The IAF History Thread

The Military Issues & History Forum is a venue to discuss issues relating to the military aspects of the Indian Armed Forces, whether the past, present or future. We request members to kindly stay within the mandate of this forum and keep their exchanges of views, on a civilised level, however vehemently any disagreement may be felt. All feedback regarding forum usage may be sent to the moderators using the Feedback Form or by clicking the Report Post Icon in any objectionable post for proper action. Please note that the views expressed by the Members and Moderators on these discussion boards are that of the individuals only and do not reflect the official policy or view of the Bharat-Rakshak.com Website. Copyright Violation is strictly prohibited and may result in revocation of your posting rights - please read the FAQ for full details. Users must also abide by the Forum Guidelines at all times.
shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 35017
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby shiv » 12 Sep 2011 06:30

Folks just a heads up. The following link is to a pdf of a scan of a good story from 1971. The file will be deleted in a few days - and a couple of downloads from those who have not read Pete Wilson's story from Vayu will leave the file on for some more time. 8 MB or so.

https://rapidshare.com/files/409373561/petewilson.pdf

rajanb
BRFite
Posts: 1947
Joined: 03 Feb 2011 16:56

Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby rajanb » 08 Nov 2011 16:46

Paruram's and my post x-posted from the TIRP thread

parsuram wrote:

As long as we are revisiting paki wars, I was away from home in 65 (Punjab, Kapurthala, about 60 miles from Lahore border), at IIT Kharagpur, WB (about 100 miles from the EPaki border). As it happened, I and my classmates saw IAF bring down two F86 Sabers from our classroom windows at about 10:30 AM, when that PAF garbage came to attack Kalaikunda AF base. (thermo test was in progress, and a part of war's absurdity sticks with me, with our lecturar yelling: "no talking, no talking" as we all went out to the corridor to see the action. The war became very real. I was worried for my mother, with no phone, but could do nothing. I sent a telegram to let her know I was OK. As it happened, she knew nothing of the attack in Bengal, and did not get my telegram anyway. '71 was different. I was in Canada, gradute school. As it happened, I was sharing an apartment with two pakjubi room mates. One of them turned on me, damn near chocked me to death when Dhaka surrendered. Found out what the pakjabi is made of under a thin veneer of civilization.

Rajanb: Deleted my portion and replaced by a chronological sequence below. Apologies.
Last edited by rajanb on 08 Nov 2011 21:31, edited 1 time in total.

rajanb
BRFite
Posts: 1947
Joined: 03 Feb 2011 16:56

Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby rajanb » 08 Nov 2011 16:50

Self deleted and replaced with a chronological narrative below. Apologies
Last edited by rajanb on 08 Nov 2011 21:33, edited 1 time in total.

parsuram
BRFite
Posts: 366
Joined: 31 May 2002 11:31

Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby parsuram » 08 Nov 2011 17:23

To continue with my narrative, Our Thrmo class lecturer was adamant about not letting us go, war or no war, air raid or no air raid. And we actually saw that chutiya paf pilot coming straight at us (our class was at the front of the main building, on the left of the tower, looking at it from the outside, second floor). the paf veered off, and we asked to get a cancellation, specially those of us not too prepared for a TD test, but no luck. It was about 11:30 or so, I recall (about half hour past usual lunch time) that we got out of that wretched class. We were probably the last to make it out to the crash site. It had rained off and on for the previous week, but that particular day had started out nice and sunny. However, by the time some of us headed out on our bikes, the clouds had returned, and it started to drizzel on the way to the crash site. We met occasional IITians heading back, some laughingly told us that the entire plane was almost gone as a suvenior. Bikes through the paddy fields was rough. I wish I had not brought one. The little hamet came into view very suddenly. It was a small place. It occured to me that that sonofabitch paf pilot, Afzal whatever, must have deliberately guided his dead plane into this small hamlet to cause maximum damage on the ground. there were 4-5 huts to that place in all. One hut had taken a direct hit. The family in it had not survived. The man's body was frozen in a running posture. I felt sad. I saw him before I saw that ******** Afzal's head and helmet lying in a ditch, eyes open, and fixed. I remember thinking that is where he belonged.

