Service No : 5073 F(P)

Date of Birth : February 1, 1933

Place of birth : Kolkata (WB)

Last Rank : Sqn Ldr

Unit : 37 Sqn

Arm/Regt : Indian Air Force

Operation : Op Cactus Lily

Martyrdom : December 4, 1971

Sqn Ldr AB Samanta

Sqn Ldr Amalendu Bhushan Samanta hailed from Kolkata in West Bengal and was born on 01 Feb 1933. He was commissioned into the Indian Air Force on on Jan 14, 1956 at the age of 23 years. He was commissioned in the flying stream of the IAF and got trained as a fighter pilot.


After completing his flying training, Sqn Ldr AB Samanta served with various flying squadrons located at different Air Force bases. After serving for few years he got married to Ms Arundhati. By 1971, Sqn Ldr Samanta had put in about 15 years of service and evolved into a professionally competent fighter pilot having expertise in various air operations.


Offensive Air Operation (Indo-Pak War): 04 Dec 1971


During 1971, Sqn Ldr AB Samanta was serving with 37 Sqn, known as “Black Panthers” and was based at Air Force Station Kalaikunda in West Bengal. The 37 Squadron was raised on 23 Dec 1957 at Air Force Station Palam with Squadron Leader Amrit Lal Bajaj as its first Commanding Officer. The Squadron was initially equipped with Vampire aircrafts, but later got armed with the Hunter jet-bomber aircrafts. As the PAF attacked 11 Air Force bases on 03 Dec 1971, the Indian Air Force decided to launch counter offensive operations on the eastern as well as western front. On the Eastern front, the Indian forces launched a sophisticated campaign which included rapid-moving infantry and armour advancing from three directions, airborne and heliborne assaults, missile bombardments from ships and an amphibious landing, the IAF's task being primarily direct support of the ground forces. 37 Sqn with Wing Commander Swaroop Krishna Kaul as its commanding officer was tasked to undertake offensive missions against the targets on the eastern front. The first wave of attacks were launched on 04 Dec 1971 by 37 Sqn from Air Force Base at Tezpur. Sqn Ldr Samanta was tasked for one such strike mission on 04 Dec.


As planned Sqn Ldr Samanta took off in his Hunter aircraft (BA-252) on 04 Dec 1971 to conduct a raid over Tezgaon airport. The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) had 19 Sabre jets (F-86) and three Lockheed RT-33 reconnaissance aircraft deployed at Tezgaon and Kurmitola airports in Dhaka. The area was heavily defended by anti aircraft guns, but  showing great courage, Sqn Ldr Samanta still pressed on with the attack causing extensive damage. However while carrying out the Sqn Ldr AB Samanta’s aircraft was hit by anti aircraft guns. Although he tried his best to bring his aircraft back, he could not succeed as the aircraft had taken extensive hits and eventually crashed. Sqn Ldr AB Samanta  was a valiant soldier and committed air warrior, who laid down his life in the line of his duty following the highest traditions of the IAF.


Sqn Ldr AB Samanta is survived by his wife Smt Arundhati Samanta.

  • If you find any information that is incorrect or inappropriate or have additional information about the soldier that can be added to his memorial site, please contact us by using the tab given below.

    2021 at 12:38 pm Reply

    Hi can you please provide the current address of MRs Samanta we have to falicitate her.

    • Arunabha Biswas

      2024 at 12:42 am

      Now Mrs. Samanata Live in kolkata, near kolkata Doorodarshan Kendra: DT 16 Golf Green Complex Kolkata-700 040

  • Arunabha Biswas

    2022 at 11:53 am Reply

    You have mentioned the name- Sqn Ldr AR Samanta, but his right name is Sqn. Ldr. A. B. Samanta (Amal Bhusan Samanta). Please check and do correction.

Post a Comment