Service No : 400511

Place of birth : Kolkata (WB)

Last Rank : Flt Sgt

Unit : 43 Sqn AF

Arm/Regt : Indian Air Force

Operation : Op Cactus Lily

Martyrdom : December 17, 1971

Flt Sgt H Thakur

Flight Sergeant H Thakur hailed from Kolkata in West Bengal. He was enrolled into the IAF and got trained as a a technician. Later he got trained as an air crew and became a Flight Sergeant. By 1971, Flt Sgt H Thakur had flown as part of numerous missions and had gathered substantial experience.  As the war clouds gathered in the later part of 1971, Flt Sgt H Thakur's Squadron moved to its operational location and got involved in thick of operations.


Indo - Pak war (Air Operation) : 17 Dec 1971


During 1971, Flt Sgt H Thakur was serving with 43 Sqn, known as “Ibexes” with Wg Cdr KC(Koka)Sharma as its Commanding Officer. 43 Squadron of the Indian Air Force was formed at AF Station Jorhat in Eastern Sector on 20 Jan 1958 and was equipped with C-47 Dakota aircraft. As the war broke out on 03 Dec 1971 with Pakistan, the Squadron operated from various Air Bases and undertook numerous air missions. Though the 1971 war got over on 16 Dec when the Pakistani forces surrender en mass, border skirmishes in some pockets and air support operations were continuing. Flt Sgt Thakur was tasked to undertake one such air operation on 17 Dec 1971. The assigned task was an air support mission on Mohanbari- Moriganj axis in the eastern sector.


Besides Flt Sgt Thakur as Flight Engineer, the other crew-members included Flt Lt Joaquim D’Souza as captain, Fg Offr S Nandi as co-pilot, Plt Offr R B Umralikar as Navigator. The air-crew carried out their pre-flight checks and took off in their Dakota aircraft (BJ-622) as planned on 17 Dec 1971. The flight was uneventful in the beginning but later developed some technical snag which made the aircraft uncontrollable. Despite the best efforts of the Flt Sgt Thakur and other air crew members, the aircraft crashed over Machuka area. Flt Sgt Thakur and other crew members including Flt Lt Joaquim D’Souza, Flt Lt S Nandi, and Plt Offr R B Umralikar, could not survive the crash and lost their lives. Flt Sgt H Thakur was a dedicated soldier and committed air warrior, who laid down his life in the line of his duty.


Flt Sgt H Thakur is survived by his wife Smt Bina Thakur.

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