The history of the Air Force Medical Services began with the induction of three emergency commission Indian Medical Service (Army) officers and seven medical assistants into the newly formed IAF medical branch in January 1941. The integration of the Armed Forces Medical Services after independence, was complete with the assuming of office by Lt Gen KS Master, the First DGAFMS, in April 1949.
The need for aeromedical support to the aircrew was recognised in 1942, when modern aircraft of the RAF and Allied Air Forces were inducted in the Indian Air space for the first time. By 1944, a comprehensive training programme was implemented by the IAF Medical branch for its medical officers and medical assistants. New aeromedical units were created and simulators added, to meet the requirements of the growing Air Force.
In October 1952, the Air Force Medical officers stationed in Delhi area formed the Aero Medical Society with the following objectives:
- To advance the science and art of Aviation Medicine
- To establish and maintain co-operation between medical and other sciences concerned with aeromedical development and progress.
- To promote, protect and maintain safety in Aviation.
Over the years the membership, scope and functions of the Society have advanced and today it can boast of over 850 members from the Air Force, Army, Navy, Civil Aviation, Scientists from DRDO, civil doctors, Bio-medical engineers and members from abroad. Aerospace Medicine being multi-disciplinary, requires integration of not only the biological sciences such as physiology, psychology, and clinical medicine but also requires direct help from basic sciences such as physics, chemistry, mathematics and engineering. With this end in view, the society has been establishing symbiotic relationships with Institutes of repute working in these allied fields.
The first meeting of the Society was held on 22nd and 23rd January 1954, in a small cinema hall near Air Headquarters, New Delhi. Group Captain P.P.Chowdhury, DMS (Air) was elected the founder President and Squadron Leader S.D.Basu the Honorary Secretary. Air Marshal G.E.Gibbs, CAS declared open the first meeting of the society.