A simple and factual concise history of an RFC ( later RAF) squadron from its formation early in the Great War until after the Second World War. This edtion – published in association with the Imperial War Museum – is the first publication of a typescript originally written for private circulation. Upon its foundation, 31 squadron was sent to Bombay for war service in India, flying its first operation in its BE 2C aircraft early in 1916. In 1917, based at Risalpur, it was employed in operations against the Mahsud tribesmen of the north-west Frontier who, urged on by their Mullahs, had risen against the British Raj. The 31st helped put down the revolt by bombing and machine-gunning Mahsud villages and columns. In 1919, after quelling riots by Sikhs around Amritsar, the squadron was employed in Afghanistan where tribesmen had declared a new Jihad against the British. The squadron carried out almost daily bombing attacks, including one raid on the Afghani Amir’s palace in his capital Kabul. The bombing helped to demoralise the Afghanis who sued for peace. ‘Peacekeeping’ operations with new Bristol aircraft continued sporadically in the troubled north-west region where tribesmen continued their resistance to British rule. In the Second World War, equipped with Valencia and DC2 aircraft, the squadron countered the pro-Axis coup in Iraq in 1941, flying in material and evacuating casualties from Habbaniya airfield. In 1942, following the Japanese entry into the war, it performed the same funcrtion in Burma. Flying Dakota aircraft, 31 helped supply the first and second Chindit expeditions behind enemy lines launched from Imphal by General Orde Wingate. In 1943-44 the squadron maintained its vital supply role in turning back the Japanese offensives in the Arakan area. In the latter stages of the war, 31 was involved in the rescue and repatration of Allied Prisoners of War and Chinese ‘Comfort women’ from Japanese captivity. This is a strictly factual but informative and interesting history of both world Wars in the east.
HISTORY OF No.31 SQUADRON ROYAL FLYING CORPS AND ROYAL AIR FORCE in the East from its formation in 1915 to 1950.
Privately printed history of 31 Squadron from 1915-1950. Includes roles in putting down tribal revolts on North-West Frontier, and supplying Wingate’s Chindits behind Japanese lines in the Second World War.