Jagan
Webmaster BR
Posts: 3037
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Earth @ Google.com
Contact:

Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby Jagan » 08 Nov 2011 19:52

Great first person narratives - its a fantastic first person record - both of you thanks for sharing

It occured to me that that ******** paf pilot, Afzal whatever, must have deliberately guided his dead plane into this small hamlet to cause maximum damage on the ground


I assure you pilots in the thick of combat have very little reaction time, survival and a desire to get their counterpart in the air would be their main priority and kamakazi tendencies against civilians on the ground would be the last thing on their minds...

rajanb
BRFite
Posts: 1947
Joined: 03 Feb 2011 16:56

Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby rajanb » 08 Nov 2011 21:29

Chronological 1965 Kalaikunda Attack

A couple of my hostel wingmates were frequent visitors to a place called SI, in KGP town. They made friends with young flying officers and Flt. Lts who used to frequent that place for a movie, drinks and dinner. These mates had gone over to the officer's mess in Kalaikunda, and on that fateful day as we cycled to Kalaikunda to find out why there was this black plume of smoke emanating from the AFB.

The first attack had happened in the morning at about 630ish as we heard the window panes in our mess hall rattle and then the sound of explosions. We raced outside clutching our plates with our spartan, cold, insipid breakfast. To see, silver shapes diving with even smaller darker shapes being released from the under the aircraft.

Huge dark plumes of smoke emanated from the AFB. The question ringing in my mind for the next couple of hours as to why there was no opposition from our AF chaps. Ears tuned for (hopefully not) other sounds of explosions. As soon as the two hour lab class was over, a couple of us raced through the college main building gathering other wingmates, dumped our books in the hostel and set off for the pedalling to Kalaikunda, about 10 Km away.

As we reached what we thought the AFB was, one of our mates stopped and pointed to a shrine on the side of the road. Like a Gol Gumbaaz you see dotted along the road from Hyderabad to Himmayat Sagar. We dismounted and conferred, our attention on the shrine. Never seen this before and I have been here plenty of times. Are we on the right road?” said one of my mates.

Then we were shocked by what unfolded. As we watched the Gol part split open and an anti aircraft gun started its deafening fullisade of shots into the sky.

And lo and behold, there were three silvery silent shapes of F86. (I used to buy every edition of the Observer's Handbook of aircraft). They were F86's. And the bombs dropped, but away from us. That seemed like the sole ack – ack gun.

A few of us jumped into a deep roadside ditch. Half of us stood in astonishment. We were being frigging attacked and why hadn't Kalaikunda sent up aircraft to meet them. Or had they? And the bludy pakis had evaded them?

With screams from the ditch directed at us: "Get in here you idjuts, you'll get killed." But we stood there wanting a good view. Willing, hoping and praying that there would be retribution for these marauding pigs. The F86s did the seconf run.

Phew! At that moment we heard the added throaty roar of a flight of Hunters and a well fought, victorious battle was joined. We cheered our chaps and abused the Pakis passionately as the fight unfolded in front of us. The ack-ack gun stopped. It was the only ack-ack gun as we never saw any puffs of smoke emanating from elsewhere.

The first dogfight we noticed

The sky was otherwise empty, but the sound of jets could be heard from various directions. But one pair was visible.

The adversaries were high. A Hunter and an F86 circling each other 180 degrees apart. Warily. Suddenly the Hunter raced and banked sharply and he must have fired as the F86 was spewing smoke and started spiralling downward in what seemed an accelerating, uncontrollable spin. The Hunter watched, but did not follow him, so convincing were the "death throes". Then all of a sudden the F86 flattened out and raced to the IIT tower. Oops we thought. "Hope the joker hasn't a bomb left to drop on IIT. From our line of sight he was headed for our main building! Then he veered to port and raced off.

Then we saw a Hunter, in silence, gliding past us, ahead of us and landing on the strip which was to the left., seemingly without engine power!

We then looked around and we could hear the sound of engines but not see any aircraft.

The second dogfight

As we scanned the skies, waiting, hoping we could see the destruction of the Pakis, a Hunter cam screaming from our right. At low level. Weaving as an F86 charged at him, the gap closing very quickly.

At this point everything for me went into slowmo.

A short ineffectual burst of the F86 cannon. The admonishment from the ditch growing louder and faster at the clatter of the cannon. But two of my batchmates and I stood there. We did not want to miss a scene of a lifetime. If our chaps could sacrifice their lives for us, we were going to brave it too and cheer Flt. Lt. Cooke for all it was worth. After all, we had ringside seats to a show; to avenge ’47 and wipe out the shame of ’62.

