Flt Lt Pradip Vinayak Apte, Vr.C, Indian Airforce

Flt Lt Pradip Vinayak Apte, Vr.C

During the India-Pakistan war in December 1971, Flt Lt Pradip Vinayak Apte was serving in a fighter bomber squadron. On 4th December, he was detailed as No.2 on a tactical reconnaissance mission in the Naya Chor-Umarkot-Dhornaro area.

Near Naya Chor, he observed enemy vehicle convoys moving towards Dhornaro railway station. He immediately went in for a front gun attack and scored direct hits on the vehicles. His mission then flew over Dhornaro railway station and once again he attacked a goods train despite concentrated ground fire and caused considerable damage to the wagons.

He pressed on with his third attack but while pulling up, his aircraft was damaged by ground fire. He brought the damaged aircraft under control and headed for the base which was about 100 miles away. Under compelling circumstances, he had to abandon the aircraft. In this operation, he made the supreme sacrifice.

Throughout, Flt Lt Apte displayed gallantry and determination of a high order.