National Defence Bureau,
New Delhi, 25 Apr 2018
A resplendent reception ceremony was held at AF Station Jamnagar to mark the arrival of fully refurbished World War – II era Dakota DC3 aircraft to become a proud possession of the IAF. The vintage military transport aircraft which played a crucial role in the 1947 Indo-Pak War, commenced its ferry from Coventry (UK) on 17 April 2018 and reached Air Force Station Jamnagar on 25 Apr 2018 at its port of entry. Post completion of custom formalities, the aircraft is planned to ferry from Jamnagar to Air Force Station Hindon on 26 Apr 2018 for induction into the Vintage Aircraft Flight of the IAF formed in the year 2012. The flight was formed with the initial induction of Tiger Moth aircraft and subsequently the Harward aircraft in 2015.
The Douglas DC3 aircraft, better known as Dakota, were introduced in the year 1930 as part of the 12 Squadron of the Royal Indian Air Force. During the first Indo-Pak war, besides carrying supplies and refugees, they carried the troops of Indian Army’s 1st Sikh Regiment to Srinagar on 27 Oct 1947 to intervene in time to save the valley of Kashmir and Poonch from Pakistan. Dakotas flew their last missions in the eighties and finally retired from the IAF in the year 1987.
The aircraft has been gifted to the Indian Air Force by Rajeev Chandrasekhar MP (Rajya Sabha) whose father Air Commodore MK Chandrasekhar (Retd) was a veteran Dakota pilot in the IAF.