War Heroes

Lt Col A B Tarapore

Lieutenant Colonel Ardeshir Burzorji Tarapore was born on 18 August 1923 in Bombay, Maharashtra. He joined the Hyderabad State Force in 1942 and saw active service in West Asia during World War-II. He was commissioned in Poona Horse on 01 April 1951. The biggest tank battle of the 1965 Indo-Pak War took place at Phillora in the Sialkot sector. During the southern thrust of the Indian Army on the Kaloi-Phillora axis the 17 Horse commanded by Lt. Col. Tarapore advanced on the right flank. On 11 September 1965, the regiment was assigned the task of delivering the main armoured thrust for capturing Phillora. It decided upon launching a surprise attack on Phillora from the rear. To achieve the surprise, when the regiment was thrusting forward between Phillora and Chawinda, it was suddenly counter-attacked by the enemy's heavy armour from Wazirwali.

Lt. Col. Tarapore defied the enemy's charge, held his ground and gallantly attacked Phillora with one of his squadrons supported by an Infantry battalion. Though under continuous enemy tank and artillery fire, he remain unperturbed throughout this action. When wounded, he refused to be evacuated. On 14 September 1965, he led his regiment to capture Wazirwali. Unmindful of his injury, he again led his regiment and captured Jassoran and Butur-Dograndi on 16 September 1965. In this battle his own tank was hit several times. But despite the odds, he maintained his pivots at both these places and thereby helped the supporting infantry to attack Chawinda from the rear. Inspired by his leadership, the regiment fiercely attacked the enemy armour and destroyed approximately sixty enemy tanks, suffering only nine tank casualties. However, Lt. Colonel Tarapore was enveloped in flames and died a hero's death. The valour displayed by him in this action, lasting 6 days, was in keeping with the highest traditions of the Indian Army. Lieutenant Colonel Ardeshir Burzorji Tarapore was awarded with the highest war-time gallantry medal, Param Vir Chakra, posthumously.