The Hunter was the Hunted. And slowing. His face visible. And then suddenly he started what seemed like a loop.
The Paki too fast for he would have hit the Hunter if he followed suit with his faster speed. The Paki was visible too. It was a low, absolutely within range dogfight. The Hunter seemed to claw the air as he rose. And just as the paki passed by under him, we could see a sense of astonishment on the Pakis face. My reading was that it dawned on him that he had been had!

The Hunter was at sufficient height. And to me he seemed momentarily still in the air. His nose away and to the right from a vertical though his tail. Enough momentum to flip. And then he gracefully flipped and increased his engine as he now became what he was meant to be: THE HUNTER!

The Paki weaved. The Hunter was at the same height and dead on right between him. Then I saw the most awesome sight as the Hunter opened fire. A long burst.

The effect was electric. Cannon holes being lazily stitched across the Paki's port wing. Brass cannon shell casings lazily drifting from under the Hunter, glinting in the sun. Then the sudden ball of orange flame. Followed by the sound of the explosion, the shock, and the screaming engine as the Paki tried to level his craft. The final orange and black explosion as the F86 hit the ground a couple of miles away. The hunter lazily following, turning and racing off.

To add to the incident, while we cycled to the crash site over the bumpy fields, the conversation centred around what we would do if we found the Paki alive. To wait for the MPs? This met with a strong unanimous NO.

We were the first to reach there. The horror of seeing the pilot's body in pieces. I picked up a couple of cannon shells as souvenirs. And a lot of IIT went and scavenged that a/c!

At the site we saw the charred bodies of a woman and child, the hut still smouldering and assumed that the fuel fire would have been akin to a blanket of napalm. We picked up our shell souvenirs, not touching anything else, since we felt that the remnants maybe of use to the IAF. Not even the transparent plastic packet of rations, marked boldly with insignia of the USAF. ( There was a tempting MARS chocolate in there which in those days were not even available in stores in India!)

Astounding that the pure Pakis could not cobble up their own home-grown survival rations! Wryly did one mate remark "This probably makes them feel more of a super power, like their masters, the Americans!"

On the way out across the fields we came across the IAF jeep racing in our general direction and they were astounded when we told them that we were from IIT and that the pilot was dead and dismembered. They raced on and we raced back to the hostel in time for our (ugh) lunch. That evening we emptied out the shell casings of gunpowder, which we lit in celebration!

These incidents only strengthened my view of our pilots being top class, brave and gutsy guys. Having spent a lot of time with them on the ground, and witnessed their bravado and sense of humour, we realised that they carried that bravado and possibly also their sense of humour into their cockpits.

We chatted till the early hours and with that lack of sleep, we were awoken with the thunder of jet engines. Racing out to see what it was all about we were welcomed with a glorious sunrise and the sight of four MiG-21s crisscrossing in pairs, doing cap duty, which continued till sunset.

After dinner that night, still hanging about in the open corridor, we saw the colourful sight of ack-ack guns open fire, with tracer bullets. Forming a perfect cuboid over the airbase.

Rumour or Fact?:
a)Fact: That Kalaikunda had not yet positioned their ack-ack guns which were delivered to them at the start of the war. that is why only one ack-ack was firing and we saw the fireworks of all combined the next night.

b)Rumour: That Kalaikunda could not launch its own a/c because the radar had been sabotaged/US.

c)Fact: That the Hunters came from Barrackpore

d)Rumour: That the F86 seen high tailing it past the IIT KGP tower plummeted into the sea or was waylaid by additional Hunters from Barrackpore.

Jagan
Webmaster BR
Posts: 3037
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Earth @ Google.com
Contact:

Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby Jagan » 08 Nov 2011 22:51

Thanks Rajan - Amazing read and a wonderful Historical material..

This must be the sight that awaited you all at the place it crashed...

Image
This F-86 Sabre flown by Flg Offr Afzal Khan of the PAF was shot down near IIT Kharagpur by a Hunter of No.14 Squadron flown by Flt Lt Alfred Cooke

pradeepe
BRFite
Posts: 741
Joined: 27 Aug 2006 20:46
Location: Our culture is different and we cannot live together - who said that?

Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby pradeepe » 08 Nov 2011 23:00

Wow! it must be a rare sight to actually witness dogfights and we have two offer their first hand accounts right here on BRF. Blessed be they. And thanks.

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 35017
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby shiv » 09 Nov 2011 07:09

rajanb wrote:The Hunter was at sufficient height. And to me he seemed momentarily still in the air. His nose away and to the right from a vertical though his tail. Enough momentum to flip. And then he gracefully flipped and increased his engine as he now became what he was meant to be: THE HUNTER!

