During the operations against Pakistan in December, 1971, Squadron Leader Tehmurasp Ratanshaw Patel was serving with an operational Squadron in the Eastern Sector. On the 4th December, 1971, he was No. 3 of a strike mission over Dacca airfield. He had difficulty in raising the undercarriage of his aircraft and by the time he was able to raise it, he was separated from the formation. On his own, he attacked and caused heavy damage to a goods train and also fired at many enemy positions before returning to base. On subsequent days, he carried out a number of strike missions. On the 11th December, 1971, Squadron Leader Patel along with another pilot took off for an attack on enemy bunkers in Rangpur area. After knocking out the bunkers while pulling out of the dive, the aircraft was hit by ground fire. Both the pilots sustained extensive injuries. Squadron Leader Patel was hit by splinters near his eyes which caused severe pain and bleeding. Inspite of the injuries, he brought the aircraft back to base.
Throughout, Squadron Leader Tehmurasp Ratanshaw Patel displayed courage, professional flying skill and devotion to duty.