Richard Charles Montagu Pink was born in November 1888 in Winchester, Hampshire. He attended Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, before becoming a midshipman in the Royal Navy in 1904. Pink achieved the rank of lieutenant by the outbreak of war in 1914, at which point he joined the newly created Royal Naval Air Service. While serving with the staff of the Admiralty air department, Pink was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel.

Before the end of the war the Royal Naval Air Service merged with the Army’s Royal Flying Corps to form the Royal Air Force, which Pink transferred to as a staff officer. After the end of the war, Pink served in Africa before his redeployment to north-west India as wing-commander of 2 (India) wing at Risalpur in 1923. In the July of the following year, the British forces in India began operations to subdue rebellious tribes in the territories of southern Waziristan that bordered Afghanistan. Within months each of the tribes had submitted to British authority except those allied to the Abdur Rahman Khel tribe.

Sir Edward Ellington, the RAF commander in India, decided to carry out an air operation with no army support to force the tribesmen to capitulate. He gave command of the operation to Pink, who chose Tank as his base of operations. He took the Bristol F2B fighters of 5 squadron to base of Miramshah, where they joined 27 and 60 squadrons of de Havilland DH9A bombers [pictured].

After dropping leaflets warning the local population of impending attacks, on 9th March 1925 the squadrons strafed the tribes’ camps in the mountains. Over the next fifty-four days the RAF dropped 250 tons of bombs on the rebels in day and night raids for the loss of only one aircraft and the deaths of two personnel. This relentless campaign forced the rebels to sue for peace, which was agreed in a meeting at at Jandola on 1st May.

By andrei