Sub. Maj. & Hony Captain(Retd) Gaje Ghale, VC, Indian Airforce

Sub. Maj. & Hony Captain(Retd) Gaje Ghale, VC

To stop an advance into the Chin Hills of greatly superior Japanese forces, it was essential to capture Basha East Hill. Two assaults had failed. A third was ordered to be carried out by two platoons of Havildar Gaje Ghale's company and two companies of another battalion. Havildar Gaje Ghale, who had never been under fire before, was in command of a platoon having young untried soldiers.

The approach to the objective was along a narrow knife-edged slope and bare of jungle with enemy positions well concealed. At places, the approach was no more than five yards wide and was covered by a dozen machine guns besides being subjected to artillery and mortar fire from across the hill. As it approached the well-entrenched enemy, the platoon came under withering fire. Havildar Ghale was wounded in the arm, chest and leg by an enemy grenade.

Without pausing to attend to his serious wounds and paying no heed to the intensive fire, Havildar Ghale pressed his men, resulting in bitter hand to-hand fighting. Spurred on by the irresistible will of their leader to win, the platoon stormed and carried the hill by a magnificent all-out effort and inflicted very heavy casualties on the Japanese.

The courage, determination and leadership of this NCO under the most trying conditions were beyond all praise.