Sunday, February 08, 2009

The Brewster Buffalo and the Indian Air Force

Years ago,I read suggestions that Brewster Buffalos may have served with the IAF (Dan Ford's Warbird Forum) and one example was transferred to the IAF (Joe Baugher) etc. I used to laugh at that suggestion. I was pretty damn sure that the Buffalo never served with the Indian Air Force. But if you ask me today, I am not laughing! The reason, I was emailed some a couple of scans of late Squadron Leader Jehangir Merwan Engineer's logbook last year from his daughter - Mrs Farida Engineer. The logbook discloses that between May and July 43, He served with No.22 Anti Aircraft Cooperation Unit ( a composite RAF/IAF Unit ). (No.22AACU Was formed as an RAF unit out of IAF Anti Aircraft Coop Flights - It was later transferred to the Indian Air Force and became the No.22 AACU, IAF.) .

Right among the list of types he flew during his stint were two Brewster Buffalos! The first ever record that established Indian pilots flew Buffalos with what was later an IAF unit. The Buffalos in question are W8243 and W8245 (Profiles and Pictures above). I note from elsewhere on Dan Ford's Board that these are two of the six Buffalos that were flown back by 67 RAF sqn from the Burma Retreat. it appears these two aircraft were transferred to No.22 Anti Aircraft Cooperation Unit's A flight in Karachi Drigh Road at beginning of 1943 and were flown by Indian pilots later on. I also noticed that the fate of these two aircraft was marked as unknown in the production list available on other sites and books. if anyone is updating their lists, they can add No.22 AACU andthe period May -July 43 for these two aircraft.
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