Pre Independence

Even before the Indian Air Force was born, Indian flyers had shown their mettle in First World War and were duly recognised with awards of 1 DFC and 1 MC. It was only natural that more laurels followed whenever Indian aircrew saw action in other conflicts.

The Royal Indian Air Force flew operations against the tribals of North Western Frontier Province in the late 30s followed by four years of continuous action on the Burma front against Japan. Some of its aircrew were deputed to the RAF and saw action in Europe, North Africa and elsewhere. Their contributions were amply recognised and several members received gallantry and service awards from the British.

By 1947, the fledgling Indian Air Force had received one DSO ,24 DFCs and 2 AFCs for its part in helping the allied war effort against the Axis powers.