Thursday, 28 April 2011

Picture of Alize..the turbo-prop aircrat

My Navy days contd.....

Hi folks,
From my old  collections, I have been able to dig out two more pictures of INS Viktant, the first Air craft Carrier of the Indian Navy. These are again taken in  1961-62. In the initial stage, Vikrant as equipped with  only two types of air-crafts, viz. Alize’ and sea-hawks.. Both were great to fly and had added tremendous teeth to the Navy. 

Monday, 25 April 2011

My Naval Days:

Year 1961-62. I had joined the Indian Navy as a Naval Aviation Officer trainee in early 1961. It was the period when the country was tense and in a state of emergency as the stage was already set for an Indo-China show-down. The border clashes had started in various sectors all along the Northern borders and eventually culminated in a full fledged war.

The prestigious HMS Hercules of the British Navy had just been commissioned in the Indian Navy and re-designated (Indian Naval Ship) INS Vikrant. This was the first aircraft carrier India had acquired and was thus, the pride of the whole nation in general and the Navy in particular.

It was also a proud moment for me as I joined the first batch of the Naval officers who were to be deputed to the INS Vikrant as pilots after training. Our batch consisted of 10 officers trainees and was nicknamed by officers of other branches as the CREAMY (Cream of the Navy).

This is the group picture of my batch, a rare and precious one. I am putting it on my blog with hopes of locating some one at least from this group. They are- sitting L to R;
Rathore, Sanan, Shetty, Sharma and Sabarwal. Standing L to R are Varma, Aron, Natrajan Bhati, self and Bansod.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Devlali revisited

In December 2010, I visited the Artillery Centre, Devlali after a period of  47 years to attend the Re-Union of my elite Regiment, (popularly called the Victoria Regiment). This Regiment, being the oldest Artillery unit of the Indian Army, was initially a pack unit. This means that the guns were carried on mules while the officers rode on horses.

The picture below depicts how the pack units used to move in operational areas. If one sees the picture minutely, you will find detachments of 4 guns, led by Gun Number One - or the lead gun - of the unit. Serving as a mountain gunner not only required a very high standard of physical fitness but also meant being a very good horse rider.

Hallo and Welcome

This blog will document my memories of the different parts of India and the globe where my service to the country took me. During over four decades of service to the nation, I traveled within India and across the globe, often to places that have been seen by very few people.  This blog will carry photographs, anecdotes and memories that have stayed with me during this long course.

I hope you enjoy my thoughts and memories. For the moment, let me share one of my first memories of Air Observation Post at Devlali Artillery Centre all the way back in 1963:

This photograph was taken during my training as an artillery officer.