1965 War: IAF recalls how Hunter jets destroyed Pakistna’s tanks and armoured vehiclesSep 18,2018 SOURCE: DNA INDIA
The Indian Air Force on Monday relived the 1965 war against Pakistan, where the Hunter jets were used for ground attacks. “Hunters of No.7,20 & 27Sqns proved extremely effective in the war. The aircraft were deployed for ground attack role & they destroyed a number of Patton tanks & armoured vehicles. In the aerial combat, they shot down six Sabre Jets,” the IAF tweeted on Monday.Earlier, the IAF paid tribute to the iconic Arjan Singh, who was the first officer to receive five stars. Marshal Arjan Singh, died in 2017 at the age of 98. An icon of the Indian military history, Singh had led a young IAF into the 1965 war, when he was hardly 44 years of age. With nascent resources and limitations, he foiled Pakistan’s Operation Grand Slam in the vital town of Akhnoor. The IAF, led by Singh, destroyed the trail of tanks and armoured vehicles, pushing back the Pakistani offensive and helping the infantry recover the territory. In recognition of his services, he was conferred the rank of Marshal in January, 2002, making him the first and the only five-star rank officer with the IAF. So far, in the Indian Army, only two officers — K M Cariappa and Sam Manekshaw — have been conferred the five-star or the Field Marshall rank. No one has held the rank in the Navy. Interestingly, Singh won his first distinguished medal by leading a squadron against the Japanese in Myanmar’s Arakan province. The province is once again in news these days due to the Rohingya refugee crises. Singh’s campaign later helped the British-led allied forces to conquer Rangoon. He also served as India’s envoy to Switzerland and Kenya in the 1970s, as member of the National Commission for Minorities, (1975-81) and also as the Lieutenant-Governor (L-G) of Delhi during 1989-90. He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan for his meritorious services in the conduct of the 1965 war. The Marshal is believed to have flown over 60 aircraft and remained a flyer until the end of his career with the IAF. He retired in August, 1969. In 2016, the crucial airbase at the Panagarh Air Force Station was renamed after the Marshal. It is also the headquarters of the newly raised 17 Crops, the Mountain Strike Corps.