IAF ‘Jumbo’ Majumdar’s medals unsold in UK auction

  • Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times, London
  • Updated: Nov 27, 2014 20:37 IST

A unique set of material including medals and flying logbooks of Wing Commander Karun Krishna ‘Jumbo’ Majumdar – widely recognised as the father of Indian Air Force – remained unsold at an auction held here on Wednesday.

The material included Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) and Indian General Service Pair awarded to him by the British government in the 1940s before India’s independence. He was killed on 17 February 1945 when his Hurricane stalled and crashed during an air show in Lyalpur.

Auctioneer Morton & Eden’s spokesperson told HT on Thursday that the reserve price for the Majumdar material was 20,000 to 30,000 pounds, but the highest bid received was in the region of 16,000 pounds. He added that interest remained high and a sale was expected soon.

Air enthusiasts in India are reported to be keen to ensure that the unique material put up for auction by Majumdar's son is brought to India.

Majumdar was the first Indian officer to be decorated with a DFC. The material includes a diary that mentions details of air-raids conducted by him during the Second World War in Burma, as well as sound recordings of his February 1945 speech and a biographical film on him.

His speech emphasised the importance of airpower and looked at the future of the Indian Air Force. His vision for the air force provided a foundational framework for its future in an independent India.

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