War Biplane At Cochin Air Base WWII – 2 PCs 1942
Two rare 1942 photo postcards of a biplane at the Cochin Naval Air Base, WW2. Shows officers posing for group photos in front of a De Havilland Dragon Rapide biplane aircraft. The Naval Air Base at Cochin, now Kochi was set up at Willingdon Island. The island is man-made reclaimed from the backwaters of the Vembanad Lake in Cochin.
This complex project was successfully commissioned by Robert Bristow a British harbour engineer from Madras. At the height of WW2, a part of Willingdon Island was allocated for setting set up an airfield. For the strategic use of the Royal Air Force (RAF) activities in Cochin.
By 1943, the airfield was converted into a Royal Navy Air Station as a reinforcement for Royal Navy ships. Along with the RAF, Indian Air Force Volunteer Reserve (IAFVR) crew members strengthened the various units. The IAFVR consisted of 100 or more civilian air-licensed holders. Who had volunteered for the service and consisted of –
No.1 CDF raised at Drigh Road Airport (Karachi), operated from St Thomas Mount in Madras.
No.2 CDF at Juhu Airport, Bombay, now Mumbai.
No.3 CDF from Dum Dum Airport, Calcutta.
No.4 CDF raised at Dr at Drigh Road Airport, moved to Moulmein in Burma. A second 4 CDF was raised at Dum Dum in February 1942. They later moved to Visakhapatnam in April 1942.
No.5 CDF at Drigh Road Airport and moved to Cochin.
No.6 CDF, another raised at Drigh Road Airport on Feb 42.
The aircraft were the Wapitis, Audax, Blenheims, Atlantas, Harts, Tigermoths, Tata VT-AJB (Dragon Rapide), and so on. Click on the photo for better view.
Did you know- the air base is now part of the Indian Navy.
From the collection- Princess Leila Of Gondal On A Wolseley Car, Old 1911 Print.