My Years with the IAF

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Lancer International, 1986 - Biography & Autobiography - 380 pages
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This is the first time that an Air Chief is sharing his thoughts and memories with the reading public. His span of service covers a period of thirty-three years: from the end of 1939 to the beginning of 1973. It includes the Burma campaign of World War II, the restricted fighting in Kashmir in 1947 and 1948, the Chinese debacle in 1962 and the two full scale wars with Pakistan in 1965 and 1971. He had 4,274 hrs of flying with the Air Force to his credit and the experience of flying 58 types of aircraft from Wapitis to supersonic jets. In 1965 he was the Vice Chief of Air Staff and in 1971 the Chief. His honesty and forthrightness many readers will find engaging& but perhaps a few who were on the scene then may find them unpalatable. In a way this is the story of aviation in India, in particular of the Indian Air Force. It is a story of a real life adventure the genesis, growth and achievements of the youngest of the three defence services. Sir Winstom Churchill said of the RAF: Never before in the history of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. That is true also of the Indian Air Force. Though this does not purport to be a history of the Indian Air Force without it no history would be complete.

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About the author (1986)

Air Chief Marshal P. C. Lal had a diploma in journalism from King's College London and was attending the Bar at the Middle Temple when World War II cut short his career in these spheres and he was called to join the Air Force. His span of service covers a period of thirty-three years, from the end of 1939 to the beginning of 1973. It includes the Burma campaign of World War II, the restricted fighting in Kashmir in 1947 and 1948, the Chinese debacle in 1962, and the two full-scale wars with Pakistan in 1965 and 1971. After retiring from the IAF, he was recalled to the public sector. He retired as the joint chairman of Air India and Indian Airlines in February 1980. He was also the chairman of the National Institute of Training in Industrial Engineering and a member of the board of the Reserve Bank of India for a number of years.

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