Indian Air Force Pilot's Tunic
Indian Air Force Pilot's Tunic - The tunic is fabricated from a grayish-blue wool and is adorned on the shoulder straps with silver wire bullion National Emblem of India insignias (an adaptation of the Lion Capital of Ashoka at Sarnath, adopted on January 26, 1950, the day that India became a republic) and India Air Force Eagle insignias, both insignias accented with red and black embroidery, each held in place by a small brass button displaying the IAF insignia. The left breast pocket exhibits a silver wire bullion Indian Air Force Pilot's Wings, with the front of the tunic remaining pocketless. The front is completed by a vertical row of six large brass buttons on the right side, each with the IAF insignia, facing an equal number of reinforced button holes on the left, each button maker marked "BEST QUALITY INDIA". The high-rising, 48 mm wide collar has two rows of gold bullion trim, with gold bullion and sequined leafing at the front on both sides, finished with a dual hook and eye closure, for a snug fit at the neckline. Each sleeve is adorned with three rows of gold bullion cuff rank insignia, while the tunic itself is double-vented at the rear. The inside is lined in blue nylon. There is a pocket inside on the right breast, with a maker's label inscribed "PRAKASH & CO ARMY & A.F TAILORS DELHI-CANTT" sewn upon the pocket and an owner's name label inscribed "P.S. MICHAEL" near the right armpit, where the nylon lining meets the grayish-blue wool. The sleeves are also nylon-lined, exhibiting light staining at the armpit. There is wear and fabric interruptions from the waistline downward on the exterior and staining near the one vent. A nice early Republic of India Air Force Tunic, in near very fine condition. Footnote: The Indian Air Force is the air arm of the Indian armed forces. Its primary responsibility is to secure Indian airspace and to conduct aerial warfare during a conflict. It was officially established on October 8, 1932 as an auxiliary air force of the British Raj and the prefix "Royal" was added in 1945 in recognition of its services during World War II. After India achieved independence from the United Kingdom in 1947, the Royal Indian Air Force served the Dominion of India, with the prefix being dropped when India became a republic in 1950. Since independence, the IAF has been involved in four wars with neighbouring Pakistan and one with the People's Republic of China. Other major operations undertaken by the IAF include Operation Vijay - the Invasion of Goa, Operation Meghdoot, Operation Cactus and Operation Poomalai. Apart from conflicts, the IAF has been an active participant in United Nations peacekeeping missions.