Wednesday 7 December 2022



Navy Day is celebrated in many countries to recognize their Navies. 04 Dec is India’s Navy Day, the Day 51 years ago, when 3 Vidyut class missile boats and  2 Kamorta class corvettes silently crept into Pak waters and created mayhem for the enemy ships before setting ablaze the Port of Karachi, in what can genuinely be remembered as the finest hour of our great Indian Navy.


Lets flash back in Time, 51 yrs ago, the Day our Fine Indian Navy inflicted heavy causalities on Pakistan, who initiated the 1971 war on the previous day....It was the Day, 3 Vidyut class Missile boats escorted by 2 Kamorta class Corvettes dared to enter Pak territorial waters to fire Styx SSMs (first time in the Region) to create Havok for the Enemy on the midnight of 04/ 05 Dec....


INS Nirghat sank the cruise destroyer PNS Khaibar, loitering NW of Karachi with 222 sailors on board by firing 2 styx missiles.

INS Nipat fired its missiles on MV Venus Challenger and its escort PNS Shah Jahan (former HMS Charity), a C-class destroyer. Venus Challenger carrying ammunition for the Pakistani forces, immediately exploded as the missile hit, and eventually sunk 40 km south of Karachi. The other missile targeted for Shah Jahan damaged the ship very badly. INS Nipat continued towards Karachi, and targeted the Kemari oil storage tanks, placing itself 14 nm (26 km) south of the Karachi harbour. Of the two missiles fired, one misfired, and the other hit the oil tanks. The tanks got burnt and destroyed completely, causing heavy loss to the Pakistan Navy.


INS Veer targeted PNS Muhafiz, an Adjutant-class minesweeper sinking it with 33 sailors on board.

After the mahem, the flotilla returned victorious ....A number of Indian Navy personnel were honoured with gallantry awards for the operation.


 ‘Operation Python’, a follow-up to Operation Trident, was the code name of a naval attack launched 4 days later on the night of *8/9 December* 1971. A strike group consisting of one missile boat INS Vinash and two frigates INS Talwar and Trishul attacked the group of ships off the coast of Karachi. While India suffered no losses, Pakistani fleet tanker PNS Dacca was damaged beyond repair, and the Kemari Oil Storage facility was lost. Two other foreign ships stationed in Karachi were also sunk during the attack.


While the Indian Navy on Western Coast wrecked havoc on Karachi and the ships employed to guard it, another Chapter was being written by INS Vikrant and it's flotilla on the Eastern Front. Vikrant was deployed towards Chittagong at the outbreak of hostilities. On 4 December, the ship's Sea Hawks struck shipping in Chittagong and Cox's Bazar harbours, sinking or incapacitating most of the ships present. Later strikes targeted Khulna and the Port of Mongla, which continued until 10th December, while other operations were flown to support a naval blockade of East Pakistan. On 14th December, the Sea Hawks attacked the cantonment area in Chittagong, destroying several Pakistani army barracks. Simultaneous attacks by Alizés continued on Cox's Bazar. Waves after waves of daring Top Guns of Sea Hawks and Alizes bombed Dacca, Mongla, Khulna and Cox-Bazar to choke the enemy there*, ultimately forcing the 93,000 strong enemy to surrender for want of any help from West Pakistan.The crew of INS Vikrant earned two Maha Vir Chakras and 12 Vir Chakras


We all are so proud of our valiant veteran brothers who bravely served onboard the ships and made this possible....Today some of them are living Legends in their late 70s, 80s and 90s ....List of MVCs and VCs is placed below.