The Paki weaved. The Hunter was at the same height and dead on right between him. Then I saw the most awesome sight as the Hunter opened fire. A long burst.

The effect was electric. Cannon holes being lazily stitched across the Paki's port wing. Brass cannon shell casings lazily drifting from under the Hunter, glinting in the sun. Then the sudden ball of orange flame. Followed by the sound of the explosion, the shock, and the screaming engine as the Paki tried to level his craft. The final orange and black explosion as the F86 hit the ground a couple of miles away. The hunter lazily following, turning and racing off.



Brilliant! Thanks rajanb.

Gaur
Forum Moderator
Posts: 2013
Joined: 01 Feb 2009 23:19

Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby Gaur » 09 Nov 2011 07:51

rajnab Sirji,
It was an amazing read and I cannot convey the emotions that ran through me as I sat reading this piece. It was as if I was present there. This is a brilliantly written first person narrative of anger, fear, hope, josh and jubilation.
And if I may, is this your memoir or did you come across it somewhere else?

rajanb
BRFite
Posts: 1947
Joined: 03 Feb 2011 16:56

Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby rajanb » 09 Nov 2011 08:36

shiv wrote:
rajanb wrote:The Hunter was at sufficient height. And to me he seemed momentarily still in the air. His nose away and to the right from a vertical though his tail. Enough momentum to flip. And then he gracefully flipped and increased his engine as he now became what he was meant to be: THE HUNTER!

The Paki weaved. The Hunter was at the same height and dead on right between him. Then I saw the most awesome sight as the Hunter opened fire. A long burst.

The effect was electric. Cannon holes being lazily stitched across the Paki's port wing. Brass cannon shell casings lazily drifting from under the Hunter, glinting in the sun. Then the sudden ball of orange flame. Followed by the sound of the explosion, the shock, and the screaming engine as the Paki tried to level his craft. The final orange and black explosion as the F86 hit the ground a couple of miles away. The hunter lazily following, turning and racing off.



Brilliant! Thanks rajanb.


Shiv, Thanks. I remember telling you that I would write this, a few months back. So many thanks to Parsuram that he catalysed this process. Lazy slob that I have become!

rajanb
BRFite
Posts: 1947
Joined: 03 Feb 2011 16:56

Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby rajanb » 09 Nov 2011 08:57

Gaur wrote:rajnab Sirji,
It was an amazing read and I cannot convey the emotions that ran through me as I sat reading this piece. It was as if I was present there. This is a brilliantly written first person narrative of anger, fear, hope, josh and jubilation.
And if I may, is this your memoir or did you come across it somewhere else?


Gaur. I was standing right there! And this event is etched in my mind.

The total shock. Yes. Shock and surprise when that Gol part of the gumbaaz opened up and that wonderful shooting match happened. Followed by an electric feeling, the gritting of teeth. And when the Hunters came, the surge of adrenalin. It was "let's eff these b@ast@ards" time.

I can still visualise the F86 and the Hunter. The canopies, the faces. And still remember us yelling encouragement to the Hunters and abusing the Pakis!

Somehow, I cannot remember all my 8 mates who were present. But do remember the other two who, with me, refused to jump into the ditch. One, who did Naval Architecture, retired prematurely as a Commodore in the IN. The other is in Wash. D.C.

rajanb
BRFite
Posts: 1947
Joined: 03 Feb 2011 16:56

Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby rajanb » 09 Nov 2011 09:04

Jagan wrote:Thanks Rajan - Amazing read and a wonderful Historical material..

This must be the sight that awaited you all at the place it crashed...

Image
This F-86 Sabre flown by Flg Offr Afzal Khan of the PAF was shot down near IIT Kharagpur by a Hunter of No.14 Squadron flown by Flt Lt Alfred Cooke


We just glanced at that junk. Our focus was on the pilot and checking if anyone else was injured and alive. A quiet moment of grief for the innocents who seemed to have been burned. They were in a running pose. And then scooping up a belt of ammo and distributing two to each and wanting to get hold of the IAF and tell them where the crash was at. (Not that Cooke would not have radioed the location back to the control tower)

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 35017
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby shiv » 09 Nov 2011 09:11

rajanb wrote: But do remember the other two who, with me, refused to jump into the ditch.

