Royal Thai Air Force Day in Thailand Date in the current year: April 9, 2022

Royal Thai Air Force Day in Thailand The Royal Thai Air Force Day in Thailand is celebrated on April 9. The government of Thailand adopted it in March 1998, and the first official celebration of the foundation anniversary of the Royal Thai Air Force was held on April 9, 1998.

The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) is one of the three branches of the Thai military, alongside the Royal Thai Army and the Royal Thai Navy. It was established in 1913, but became an independent service and received its current name on April 9, 1937. It is this date that is now celebrated as the Royal Thai Air Force Day.

Active development of the Thai Armed Forces began in the second half of the 20th century, because the country needed to counter the increasing threat of Western expansion. The Royal Army was created in 1847, the Royal Navy Was founded in 1887, and the Royal Air Force was the last to emerge in 1913, since the rapid development of aviation all over the world began during World War I.

In February 1911, Belgian aviation pioneer Charles Van Den Born organized an aircraft demonstration at the Sapathum Horse Racing Course in Bangkok. King Vajiravudh (Rama VI) was so impressed by it that he sent three army officers to France to undergo pilot training. Upon completing their studies, they returned to Siam in November 1913 to serve as the country’s first aviation officers.

In addition, Siam bought eight European aircraft (four Nieuport IVs and four Breguets), which formed the basis of the Aviation Section of the Army Engineering Division. In March 1914, the Section moved to a new base in Dong Muang, located about 40 km north of Bangkok, and was renamed the Royal Siamese Flying Corps.

The country’s air force finally became independent from the army in 1937. Originally named the Royal Siamese Air Force, it became the Royal Thai Air force when the Kingdom of Siam was renamed Thailand in 1939.

The Royal Thai Air Force participated in the Franco-Thai war of 1940–1941, defeating the Vichy French Air Force several times, as well as in World War II, the Korean War (supporting South Korea and the United Nations), and the Vietnam War (supporting the anti-communist coalition). After the Vietnam War, the Thai Air Force came into possession of 117 aircraft previously owned by the Cambodian, Laotian and South Vietnamese air forces.

After the end of the Cold War, the Royal Thai Air Force took part in operations along the borders with Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar, and evacuated foreigners from Cambodia during the 2003 Phnom Penh riots.

The headquarters of the Thai Air Force is located at the Dong Muang Royal Thai Air Force Base. Altogether, the Royal Thai Air Force has a dozen bases, which were constructed by the United States between 1954 and 1968 and used by the U.S. Air Force until 1976. Most bases are also used for civil aviation purposes; for example, the Dong Muang base is adjacent to the Dong Mueang International Airport.

The Royal Thai Air Force Day is usually celebrated with airshows that take place in Bangkok. They are designed to demonstrate the aircraft of the country’s air force and its combat power.

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Category

Professional Days

Country

Thailand

Tags

Royal Thai Air Force Day in Thailand, holidays in Thailand, professional observances, military observances