The Ministry of Defense put the early air force under the control of the Army Engineer Inspector General Department. Prince Purachatra, Commander of the Army Engineers, and his brother Prince Chakrabongse Bhuvanath were instrumental in the development of the army’s Royal Aeronautical Service, a forerunner to the Air Force.
During the French-Thai War, the Thai Air Force scored several air-to-air-victories against the Vichy France Armée de l’Air. During World War II the Thai Air Force supported the Royal Thai Army in its occupation of the Burmese Shan States as allies of the Japanese in 1942 and defended Bangkok from allied air raids during the latter part of the war. Some RTAF personnel also assisted the anti-Japanese resistance. After World War II, the Thai Air Force supported the United Nations in the Korean and Vietnam War. Along the border, Thai Air Force launched many campaign against the communists, such as Ban Nam Ta Airfield Raid in Laos, and clashes between Thai and Vietnamese troops along the Thai-Cambodian border.