Warplanes Over Bombay Sky WWII, 2 Photos 1940

Two rare 1940 photos showing warplanes over British era Bombay (now Mumbai) in 1940. Shown here are three De Havilland Dragon Rapides Biplanes of the Coastal Defence Flight (CDF), flying directly over the Gateway of India (1st pic) and over the European quarter of probably Fort or Colaba area (2nd pic). These warplanes flew over the Bombay Sky in 1940 (WWII).

The CDF or Coastal Defence Flights were first formed during the beginning of WWII. The RAF (Royal Air Force) and Indian Air Force Volunteer Reserve (IAFVR) crew members operated these units. Most of the CDF aircraft like the Wapitis, Audaxes, Blenheims, and so on, were good but outdated.

The IAFVR pilots were civil aviation license holders and had volunteered for service at the beginning of the war. It 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 Airport on Feb 42.

Remarkably, British India had an early history of aviation, especially in Allahabad, Madras, Sitapur, Peshawar, Calcutta, etc. In the first photo shows the Gateway, the Taj Mahal Hotel, art deco apartments, the Yacht Club annexe, and probably Nariman Point. Also visible in the background is the incomplete sea wall of the Back Bay reclamation. Click on the photo for better view.

See also War Biplane At Cochin Air Base WWII, 2 PCs 1942.

Did you know – the Dragon Rapide was formerly the VT-AJB used by Tata Airlines and was assigned to Wartime Service.

From the collection – India Raj Elephant Battling Lion Watercol. Sketch, 1837., Mount Road During British Era Madras, 1907 Postcard., Queen Mary In Delhi – Old Print 1912., Beautiful Motor Cars In British India Era, 1908 PC.

The images are of the actual items from my collection. And Not a photocopy, pirated, reproduced, stock photos, or taken from other sources.

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4¼ x 3½ inch

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