Out of the bed I dressed quickly and was in my BADC (Base Air Defence Centre) bunker by 7:30. The place was fully alive. The change of shift had taken place. The boys were on 14 hour shifts with an hour of overlap at each change over. Squadron Leader Gopal Krishna Arora was my assistant at the BADC. Read the rest of this entry
Groupie Gole had come down to the tarmac himself to pick me up. The Otter pilot who had brought me from Palam was in a hurry to get away and reach Adampur before dark; he won’t even switch off his engine. I stepped down the extended ladder, pulled my suitcase behind me and ran out of the cold slipstream to the Station Commander’s Jeep. Read the rest of this entry
By the end of October 1971, the DSSC at Wellington was emptying out fast. The current course was cut short by a few weeks and all the student officers were posted out. The Directing Staff of the Army Wing were astir with sudden attachments to units or Head Quarter formations for many of the officers. In contrast, no one from the Air Wing was disturbed. Read the rest of this entry
I will narrate a story that I love to recollect. More than twenty five years have gone by since the events took place, but it never fails to thrill me even today when I think of those few months. I am talking of the exciting days when we were engaged in the wonderful task of dreaming up the DARIN for the Indian Jaguar project for our Air Force and actually fulfilling our dreams. Read the rest of this entry
The occasion was the Kutakov Fly-past over Adampur in 1970. For the final day we were operating from Adampur. The first item of the demonstration was a fly-past by 16 Mig-21 (Type 77) and 16 SU7 (Type 22). The last item for the flying display was a low level aerobatic show in a Type 66 Mig-21 two seat aircraft. The aerobatic display was to be performed by Harsaran Gill. Read the rest of this entry
History is also a story. Often it is also his story, i.e., there is a hero who features in the story that in due course becomes history. Read the rest of this entry
To say that I loved my tenure as Archer One would be an epitome of an understatement. I loved the job, I loved the aircraft we flew, I loved the boys I commanded and I loved the fatherly indulgence I received from my AOC in C – Air Marshal Minoo Engineer. His indulgence of me sometimes drove his staff to despair. It goes without saying that my antics that he winked at did not make me popular with his staff.
This is very personal story. The entire situation of this story was random, accidental, unpremeditated and unique. It took place many years ago and it touched no one else but me. It did not leave any physical emotional financial or social imprint on me and yet I have never been able to forget this incident. Let me now narrate it without further ado.
The AOC in C had advised me to get the squadron fully operational as soon as possible after we reached Hindon. That advice suited the temper of the Archers just fine. However, the desire to accelerate the pace of training was being thwarted quite seriously by lack of support from the Station administration. One stumbling block for us was the non availability of Motor Transport Drivers (MTDs) in sufficient numbers. Read the rest of this entry
End of March is usually very hot in Delhi and Punjab. The month of March 1968 was however a bit of an exception. A passing Western Disturbance had cooled things down a bit. Therefore, as I arrived at Chandigarh on 30th March 1968 to pick up command of 47 Squadron – The Black Archers – I found the weather to be almost pleasant. Read the rest of this entry