Irish Air Corps

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The Air Corps (Irish: An tAerchór) is the air component of the Defence Forces of Ireland. Through a fleet of fixed and rotary wing aircraft, it provides military support to the Army and Irish Naval Service, together with non-military air services such as Garda air support, air ambulance, fisheries protection and the Ministerial Air Transport Service. Its headquarters and airfield is Casement Aerodrome located at Baldonnel, County Dublin. Unlike the Irish Army and Irish Naval Service, the Irish Air Corps does not maintain a reserve component and thus consists entirely of active service personnel.

Forḟaire agus Tairiseaċt ~ Motto of the Irish Air Corps
Flag of the Irish Air Corps
Close up of Irish Air Corps Pilatus PC-9 in flight
Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel, sole airbase of the Air Corps


  • While the buildup of men and machines continued, BF.I was taking an active part in the conflict. Observer/gunners were readily available, these were men who had never flown before but were well experienced in guerrilla warfare, some being veterans of the 1916 Rising. Russell was partnered by a former member of Collins' elite Active Service Unit, when he took off on the first sortie to support ground troops in Wicklow. The aircraft was armed solely with a standard infantry Lewis gun with which the observer engaged the Irregulars, firing it from his hip while dangerously balanced in his cockpit. The lack of armament on this and a second aircraft obtained from the RAF, perhaps underlined the original peaceful plans for the Air Service: its founders had refused guns, ammunition and bombs, which somewhat puzzled the donors. However, after the first sortie, warlike stores were accepted, once it became apparent that a real war was brewing up.
    • Donal MacCarron, Wings Over Ireland: The Story of the Irish Air Corps (1996), p. 15
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