1. Vice Adm Swaraj Parkash (retd)(CO Vikrant)

2. Rear Adm Santosh Kumar Gupta (retd)

3. Cmde Babru Bahan Yadav (retd) (Trident)

4. Cmde Kasargod Patnashetti Gopal Rao (retd)(Mine sweeping off Karachi)

5. Capt Mohan Narayan Rao Samant (Operation X)

6. P/O Chiman Singh (retd)(Operation X)

7. Cdr Joseph Pius Alfred Noronha (retd)(Panvel)

8. Capt MN Mulla (Khukri)



1. Adm Laxminarayan Ramdas

2. Adm Vijai Singh Shekhawat

3. Adm Arun Prakash (P)

4. Vice Adm Manohar Pralhad Awati

5. Vice Adm Benoy Roy Chowdhury (EO Vikrant)

6. Vice Adm Rustom Khushro Shapoorjee Ghandhi

7. Rear Adm Sourirajullu Ramsagar

8. Rear Adm Rishi Raj Sood

9. Rear Adm Subir Paul

10. Cmde IJ Sharma (Nirghat)

11. Cdr Bahadur Nariman Kavina(Nipat)

12. LtCdr OP Mehta(Veer)

13. Capt KMV Nair(Trishul)

14. Capt SS Kumar (Talwar)

15. Lt Cdr Vijai Jerath(Vinash)

16. Cmde Padavupurackal Chandy Andrews

17. Cmde Suresh Kumar Sabhlok

18. Cmde Bipinchandra Bhaskar Bhagwat (P)

19. Capt Ashwani Kumar Mehra (P)

20. Capt RD Dhir (P)

21. Cdr Keshar Singh Panwar (P)

22. Lt Cdr Sankar Prasad Ghosh (P)

23. Lt Cdr Raminder Singh Sodhi (P)

24. Lt Cdr Ashok Roy(P)

25. Lt (X) Prem Kumar (P)

26. Cdr Rajinder Singh Grewal (Cdr Air Vikrant)

27. Cdr (X) Roy Joseph Millan

28. Cmde Jagdish Chandra Puri

29. Cdr TS Ashok Kumar

30. Cdr Vijai Prakash Kapil

31. Cdr George Martis

32. Lt Cdr (X) Jayanta Kumar Roy Choudhury

33. LtCdr (X) Joginder Krishan Suri (XO Khukri)

34. Cdr Ommen Mukadavil Ommen (EO Khukri)

35. Lt Cdr (X) Rajat Kumar Sen (Logo Khukri)

36. Surg Lt Sudhansu Sekhar Panda (MO Khukri)

37. Lt Cdr Inder Singh

38. Lt (X) Suresh Kumar Mitter

39. MN Sangal,MCPO (Nirghat)

40. Mughilissery Ouseph Thomachan, CPO

41. Kapallisai Raju, LEMP

42. Ravinder Nath Sharma, POR (Tel).

43. Lt VK Dutta (P)


We pay our tributes to the Warriors who Won the 1971 War and have made all of us Proud. We owe our Navy Day to them.



       Like all previous years, the Veteran couples, Veer naris & spectators for BRTC were courteously ushered in and seated in front of the spacious arena of the gateway of India, by the immaculate uniformed provost staff and young smiling officers from IN establishments Shikra, Kunjali and Angre. The BRTC-2022 commentators brought out the genesis of the ‘Beating Retreat’, when the drum was the principal means of sending out signals to troops engaged in battle. Of the many signals that were conveyed by drum beats, one that was most pleasant for the troops was the ‘Retreat’ that signaled the troops to disengage from combat at Sunset as day light faded. The troops then withdrew to their barracks to tend to their wounds. The present ceremony of having the Band play the ‘Retreat’ is a modern innovation to stir pride amongst our citizens through a spectacular display of our war waging capability with great pomp and show.

          While the ‘Retreat’ recalled the troops from the battle area, the ‘Tattoo’ was beating of drums in the billeting areas and ordered troops to proceed to their quarters. Over the years Tattoo has been enriched by folk and contemporary sounds of merriment into its folds.

      Team NFMC had forwarded the list of 50 Veterans each for 3rd & 4th Dec who had volunteered to witness the Beating Retreat and Tattoo Ceremony at the Gateway of India.

       All roads of Colaba on both days converged to the Gateway starting 4 pm for the most spectacular Naval display of the year, showcasing the prowess of the Sword Arm of the Indian Navy. The last 4 rows A-21 to A-24 had been earmarked for Veterans and Veer Naris who had started arriving when we entered. Meena’s Massi, Mrs Sarita Mehta who had accompanied the Veterans to the First overseas Trination Tour to Singapore  was with us along with Cmde Ramesh Kumar & Nishi kumar. The early Bird prize goes to Cdr HS Rawat, Capt H Mohanrao, Cmde PC Agrawal, Cdr Manjul Mayank, Cdr PS Rawat, Cdr Anoop Verma, Capt SV Diwakar, Capt SK Patnaik who were in the last 2 rows. Wished them all a very Happy Navy Day. My course buddy Birdy (Cdr Pankaj Bhardwaj) soon joined in and we earned our LLBs (Lords of the last bench). Soon more Veterans Cmde NN Rao, Cdr DS Randhawa, Capt Sanjay Karve, Arjun awardee  LtCdr Farokh Tarapore, Mrs Sudesh Raj Mohindra too arrived. Meena was all over the seating arena clicking photos of all spectators with her charming smile (Video below). I went fwd to warmly meet and greet Cmde Postwala and Cmde OJ Mathur seated ahead with their good ladies. It was a special day for Meena to have meet her classmate Subhransu Mukherjee, Son of Surg Cmde Suranjan Mukherjee (Gynae) after 44 long years.      

      This evening’s pageantry was a unique amalgamation of various elements exemplifying Indian Navy’s ongoing efforts to showcase our maritime traditions.  The bonhomie of the Indian styles brought in a sense of Joie de Vivre that defined our collective identity and was visibly evident.   The Chief host for the Evening for BRTC 2022 was our C-in-C  VAdm Ajendra Bahadur Singh, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, ADC, who received the Chief Guest HE Shri Bhagat Singh Koshiyari.       


