Air Cmde VK Murthy sent me some photographs of Uttarlai in 1971 and his visit to the Daggers many years later. I had initially planned to use these along with the next installment from Bobby Kasbekar on the Uttarlai events of Dec 71. Unfortunately Bobby was laid low by a bad viral attack a few weeks ago and is still recuperating.
So while waiting for the cows to home:
On the F 104 kill by Air Cmde Bindra and Deepak’s subsequent query about the combat …….”SATCO, F/O Tripathi was with me throughout in the make shift Flying control. ( If some one knows where he is , we can get more authentic information as he was the Eye Witness along with me when Mig 21 pilot Bindra shot F-104, right in front of our eyes. The second missile hit the F104 and it went down on the desert with smoke trailing .”
“ A secondary Runway was created close to Utterlai airfield and all Bombs were dropped there instead of main runway, saving all Rubberised Fuel Tanks (RFT) spread all over the airfield , and all aircraft outside the shelters camouflaged and parked. After Sunset we relied only on complete BLACKOUT, as initially there was no Night Capability .
(Secondary Runway was Goose Neck Flares, just lit when the a/c sound is heard, with ack ack Tracer Bullets firing on both end of Runway, to divert the intruder away from main Target. This worked well on the 10th day when 45 craters were found on the imaginary runway ). “