A book about a pilot by a pilot. The story of Harjinder Singh is extraordinary and its telling long overdue. This is a story of a life of achievement, rising from the lowly rank of Hawai Sepoy to Marshal of the Indian Air Force. – Strongly Recommended.
NAME: Spitfire Singh, A True Life Of Relentless Adventure FILE: R2632 AUTHOR: Mike Edwards PUBLISHER: Bloomsbury, Osprey BINDING: soft back PAGES: 402 PRICE: £12.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: Indian Air Force, IAF, Spitfire, gen1 jets, Vampire, Indo-Pakistan wars, jet fighters, obsolescent aircraft, maintenance, ground crew, Sepoy, Hawai Sepoy ISBN: 978-93-86141-61-3 IMAGE: B2632.jpg BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/y86pc3sl LINKS: DESCRIPTION: A book about a pilot by a pilot. The story of Harjinder Singh is extraordinary and its telling long overdue. This is a story of a life of achievement, rising from the lowly rank of Hawai Sepoy to Marshal of the Indian Air Force. – Strongly Recommended. The fledgling Indian Air Force got off to an inauspicious start in 1934, not through any fault of the 200 Indians who staffed it, but because of the ignorant attitude of the British Head of the Air Force who wrote to them a most offensive letter suggesting that they were simply not up to working with aircraft in any capacity. At the time it was an attitude common in many countries to those of another. The Japanese officer class widely regarded everyone who was not Japanese as sub-human. In the US the officer corps thought of the coloured population as suitable only for the most menial military tasks under close supervision. The Germans thought they were the master race and, by implication, that all others were sub- human, fit only for slavery or extermination. The British were in no way exempt either and prejudice was widespread. Whether we have actually moved on from there is highly debatable. Those who proclaim equality are frequently guilty of just another form of prejudice that is equally unproductive and corrosive. From that questionable start, the Indian Air Force was to develop and serve India and its Allies admirably. Spitfire Singh may have had an epic career, but a great many Indians became engineers and pilots, earning deserved promotions and helping to make the Indian Air Force a professional military organization, the source of great pride. It was a rocky road at times and independence saw a built-in headwind as Pakistan was formed for the Muslims and represented a potential threat that has caused a number of wars and border skirmishes over the years where the Indian Air Force has been called to the defence of its country. The author has produced a detailed and thoroughly researched book that does honour to an extraordinary IAF pilot and senior officer. There is a very interesting photo-plate section that provides a unique view of AM Singh. The text reads well and discloses the author's own love of flying and his interest in the IAF and the late Air Marshal. This book is a great read and should not be missed.