Pilot Officer Anand Singh Giri (4674 GD(P)) (1930-1954)
Anand Singh Giri was a second generation services officer - He was born to Major Dhan Singh, a Doctor in the Indian Army Medical Corps and Mrs Dhan Kaur on 31st December 1930 in Bohar Village of Rohtak District in present day Haryana (then Punjab) . Anand did his primary education in his village and then did his graduation from Government College Rohtak in Haryana.
After Graduation he went to Calcutta, where his father was posted in Military Hospital as a specialist in Pathology. He joined Bengal Flying Club limited and did 14 hours 10 minutes flying before joining 62nd pilots course commencing from 1st September 1952 at No.1 Air Force Academy at Begumpet.
At Basic Stage he did his first flying experience on 26th November 1952 on Tiger Moth HU494 with Flt Lt Trehan. He flew his first Solo on 10 January 1953. Among the various instructors he flew with were Flt Lt Senapati, Flt Lt P M Wilson and Flt Lt Venner.
The 62nd Course's Advanced Flying happened at Ambala - Anand Giri went on to fly the Harvard. His first flight was with Flt Lt Pears on 9th June 1953 in Harvard HT825. Less than a month later he took Harvard HT347 on his solo.
On 16th January 1954, he was one of the 46 pilots out of the intial 72 who finished the course and was commissioned as a Pilot Officer (Service Number 4674). The 62nd Course however had a high rate of losses - four of the new officers would be out of service within an year, and over the years another eight officers lost their lives in flying.
Jet Training started soon after - the cadets were posted to the Conversion Training Unit at Hakimpet operating the De Havilland Vampire. He did his first flight in a Vampire T55 (IY325) with Flt Lt S Singh and his first solo in a single seater FB52 was done on 16th March 1954 (IB357). After completing the training at Hakimpet, he was posted to No.2 Squadron flying Vampire fighters, then under the command of Squadron Leader R M Engineer.
He had only 10 Months and 15 Days Commissioned service, when his life was cut short tragically on 2nd December 1954. On that day Giri took off at around 12.50 hrs on an authorized dive bombing practice flight at Kharindwa Ranges. His single Seater jet, Vampire FB-52 [IB429] did not pull up from a dive bombing run.
He was cremated with full Military Honour on 03 December 1954 at Military Cremation Grounds in Ambala, with his father accompanying the funeral in person. His cremated remains, along with personal belongings were taken back to his village and the ashes immersed in the river Ganges.
Anand Singh Giri was unmarried - and he left behind his photographs and Flying Logbook which today survives with his family.
Nearly sixty years after his death, On 2nd December 2014, A statue was installed at his Samadhi to pay homage to the departed soul. It was unveiled / inaugurated on 18 January 2015. It is a source of inspiration for the generations to come. A Havan and Bhandara was also organised.
Photos and Information Courtesy of Captain Virendra Giri
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