That is why the bravest fighters are young. As one gets older and discovers that one has lived one feels even more strongly for those who died young.

rajanb
BRFite
Posts: 1947
Joined: 03 Feb 2011 16:56

Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby rajanb » 09 Nov 2011 09:35

shiv wrote:
rajanb wrote: But do remember the other two who, with me, refused to jump into the ditch.

That is why the bravest fighters are young. As one gets older and discovers that one has lived one feels even more strongly for those who died young.


Yes. We had a collegemate who joined the IN. My senior in EE. IIT had an unwritten code of conduct that juniors would respect the seniors and that seniors would mentor/assist the juniors to navigate the rigours of IIT.

We still remember one very, nice, brilliant guy who went down in '71, with the Khukri. And this guy earned and deserved our respect.

Lt VK Jain (L) NAO SENA MEDAL
Posthumous
KHUKRI (WF) IMPROVEMENTS TO SONAR

http://indiannavy.nic.in/t2t2e/Trans2Trimph/chapters/42_awards1.htm

There is an award instituted in his name: The Lt. V. K. Jain Memorial Gold Award.

Such is life!

parsuram
BRFite
Posts: 366
Joined: 31 May 2002 11:31

Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby parsuram » 10 Nov 2011 00:06

rajan ji: Excellent. I was, by comparison, entangled in thermodynamics!, and could not get away in time. Did you know R. Ravi Kumar, NL '69 - was with me in VS Hall. I heard he also passed away ('71). That was a small class of Naval Architects to begin with.

Sanku
BRF Oldie
Posts: 12530
Joined: 23 Aug 2007 15:57
Location: Naaahhhh

Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby Sanku » 10 Nov 2011 01:16

rajanb sir, exceptional writing, felt the scene come alive right in front of my eyes. Most wonderful and many thanks.

RajSingh
BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 23
Joined: 11 Mar 2011 22:20

Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby RajSingh » 10 Nov 2011 02:37

Nice to hear first person accounts from my IIT kgp seniors ( BT , RK , 2005) .

For use the only time we saw planes was when they were flying over the campus and some low runs during some exercises.

rajanb
BRFite
Posts: 1947
Joined: 03 Feb 2011 16:56

Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby rajanb » 10 Nov 2011 09:34

RajSingh wrote:Nice to hear first person accounts from my IIT kgp seniors ( BT , RK , 2005) .

For use the only time we saw planes was when they were flying over the campus and some low runs during some exercises.


Thanks Guys. And welcome RajSingh! Parsuram, I do not think I know him. I was a to class and back to hostel bird!

I am going to write another post on the days at IIT KGP, post the attack. Alas, it will not be about explosions or glory, but may illuminate some insights and give us a feeling of how the folks in the border areas must be coping with these scenarios day after day in their lives. And the rumours that were rife. Gossip maal!

abhishek_sharma
BRF Oldie
Posts: 9664
Joined: 19 Nov 2009 03:27

Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby abhishek_sharma » 14 Nov 2011 04:53


Raja Bose
BRF Oldie
Posts: 19481
Joined: 18 Oct 2005 01:38

Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby Raja Bose » 14 Nov 2011 07:32

rajanb, Waiting for your post. Jagan, perhaps the eye witness account of rajanb's can be posted in the IAF section as an article? Till date pretty much all first hand accounts posted in that section have been from Armed forces vets but this one will be a first hand account from a civilian.

rajanb
BRFite
Posts: 1947
Joined: 03 Feb 2011 16:56

Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby rajanb » 14 Nov 2011 08:21

Raja Bose wrote:rajanb, Waiting for your post. Jagan, perhaps the eye witness account of rajanb's can be posted in the IAF section as an article? Till date pretty much all first hand accounts posted in that section have been from Armed forces vets but this one will be a first hand account from a civilian.


Raja ji. I will post it. The aftermath of that attack and how it affected us in IIT. A mix of fact, fiction and rumours, but would gladden our hearts, naturally. :D

Sri
BRFite
Posts: 1333
Joined: 18 May 2005 20:19
Location: Earth

Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby Sri » 14 Nov 2011 11:03

Great Story Rajanb Jee. It was a very good read. Is there any account from Flt Lt Cooke? I am guessing what would have happend in the cockpit below.

