Frozen Tear Memorial at Ambala AFS (7 Wing)
Ambala was one of the oldest and largest airbase inherited from the British
for the IAF. The then Advanced Flying Training School operating from there used
to operate Harvards and Spitfires. Later on, Ambala AFS operated Vampires, Toofanis,
Mysteres and Hunters in a combat role. It was from this airbase that Spitfires
and Harvards flown by Instructors took part in the early days of fighting in
the Srinagar valley in the 1947-48 Kashmir Operations. Today the Airbase houses
7 Wing operating Jaguars and MiG-21 Bisons.
Ambala airfield has a war memorial called 'Frozen Tear' dedicated to pilots
who flew operations from this airfield. The War memorial was inaugurated in
the year 1982.
A HAL Gnat [E-1051] forms the backdrop for this monument which is in the shape
of an elongated tear represented by an obelisk. The memorial is located at the
main dispersal just behind the ATC Building.
The Obelisk carries the names of all aircrew who lost thier lives in times
of war and peace flying missions from the airfield from Dec 1953 onwards. When
we visited the airbase in October 2003, there were 34 names etched on the memorial.
However, subsequent research confirmed that one of the names on the obelisk
- that of Fg Offr G S Ahluwalia (Date Sept 56) actually survived his Toofani
Crash and later became a decorated war hero in the 1971 Operations. The name
certaily ended up by mistake on the list.
The Gnat is mounted on a pole and is shown dipping a wing towards the memorial.
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