No. 2 Squadron (IAF): Second World War

Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books

No.2 Squadron, IAF, was an army co-operation and reconnaissance squadron that saw a short period of front line service over Burma between December 1944 and May 1945.

No.1 Squadron, IAF, had first formed in 1933, but it had taken five years for it to reach full squadron strength. Three years passed before on 1 April 1941 No.2 Squadron became the second squadron of the Indian Air Force. Like No.1 Squadron it was an army co-operation squadron formed to serve on the North West Frontier. At first is used the Westland Wapiti. These were replaced by the Hawker Audax in September, and then in November by some of 48 Lysanders that had been given to the IAF in August.

The Lysanders were used for army training from the start of 1942 until September, when they were replaced with Hawker Hurricane IIBs. The Hurricanes were used for tactical reconnaissance on the North West Frontier from then until November 1944, when it finally moved east to the Burma front, where it became operational of 1 December 1944. Six months of reconnaissance and ground-attack missions followed, in support of the Allied armies advancing into Burma.

In May 1945 the squadron returned to the North West Frontier, but without its Hurricanes. The promised Spitfires didn't appear until January 1946, and were only in use for just over a year before they were replaced with Hawker Tempests. These aircraft were retained until the squadron was handed over to the newly independent Royal Indian Air Force.

Aircraft
April-September 1941: Westland Wapiti IIA
September 1941-February 1942: Hawker Audax I
November 1941-September 1942: Westland Lysander II
September 1942-February 1946: Hawker Hurricane IIB
January 1946-May 1947: Supermarine Spitfire VIII
May-August 1947: Hawker Tempest II

Location
April-September 1941: Peshawar
September 1941-February 1942: Kohat
February-March 1942: Secunderabad
March-May 1942: Poona
May-December 1942: Arkonam
December 1942-June 1943: Ranchi
     April-May 1943: Detachment to Imphal
June-November 1943: Trichinopoly
November 1943-August 1944: Kohat
     December 1943-April 1944: Detachment to Miranshah
August-November 1944: Kalyan
November 1944-February 1945: Cox's Bazaar, with HQ at Mambur
February-May 1945: Akyab
May-July 1945: Kohat
July-August 1945: Samungli
August 1945-January 1946: Willingdon
     August 1945-January 1946: Detachments at Jodhpur and Raipur
January 1946-February 1947: Kohat
February-August 1947: Poona

Squadron Codes: -

Duty
1941-1942: Army Co-operation
1942-1944: Tactical Recon.
1944-1945: Fighter Bomber, Burma
1945-1947: Tactical Recon.

Books

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (9 November 2009), No. 2 Squadron (IAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/IAF/2_wwII.html

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