IAF pilot executed a perfect maneuver. Hats of to scenario based training these guys go through. As per the account above I can only guess what was going through the minds of Pilot. After first burst and missing it be a mile, the PAF pilot would have been under pressure to score. Hence he increased the throttle to get close to the Hunter. Hunter Pilot by this time would have been looking for an opening, increased speed of the PAF machine meant that the aircraft will bank at a little less angle. Having missed the spot Sabre had a choice to increase the throttle even further and disengage. Hunter would have never caught up. Here it is critical to know the heading of the speeding Sabre, may be he had his tail towards Bangladesh. Or may be Afzal Khan was too proud to disengage. He might have been mislead by the non aggressive posture of Flt Lt Cooke. I am sure Cooke in his mind would have been Hoping for hard turn with nose up. This is what Sabre pilot is expected to do with better thrust ratio, Hunter would have lost it in the climb but Sabre would have slowed giving an opportunity for a few sec to Cooke. In the end I am sure Flt Lt Cook found Afzal slowing right in front. From the account it is clear Afzal could not have chosen to loose the altitude, in that moment of indecision Flt lt Cooke unleashed the Salvo. Rest is history.

At critical junction PAF's pilot lost cool and the IAF pilot's training kicked in.

rajanb
BRFite
Posts: 1947
Joined: 03 Feb 2011 16:56

Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby rajanb » 14 Nov 2011 11:21

Sri wrote:Great Story Rajanb Jee. It was a very good read. Is there any account from Flt Lt Cooke? I am guessing what would have happend in the cockpit below.

IAF pilot executed a perfect maneuver. Hats of to scenario based training these guys go through. As per the account above I can only guess what was going through the minds of Pilot. After first burst and missing it be a mile, the PAF pilot would have been under pressure to score. Hence he increased the throttle to get close to the Hunter. Hunter Pilot by this time would have been looking for an opening, increased speed of the PAF machine meant that the aircraft will bank at a little less angle. Having missed the spot Sabre had a choice to increase the throttle even further and disengage. Hunter would have never caught up. Here it is critical to know the heading of the speeding Sabre, may be he had his tail towards Bangladesh. Or may be Afzal Khan was too proud to disengage. He might have been mislead by the non aggressive posture of Flt Lt Cooke. I am sure Cooke in his mind would have been Hoping for hard turn with nose up. This is what Sabre pilot is expected to do with better thrust ratio, Hunter would have lost it in the climb but Sabre would have slowed giving an opportunity for a few sec to Cooke. In the end I am sure Flt Lt Cook found Afzal slowing right in front. From the account it is clear Afzal could not have chosen to loose the altitude, in that moment of indecision Flt lt Cooke unleashed the Salvo. Rest is history.

At critical junction PAF's pilot lost cool and the IAF pilot's training kicked in.


cooke's manouevre was unbelievable. I (my dad being in private aviation) have been exposed to aerobatics from the age that I was a toddler. The first being a Tiger Moth. Harvards, Mysteres and Vampires!

I chatted with Chacko on the phone and I told him that I was hesitant to write this because Cooke's ("half loop") was the stuff that SU-30MKI's do with ease.

Imagine watching the Hunter delicately balanced on its tail. It's CG perfectly slanted from the vertical so as to flip! A normal loop would have given Afzal and opportunity to run or jockey behind Cooke. The height of the Hunter perfect to the extent that when he came out of the loop he was at the right height and bearing!

Afzal definitely throttled back knowing he was too fast but yet wanting to follow Cooke into a loop as close as he could. The surprise on his face was to me the audacity at the way Cooke was pulling off a stunning, efficient, fast and tight manouevre!

To me it seemed that Cooke and the Hunter were integrated man and machine!

And Afzal was pointing away from Bangladesh.

Sri
BRFite
Posts: 1333
Joined: 18 May 2005 20:19
Location: Earth

Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby Sri » 14 Nov 2011 11:49

rajanb wrote:And Afzal was pointing away from Bangladesh.



May be this is the reason he chose not disengage and run for dear life. Still why he pulled the throttle back, beats me.

tsarkar
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2709
Joined: 08 May 2006 13:44
Location: mumbai

Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby tsarkar » 14 Nov 2011 12:17

rajanb wrote:Cooke's ("half loop") was the stuff that SU-30MKI's do with ease.
The Immelmann loop & its variants are around since WW1 and dedicated pilots have religiously practiced it http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... elmann.png The MKI's high thrust and flight control simplifies life, but still, hats off to the practitioners of these skills.

member_20349
BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 2
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby member_20349 » 19 Nov 2011 08:41

