Tales of 1965 Indo-Pak war greet visitors to National War Memorial
BENGALURU: September 1965 was a busy month for the Indian armed forces. Engaged in a war with Pakistan, which was hell bent on invading and capturing Kashmir, the battle, which raged till the end of September, resulted in the victory of the Indian Army. During the course of the battle, many legendary soldiers performed heroic feats which became stories of valour for generations to come.
On Monday, at a time when the city warily awoke to a nationwide bandh call, visitors to the National Military War Memorial opposite the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium, got a peek into some of the stories as veterans from the war as well as serving officers showed up to lay wreaths at the memorial to remember those who gave up their lives in 1965.
Narrating the story of Squadron Leader Ajjamada B Devayya, the only Indian Air Force officer to be awarded the Maha Vir Chakra posthumously, Air Commodore (retd) Raghuram, himself a veteran of the 1965 war, said, “He was a flying instructor who also trained me during my time in the IAF. He was called to duty in a forward area and he took part in an air raid on Sargodha airfield in Pakistan flying the Mystere IVA fighter bomber. Being the last pilot to take off in formation, he met heavy resistance as the earlier team members had already dropped their bombs. He still managed to complete the bombing run when he was intercepted by a F-104 Starfighter.”
“He engaged the fighter. He could have turned and left but he fought and caused the pilot to eject. It is perhaps one of the rare events in aviation history in which a fighter-bomber managed to strike down a fighter aircraft. This brave man is from Karnataka,” he said.
For several veterans, Monday’s event was a sombre occasion to remember the lives of those who took part in the war.