Tag Archives: Kurmitola

Hitting the target – Unintentionally!

By Air Cmde AD Chhibbar, AVSM (Retd)

The Hawks (24 Sqn) were operating from Kumbhirgram during the 1971 war. The mission was Close Support to the Army in an area North of Kurmitola. The CO,Ravi Badhwar, was leading this two aircraft strike and the FAC was our sqn guy,Stan Khanna. Stan was quite excited to be able to talk with the sqn guys especially the CO. He ably guided the strike from the CP to the IP giving details of enemy hiding under a mango grove. As the strike pulled up, Stan asked the CO if he could see a white building. “Affirmative” was the crisp reply. “Sir, 6 o’clock to the white building, 500 m is the mango grove. Good luck”. The Co mentioned he could not locate the mango grove and would make a second pass. Frustrated, Stan asked the CO to knock off the white building since some movement was observed. The CO acknowledged and turned finals for a strike on the white building. In his hurry to cage the gun sight, the CO inadvertently pressed the R/P release button instead of the camera button. “Whooosh” and the rockets were gone. A very excited Stan piped up on the RT, “Excellent shooting, Sir !! You got a direct hit on the MANGO GROVE !!!”