The role of the Royal Air Force in the Far Eastern war has received much less attention from historians than its many activities in the war against Germany and Italy. Indeed, just as the Fourteenth Army was and still is referred to as the Forgotten Army, so can the airmen and airwomen who fought alongside them reasonably consider themselves the Forgotten Air Force. This book, published to mark the 50th anniversary of the defeat of Japan, recalls and explains their achievements, and pays them their rightful tribute. The history covers, among other things, the problems of the 1930s as they affected the RAF in the Far East, the sad tale of events in 1941-42 in Singapore and elsewhere, the strategic issues affecting the war in South-East Asia from then on, the contribution to the military operations in Burma, and the RAF preparations for the assault on Malaya and on Japan itself. While basing much of it on official records, the author also draws on many private accounts to illustrate the very difficult conditions under which all had to work - groud personnel, as well as aircrew.
It shows how they, co-operating so closely with their Army and Navy colleagues, and with the American, helped ensure that triumph would eventually follow tragedy.
Table of Contents
Towards the rising sun; the years of neglect; the paper fortress; the chain of disaster; India under threat; priorities and preparations; hopes deferred; towards the offensive; the battle joined; the long arm of air power; victory beckons; Burma re-won; finishing the job.