thanks for that link, Jagan.

        The squadron referred to in the article, which Sqn Ldr M S Pujji commanded in the Burma-India theatre, was I think No 4 Squadron RIAF. IIRC they were tasked with low-level Tactical Recce and support operations; and yes, they did suffer particularly heavy casualties (ref his comment that they lost 35 pilots and he didn't manage to shoot down any Zeros). In common with other Tac R units in the theatre, they would have been under orders *not* to engage in air combat, as it was deemed more important for them to bring the results of their recce missions back, than to shoot down enemy aircraft.

        Incidentally, if a mere enthusiast may be permitted to offer a possible correction to a BBC article, the Japanese aircraft that Sqn Ldr Pujji's squadron was up against in Burma might have been Oscars, not Zeros -- the Oscars were the Army version of the Naval Zeros, and AFAIK were more widely deployed in Burma.

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