Jump to content
Gentleman's Military Interest Club

Recommended Posts

So my Step-father's father served in the RCAF and was attached to the RAF during the Second World War. I know that he was stationed in Burma doing radar work, although this information was not declassified until after I was born. We have his ribbon bar (probably partial) in a frame upstairs and I was trying to identify the medal on the left.

Thanks,

N

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

N

Do you have any other facts, which squadron he was originally from, rank, when he joined or any such? It might help one of our 'pros' tease out a bit more information for you.

Peter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Rick, I wasn't sure that the one on the left was a 39-45 Star due to the fading.

...Canadian Volunteer Service Medal (without overseas device). DEFINITELY not his complete entitlement.

The Device is there, you just can't see it due to my poor quality photo.

Peter, I wish I knew more. I know that some of his (highly censored) correspondences from Burma were on the net some years ago, but I don't have any of the unit information. I believe that he was an aircraftman and I know that his squadron was equipped with Hurricanes, not that that is very helpful. I know that he was somehow involved in the documentary Canada's War in Colour.

Thanks to all.

N

Edited by N Mühlgay

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

N

Here's some information I was able to pull together for you. Hope it's of some interest.

It appears to me very likely that your step-grand'fer served with Indian Air Force squadrons, which is pretty cool.

The Hawker Hurricane had made its name as the workhorse of RAF's Fighter Command in the skies of Battle of Britain during 1940. The first of these fighters were provided to the IAF [indian Air Force] in 1942, No.1 Squadron being the first unit earmarked to be so equipped with the aircraft.

No.2 Squadron followed soon after in September 1942 and No.6 was raised on this aircraft. All the three units went into action in Burma in 1943 and stayed on till the end of 1944. The Hurricanes earned the sobriquet "The eyes of the XIVth Army" while performing Tac[tical] R[econnaissance] missions. No.6 Squadron's Hurricane pairs were affectionately referred to as "The Arakan Twins" or "The Kaladan Twins" etc. by the ground troops.”

[from http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/History/1940s/Hurris.html Some really great photos of IAF Hurris on this site. Can’t guarantee the accuracy but it looks pretty good on a quick scan.]

Apparently No. 8 Squadron IAF also served at Imphal.

An article on RAF 3rd Tactical Air Force (S. E. Asia): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Third_Tactical_Air_Force - which identifies the IAF squadrons engaged in the Battle of Imphal. Bristol Beaufighters used in that battle were equipped with radar. Not sure about the Hurris.

Possible sources of further information: Bloody Shambles, Volume 1 (1992) by Christopher Shores; Brian Cull and Air War for Burma (2005) by Christopher Shores; Hurricanes Over Burma (1988) by M.C. "Bush" Cotton, D.F.C.; and Wings Over Burma (1944) by Kenneth Hemingway.

Monty Cotton’s book is still available on Amazon and here: http://regimental-books.com.au/hurricanes-over-burma-the-story-of-an-australian-fighter-pilot-in-the-royal-air-force-p-2822.html

If you're interested I may be able to connect you with a retired Squadron Leader, IAF who is Vice President of the Indian military History Society and may be able to shed some light on the Huuris in Burma.

Peter

Edited by peter monahan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Peter,

I should probably have mentioned his name, as that should assist information gathering.

He was named Norman Rabkin, was born in Belarus, emigrated to Canada as a baby, and volunteered c. 41-42.

N

Edited by N Mühlgay

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

N

Sadly, WWII Cdn records from the Archives are only available to close relatives and after a considerable wait - staff cuts! However, if you care to pursue it, there may be some general info. available, perhaps even squadron records for the IAF Hurricane units. If you contact Tony McClenaghan at the Indian Military History Society, at "info@imhs.org.uk", and tell him I recommended you, he can probably put you in touch with the Vice President, Squadron Leader Rana T S Chhina (IAF Retd).

All the best.

Peter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×