First in the Indian Skies - Norman L. R. FranksLondon: RAF collection in conjunction with 31 Squadron Royal Air Force Association, 1981, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. A little rubbing to the edges of the dust wrapper. Top edge of the text block tanned.
Includes: Black & white photographs; Colour photographs; Maps; Colour frontispiece; 2-column text; Appendices (4);
From the cover: “31 Squadron.
Born in the second year of the Great War, the squadron was sent to India for duties on the North West Frontier, against rebellious native tribesmen. It continued in this role with BE2C, Bristol Fighters, Westland Wapiti aircraft until the late 1930’s when it re-equipped with Vickers Valentias. When W.W.2 began it saw active service in Iraq and in the Western Desert prior to the Japanese entry into the war. It then served in India and Burma throughout the remainder of W.W.2, supplying ground troops with the vital war supplies that helped to defeat the Japanese Empire, flying Douglas Dakota aircraft.
Immediately after the end of the war, the squadron flew actively in Java against the Indonesian rebels, before it was sent back to India. Disbanded in 1947 it was reformed at Hendon in England the following year, the first time it had flown in England since its formation days in 1915.
Following seven years at Hendon as a communication squadron, it was dis-banded again briefly before becoming part of R.A.F. Germany as part of 2nd T.A.F. Flying Canberras, later Phantoms and today the Sepecat Jaguar GR1 it continues its service to Britain’s Royal Air Force, a service it has dutifully carried out almost non-stop since 1915 — sixty five years. Aircraftsman George Haynes painted the card below using only three pigments during the sweltering afternoon heat of India’s North West Frontier. Captain McDonald — the first C.O. of 31 Squadron and first to fly a military aircraft in India — S. Hutchinson — Capt. G. L. Hunting later founded the Hunting Aircraft and Engineering Companies, Lt. R’.Mungo’ Rawlin, W. B. Crossly, Lt. L. C. Bryant, Cpt. Robert Halley, freelance pilot of the ‘Old Carthusian’ Handley Page V/1500 bomber, Lt. C. M. Vincent who died so young and so tragically, Leslie J. Douglas-Mann — one of the first pilots to fly the all steel Henri Farman F.27 in India and Colin Cooper’s signature — he flew with Douglas- , Mann, all feature in this amazing story.”