By the latter stages of the war, Empire air forces in India comprised the Royal Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force and the Royal Indian Air Force amongst others. Whilst each air force was a separate entity, there were a lot of areas where the forces could cross over and share the same supply lines, equipment and administration. One such area was that of leave passes, with all the air forces sharing the same document, printed in India and marked ‘Air Forces in India’. Today we are looking at an example of this form issued to an Indian Leading Aircraftman ‘R Vaijapurkar’ of 164 Wing:
The rear of the form has more details on the use of the pass, as well as a date code that indicates it was printed in November 1942. The writing on the left indicates that our airman was stationed at the airbase at Kalapipal in Gwalior State, a base that is still is in use by the modern Indian Air Force for training today:
Some aspects of the form very much written with native servicemen in mind, with references to getting it countersigned by the headman of the village but generally speaking the form is suitable for airmen of all nationalities and the logistics of having multiple forms, all slightly different is bypassed and it also makes the job of military police easier as there is only one type of form they needed to be familiar with. Of course these forms were only used by Empire forces, those members of the US Army Air Force stationed in India had their own rules, regulations and paperwork but there was at least some consistency here.
I note that dates and detsails aren’t filled in.
I kept a pre-signed leave request form for everyone reporting to me in my desk in case of unforeseen emergencies or if they needed leave extended due to circumstances beyond their control so it could be submitted to cover an absence.
All it required was the OC’s signature and the leave type, if they had insufficent annual remaining then ‘special’ could be used and the details sorted out later.
Saved a few people a lot of difficulty, including me.