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Indian Air Force

The Indian Air Force was established on October 8, 1932.

1947-48 Kashmir operations

In a bid to gain control of the erstwhile principality of Jammu & Kashmir, Pathan tribesmen, armed and aided by Pakistan poured into Kashmir on October 20, 1947. They went into a frenzy, killing, ransacking and pillaging as they advanced to Srinagar, the capital of Jammu & Kashmir. The Maharajah of Kashmir appealed to the Indian government for assistance.

The Government of India (GoI) made its assistance conditional upon Kashmir's accession to India. Within hours of his signing the Instrument of Accession, the first Indian troops, commanded by Colonel (later Field Marshal) Sam Manekshaw, were airlifted to Srinagar in Dakotas from No.12 Squadron.

Taking off from Palam the first Indian troops were landed at Srinagar airfield at 0930 hrs IST on October 27. The fighting ended on December 31, 1948, the cease-fire bought about by UN Mediation.

No air-to-air encounters took place between the Royal Indian Air Force and the Royal Pakistan Air Force.

1961 Congo Operations

Belgium's 75-year colonial rule of the Congo ended abruptly on June 30, 1960. Belgium requested the help of the United Nations.

In India, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was quick to respond to the initial appeal for help. India loaned personnel to the UN effort.

The request to the Indian Air Force was for ground support aircraft, and the Hunter was at first considered. This was changed to the Canberra, however, despite the fact that the UN decreed that no bombs would be carried or dropped.