 On arrival of the Governer the National Anthem was sung followed by Beating the Retreat Band performance that was in perfect synchro drill. Seakings-42B, Alouettes & ALH in formation displayed Dunking Sonars, and slithering of Marcos followed by the Op Demo by Seaking 42-C, de-inducting the MARCOS, holding onto the slithering rope and lighting the red signal flares. This was followed by   Sunset ceremony performed by our glorious Band and the musician Sailor beating the brass pipes on the composition arranged by AC Green, from atop the good old Taj

          The ‘Flypast’ by the group of Helos, have a long history and affinity with the parades, are a national pride in Air-shows and imprint themselves on the spectator’s memories. The only Heliport of the Indian Navy, INS Shikra (being commanded by Cmde Dushyant Purohit) is an exclusive abode of Naval Helicopters of the Western Naval Command. Formation of Angels (Chetaks), Harpoons (Seakings), Falcons (Kamov) and the recent induction of ALHs  had been an integral part of Flypast over the Gateway of India.

       We were then witness to precise maneuvers of the continuity drill performed by a contingent of gunnery sailors of K-22. They performed complex but perfect drills including the exchange of the lit bayonet rifles amongst two rows of sailors facing each other, through which marched their drill GI confidently.

       The last glorious event was the Horn pipe dance by the students of the SCC (Sea Cadet Corps). The Sea Cadet Corps was established by Late Hon. Cmde GS Ahuja on 13th May 1938 at Karachi and relocated to Mumbai in 1948. Today SCC is the finest voluntary non-Govt youth organisation of our country. The determination, motivation and drive displayed by these cadets is reflective of our country’s future with renewed hope. Their Boys and Girls band lead the First Veterans Day Parade at Marine Drive on 12 Jan 2020 and was hugely applauded. Bravo Zulu SCC.

       After the reassembly the Exit March Jai Bharati was composed and arranged by Director of Music, Cdr Champion. After the spectacular event the contingent performed Salami Shastra with National Anthem, at the culmination of which all Naval ships at Achorage in the outer harbour switched on their silhouette lights in synchro.

      The dignitaries were invited for the At Home in C-in-C’s Lawns for meet and greet and delectable drink and snacks. We immediately stepped down to the backdrop of Gateway to be clicked with some of our Veteran friends; Cdr Guddu Sharma, Veer nari Janki Bhandoola, Veer Nari Shirley Sharma with her beautiful daughter, Veer Nari Suparna Debnath,  Cdr Kanan Ramdas, Cmde and Mrs Kanchan Mukherjee and a few more.   Meena and I accompanied Mrs Sunita Vadhera to the Navy House. President NFMC, Cdr Vadhera’s absence due to his Delhi trip was noticeable, even as a lot of Veterans enquired about him. The Governor was among the dignitaries for a fair duration, even as the movie on Indian Navy’s  finest hour was being projected on a high screen. We had the opportunity to meet the Senior Officers, both serving and Veterans (Pics below). It was an honour to greet our C-in-C, COS and the serving Admirals with best wishes on the Navy Day. Also a pleasure to meet senior Veterans VAdm MJ Singh, former FOCinC (West), VAdm Rusi Contractor, former DGCG, VAdm Abhay Karve, former FOCinC (South), Cmde SN Singh, Cmde BK Ahluwalia, Cmde OJ Mathur, Cmde Postwala, Surg Capt KM Shah, Cmde RSS Subraminium, Cmde JC Bhatia,  Capt Vijay Shivdasani, Surg Cdr DK Bose, LtCdr Ashok Batra with their good ladies and other Veterans. Got snapped with RAdm Anupam Kapoor, CO Asvini (Birdy’s shipmate). I was in for a surprise as Coast Guard CinC (Western Seaboard), ADG KR Suresh, PTM,TM came and personally greeted me. I had been his instructor on HPT-32 during his initial flying days. Hats-off to his humility for recalling the times 45 years ago. We thanked the C-in-C for a wonderfully organized BRTC, the prime event of the Navy Day, before saying Sayonara.     


   A Sensational Event of the Navy Week with a spectacular display at BRTC-2022 was indicative of the exceptional efforts of officers and men of the Sword Arm of the Indian Navy, particularly HQWNC, INS Shikra, INS Kunjali, INS Angre, Fleet Ships, K-22 and allied units. Bravo Zulu. 

Sam No Varunah….

Jai Hind!

PS- Photography & Video compilation by Mrs Meena Dutta. BRTC Vids courtesy Cdr Manjul Mayank. Kindly double click to run Videos.



(Kindly double click to play) 





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