Rajan, that was an amazing account. I was one of the guys with you (yup, one of the idiots standing and not in the ditch) but I cannot even begin to try to match your description of the events. Hats off to you! Reading your account has vividly brought back memories of that crazy day. I do remember that we set off for kalaikunda in a state of pretty high excitement, without any idea of what we expected to see/find and in fact some of us actually went to the main gate of the base and were (obviously!) chased away by the AFP. We then followed a road which ran along the outer periphery of the base and were in fact at a point at one end of the runway and looking down the length of the runway when the attack happened. What an experience! Incidentally, I still have the memento I picked up in the field that day - a Sabre cannon shell. Maybe I will post a picture of it for the record.
Rajan, as to who were the guys with us that day? I'm also hazy about that but pretty sure Collin was there (we can ask him) and probably also my classmates Ravi and Kattu. Perhaps Pun and Randhir, but, sad to say, we can't ask them. BTW parsuram-ji, the Ravi I refer to is your hall mate R Ravi Kumar, who in fact is very much alive and well in Chennai. I attended his daughter's wedding last year. I can put you in touch with him.
I think that memories of Lt Jain and his (tragically) short but superb efforts in the run up to the 71 war also need to be recorded, but in another forum. Maybe I will gather some of my erstwhile Navy colleagues and start a thread on that.

rajanb
BRFite
Posts: 1947
Joined: 03 Feb 2011 16:56

Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby rajanb » 19 Nov 2011 09:36

lanky wrote:Rajan, that was an amazing account. I was one of the guys with you (yup, one of the idiots standing and not in the ditch) but I cannot even begin to try to match your description of the events. Hats off to you! Reading your account has vividly brought back memories of that crazy day. I do remember that we set off for kalaikunda in a state of pretty high excitement, without any idea of what we expected to see/find and in fact some of us actually went to the main gate of the base and were (obviously!) chased away by the AFP. We then followed a road which ran along the outer periphery of the base and were in fact at a point at one end of the runway and looking down the length of the runway when the attack happened. What an experience! Incidentally, I still have the memento I picked up in the field that day - a Sabre cannon shell. Maybe I will post a picture of it for the record.
Rajan, as to who were the guys with us that day? I'm also hazy about that but pretty sure Collin was there (we can ask him) and probably also my classmates Ravi and Kattu. Perhaps Pun and Randhir, but, sad to say, we can't ask them. BTW parsuram-ji, the Ravi I refer to is your hall mate R Ravi Kumar, who in fact is very much alive and well in Chennai. I attended his daughter's wedding last year. I can put you in touch with him.
I think that memories of Lt Jain and his (tragically) short but superb efforts in the run up to the 71 war also need to be recorded, but in another forum. Maybe I will gather some of my erstwhile Navy colleagues and start a thread on that.


Welcome to BR Lanky!

I remember Sam was there, yelling his head off for us to join him in the ditch. Particularly when the first burst from the F86 was in our general direction but a couple of hunderd feet in the air.

I remember Kaddu, you and I for sure standing and yelling our heads off. Randhir was definitely there, because that evening we removed the gunpowder from the shells and burnt it. Randhir, if I remember accurately, went into the ditch at first and then jumped out and joined us before the Cooke fight took place. His panjabi gaalis were evn more colourful than yours. :wink:

And the night that Kalaikunda fired its ack acks the whole hostel went running down to the hastily dug trenches, whereas we stood in the open corridor and had an awesome glimpse of the tracers.

In '71, "Pincher Pai" was the CO of an OSA which conducted the Karachi raid. He did describe some scintillating details of how that operation took place. Not the whole nine yards though. He spends six months of the year in San Francisco captaining a merchant across the Pacific and six months in Bangalore. When he is here next, I will see if he can recount it so I can post it here.

My unc was on duty in Vizag when they sunk the PNS Ghazi. The yanks had a bludy fit. :mrgreen:

member_20349
BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 2
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby member_20349 » 21 Nov 2011 08:02

You're right about Sam - why didn't I remember him! Hats off once again to your memory. BTW, Pai would have been the EO of the OSA. Long time since I saw him. My brother took part in the second raid on Karachi. One of my lasting memories of the run up to the '71 hostilities is my (albeit fairly brief) encounter on the quarter deck of the Khukri with Capt Mulla, one of the finest officers we had then or since, when as a Lt I was conducting trials to test the design of some gear which was to be used for the Karachi raid. Regrettably they don't make men in his mould any more. There's many a story to be told of those days.

rajanb
BRFite
Posts: 1947
Joined: 03 Feb 2011 16:56

Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby rajanb » 21 Nov 2011 08:18

lanky wrote:You're right about Sam - why didn't I remember him! Hats off once again to your memory. BTW, Pai would have been the EO of the OSA. Long time since I saw him. My brother took part in the second raid on Karachi. One of my lasting memories of the run up to the '71 hostilities is my (albeit fairly brief) encounter on the quarter deck of the Khukri with Capt Mulla, one of the finest officers we had then or since, when as a Lt I was conducting trials to test the design of some gear which was to be used for the Karachi raid. Regrettably they don't make men in his mould any more. There's many a story to be told of those days.


