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Thread: RIAF in Canada

  1. #1
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    Default RIAF in Canada

    An RCAF Press Release raised in India, 5 June 1943, reads as follows: “Twenty-five members of the Indian Air Force have sailed for Canada as cadet officers to be trained under the Commonwealth Air Training Plan, it was learned today. They are included in a batch of 60, the rest going to the United Kingdom, the first Indians to be trained under the Empire plan.

    “The group is composed of Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims, Parsees and Anglo-Indians. The average age is 19. Following their training in Canada they will be sent to operational schools in Britain to learn battle tactics.

    “Included among the cadet group were: Ian McGuire, 19, who was evacuated from Burma when the Japs walked in; A.S. Latiff, who in civilian life was a railway traffic officer, N.H. Jaffry, who after taking his bachelor of science degree was a medical student, and S. Balakumaren, who is a bachelor of engineering.

    “None of the group has ever been outside the limits of India and Burma before, and all looked forward to going exactly to the other side of the world.”

    I was only dimly aware of an RIAF presence in Canada, principally because the Ottawa Memorial (for Commonwealth air force personnel killed in or near Canada and with no known graves) included one Bandi Sriramudi Venugopal, killed 2 January 1944 in Harvard AH190 of No.41 Service Flying Training School (low flying, Weyburn, Saskatchewan). Discovery of the press release was my first intimation that any substantial numbers of RIAF trainees were sent to Canada, and preliminary searches of Library and Archives Canada catalogues has turned up no documentary references. Presumably they were sent to Canada as part of RAF quotas in the BCATP.

    The press release just quoted represents my total knowledge of this phase of the BCATP. I would appreciate knowing more about these men - their names (if available), fates, and whether more than the original 25 followed them.

  2. #2
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    Hugh,

    I have quite a few names and some images as well - to start with

    Five names here
    http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Da...11&tocomm=2915

    Nine Names here
    http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Da...38&tocomm=2949

    A few from this list may be from Canada (Barrett for sure)
    http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Da...71&tocomm=3181

    Barette is profiled here
    http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/hi...6-barrett.html

    From the press release

    Jaffrey is http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Database/3177
    Balakumaran is http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Database/2912
    Ian McGuire http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Database/2945

    AS Latif is an exception - he appears to be senior to most of the above
    http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Database/1860

    But he was one of a batch of 25 indian pilots sent to UK for training in 43. possible he managed to get to Canada as well
    Last edited by Jagan; 26th March 2019 at 12:46. Reason: added one more link

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