Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   
Warplanes of the Second World War preserved in India

Warplanes of the Second World War preserved in India

The aim of this website is to locate, identify and document Warplanes from the Second World War preserved in India.  Many contributors have assisted in the hunt for these aircraft to provide and update the data on this website.  Photos are as credited.  Any errors found here are by the author, and any additions, corrections or amendments to this list of Warplane Survivors of the Second World War in India would be most welcome and may be e-mailed to the author at

Data current to 6 Feb 2020.

India (Provisional Government of Free India)

The Provisional Government of Free India was a government in exile led by Subhas Chandra Bose, an Indian nationalist who rejected Mahatma Gandhi’s nonviolent methods for achieving independence.  One of the most prominent leaders of the Indian independence movement of the time and former president of the Indian National Congress, Bose was arrested by British authorities at the outset of the Second World War.  In January 1941 he escaped from house arrest, eventually reaching Germany.  He arrived in 1942 in Singapore, base of the Indian National Army, made up largely from Indian prisoners of war and Indian residents in South East Asia who joined their own initiative.

Bose and local leader A.M. Sahay received ideological support from Mitsuru Toyama, chief of the Dark Ocean Society, along with Japanese Army advisers.  Other Indian thinkers in favour of the Axis cause were Asit Krishna Mukherji, a friend of Bose, and Mukherji’s wife, Savitri Devi, a French writer who admired Hitler.  Bose was helped by Rash Behari Bose, founder of the Indian Independence League in Japan.  Bose declared India’s independence on 21 October 1943.  The Japanese Army assigned to the Indian National Army a number of military advisors, among them Hideo Iwakuro and Saburo Isoda.

The provisional government formally controlled the Andaman and Nicobar Islands; these islands had fallen to the Japanese and been handed over by Japan in November 1943.  The government created its own currency, postage stamps, and national anthem.  The government would last two more years, until 18 August 1945, when it officially became defunct.  During its existence it received recognition from nine governments: Germany, Japan, Italy, Croatia, Manchukuo, China (under the Nanking Government of Wang Jingwei), Thailand, Burma (under the regime of Burmese nationalist leader Ba Maw), and the Philippines under de facto (and later de jure) President José Laurel.  (Wikipedia)

Aviation Museums in India

The Indian Air Force Museum, Palam Air Force Station, Palam, New Delhi, 110010.

Naval Aviation Museum (India), Bogmalo, Vasco da Gama, Goa.

HAL Heritage Centre and Aero Space Museum, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Bangalore.

Indian Air Force Museum, Palam Air Force Station, Delhi, India. 

 (Mike Freer - Touchdown-aviation Photo)

Consolidated B-24L Liberator, USAAC (Serial No. 44-50206), Indian Air Force (Serial No. HE-807), presented as a gift to the RAF Museum, photo taken in 1985.  Similar to (Serial No. HE-924) in the Indian Air Force Museum.

 (Author Photo)

Consolidated (Vultee) B-24L Liberator GR Mk. VIII, USAAC (44-50154), RCAF (Serial No. 11130), (5009), Indian Air Force (Serial No. HE773), currently on display in the Canada Air & Space Museum, Ottawa, Ontario.  Similar to (Serial No. HE-924) in the Indian Air Force Museum.

 ( Photo)

Consolidated B-24J Liberator, USAAC (Serial No. 44-44175), RAF (Serial No. KH304), ex-Indian Air Force, currently on display in the Pima Air & Space Museum, Tucson, Arizona (“Bungay Buckaroo”), Reg. No. N7866.   Similar to (Serial No. HE-924) in the Indian Air Force Museum.

Consolidated B-24J Liberator (Serial No. HE-924).  This aircraft was built at thr Consolidated plant in Fort Worth, Texas.   It was delivered to the RAF as (Serial No. KH342).  It was abandoned in India in 1946.   It is one of 36 B-24s restored by IAF and used until 1968.  It was placed display at Indian Air Force Museum at the end of its service

de Havilland DH.82 Tiger Moth (Serial No. HU-512).

Douglas C-47 Dakota (Serial No. IJ-302).

 (IWM Photo, Cl191)

Hawker Hurricane Mk. IIC of No. 166 Wing in flight from Chittagong in India, May 1943.

 (IWM Photo, CL121)

Hawker Hurricane PR Mk. IIB (Serial No. BM969) of ?S? Flight, No. 3 Photographic Reconnaissance Unit, based at Dum-Dum, India, in flight over West Bengal.

 (IWM Photo, Cl140)

Hawker Hurricane PR Mk. IIB (Serial No. BM969) of ?S? Flight, No. 3 Photographic Reconnaissance Unit, based at Dum-Dum, India, in flight over Bengal, 1941.

 (IWM Photo, Cl278)

Pilots discuss a sortie by the nose of a Hawker Hurricane Mk. IIC of a fighter squadron operating with No. 224 Group RAF in north-eastern India, possibly at Chittagong. 

 (IWM Photo, Cl75)

Hawker Hurricane Mk. IIc with Indian pilots of No.1 Squadron, L to R : Ibrahim, Homi Ratnagar, Arjan Singh, Henry and Murcot.

 ( Photo)

Hawker Hurricane Mk. IIb (Serial No. AB-832).  The actual Mark of Hurricane is in question (it is possibly a Canadian built Mk. I (Serial No. P5202), but has the armoured radiator of a Mk. IV, and the oil deflector ring of a Mk.II or later). The heritage of this aircraft and how it came to be in India is unknown, but it has been on display at the Indian Air Force Museum since 1975.

 (Alec Wilson Photo)

Hawker Tempest Mk. II (Serial No. HA623).

 (Alec Wilson Photo)

Noorduyn (North American) AT-16 Harvard (Serial No. HT-291).

 (IWM Photo, Cl835)

Republic Thunderbolts of No. 30 Squadron RAF taxy to their take-off point past a line of Hawker Hurricane Mk. IICs, at Cox's Bazar, India, ca 1945.

 (IWM Photo, Cl1893)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. VIII (Serial No. LV648), prepares to move from its dispersal point on the Maidan in Calcutta, India to take off on the Red Road.  This area of central Calcutta was cordoned off to traffic and used as an airstrip for the defence of the city from Japanese air raids, ca 1945.

 (Bhiki tamang Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. XVIIIe (Serial No. HS986), IAF (Serial No. SM986), c/n 6S/643887, Indian Air Force (Serial No. HS-986).

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. VIIIc (Serial No. NH631), c/n  6S-326987.  IAF Museum, Palam AB, New Delhi.  Airworthy.

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. XVIII (Serial No. TZ219), c/n 6S-676555.  Indian Air Force Museum, Palam, Delhi.  This aircraft has components from (Serial No. HS683) & (Serial No. HS674).  It is being restored to airworthy status.

 (SDA&SM Photo)

Vultee Vengeance (Serial No. AF745), flown by the RAF serving in India during the Second World War.

Westland Lysander (Serial No. 1589).

 ( Photo)

 (Abhinav619 Photo)

Westland Wapiti Mk. IIA (Serial No. K-813).

Yokosuka MXY-2 Okha.

Naval Aviation Museum, Goa, India.

 (AaronC's Photo)

Fairey Firefly TT Mk. 1 (Serial No. IN 112).  Acquired in May 55 for target towing.

HAL Aerospace Museum, Bangalore.