Lanky, You must write about these things in the Indian Naval History Thread. Whatever you are allowed to tell.

I have posted a brief account of the PNS Ghazi. Am sure it is not the full nine yards, because the conversation on it was brief. Hence I labeled it ":Fact or Fiction?"

Cheers

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 35017
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby shiv » 22 Nov 2011 07:17

rajanb wrote:Chronological 1965 Kalaikunda Attack
The first dogfight we noticed


The second dogfight


rajanb I want to make this story into a video. Do you want to do the narration in your voice?

rajanb
BRFite
Posts: 1947
Joined: 03 Feb 2011 16:56

Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby rajanb » 22 Nov 2011 09:13

shiv wrote:
rajanb wrote:Chronological 1965 Kalaikunda Attack
The first dogfight we noticed


The second dogfight


rajanb I want to make this story into a video. Do you want to do the narration in your voice?


Doc. That would be an honour. I would have to practice my Melville D'mello voice. :D

rajan_bhavnaniathotmail

manjgu
BRFite
Posts: 1875
Joined: 11 Aug 2006 10:33

Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby manjgu » 22 Nov 2011 11:08

the descriptions by rajanb abt the dogfight over IIT K has been one of the best in my association with BR. thanks..

can someone thru a series of sketches... display what happened ...visually?

rajanb
BRFite
Posts: 1947
Joined: 03 Feb 2011 16:56

Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby rajanb » 22 Nov 2011 11:24

manjgu wrote:the descriptions by rajanb abt the dogfight over IIT K has been one of the best in my association with BR. thanks..

can someone thru a series of sketches... display what happened ...visually?


Waiting for Doc to respond. Am sure he would be able to put it together. I can't draw to save my soul. :((

manjgu
BRFite
Posts: 1875
Joined: 11 Aug 2006 10:33

Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby manjgu » 22 Nov 2011 12:46

@rajanb ... the PAF official history describes the dogfight and says 9 hunters attacked the PAF formation over Kaliakunda. As per Jagans book "1965 ..air war"... Cooke was flattered to know that his solitary presence was equivalent to 9 hunters :-)) anywat thanks for ur wonderful descriptions..awesome.

rajanb
BRFite
Posts: 1947
Joined: 03 Feb 2011 16:56

Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby rajanb » 22 Nov 2011 13:19

@manjgu Pakis suffering from triple vision. :rotfl:

There were three. One landed with engine flamed out, the other one was Cooke. The third, I do not know. Must have been chasing the thrid sabre who showed his broad yellow stripe very quickly. Hope I am correct that there were three hunters.

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 35017
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby shiv » 22 Nov 2011 14:51

rajanb wrote:
manjgu wrote:the descriptions by rajanb abt the dogfight over IIT K has been one of the best in my association with BR. thanks..

can someone thru a series of sketches... display what happened ...visually?


Waiting for Doc to respond. Am sure he would be able to put it together. I can't draw to save my soul. :((


rajan - please check your mail. I considered many possibilities but the only realistic one is to use a series of stills and stock video clips - some of which I have to tell the story. More on email.

rajanb
BRFite
Posts: 1947
Joined: 03 Feb 2011 16:56

Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby rajanb » 22 Nov 2011 15:10

^^^ Rec'd and responded. Over and out

Lalmohan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 13271
Joined: 30 Dec 2005 18:28

Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby Lalmohan » 22 Nov 2011 15:57

doc, don't you know any CGI animators in bengaluru?

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 35017
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby shiv » 22 Nov 2011 18:48

Lalmohan wrote:doc, don't you know any CGI animators in bengaluru?

Lalmullah - there are many ways to slice this cake, but I always have to balance between time, effort and results. I wish I had my old toy Sabre and Hunter models - I would have used stopmotion and produced some fancy stuff. Will do something - lets see - but some of the most outrageous things I have done have ended up being surprisingly popular.


Return to “Military Issues & History Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: alhaz, mody, sgrover, suryag and 56 guests