Below is my Marut Song.
You will find 10 Squadron is praised in the song because that’s where I mostly was. Even though I served in all three Marut Squadrons, 10 was my first and last squadron. Also having commanded 10, I do have a special affection for it. Especially since we had an accident free record during my 3-year tenure. I had good flight commanders in Sis and Danny, and later Bindi, and an excellent batch of young pilots: We were a training squadron. In spite of that we did well in achieving our monthly tasks, performed well in air exercises, won some armament trophies and were also Best Transonic Squadron of the IAF for two years in a row. Also we were first out of the gate when the squadrons were challenged by our C-in-C SWAC, Air Marshal Dilbagh Singh, to achieve 100% serviceability. We had tremendous help from our CTO then Winco Shashi Ramdas. Of course, Samaresh and his boys did a magnificent job. And our pilots, short of losing an engine, took off one-and-all. We did a squadron fly past of all our aircraft together to prove we had achieved 100%! So do excuse me for blowing our trumpet!
I was flight commander at 220 under Winco Jit Dhawan for two years. In fact I took over 220 from Sqn. Ldr. Piloo Kakkar(RIP) when the squadron was converted from vampires to HF-24s in early ’69. A short while later Sir Jit joined and assumed command. In ’76 I transitioned through 31 under Winco Timki Bhalla’s command for a few months before taking over 10. I have happy memories under both: At 220, the squadron did a fly past for our anniversary, while I performed solo aerobatics preceded by a sonic run. At that time Air Cmde Idris Latif (later our CAS) was our Stn AOC. He watched my practice aerobatics which I finished with a half-roll at the end of the runway during which I lowered the undercarriage and landed. In effect I did a vertical circuit and landing. The AOC thought that was too risky and disallowed the manoeuvre. So instead, I did a wing-over at runway end and landed. As part of the routine I had also done four continuous loops at low level in the form of a clover leaf. Considering that the Marut was quite under-powered, that felt good (I am sure many of our intrepid Marut pilots have done it all and more, and are yawning as they read this)! At 31 it was nice to get back to operational flying after six years; 3 each at A&ATU/ASTE and HAL deputation.
I am posting this song in the spirit of ‘open code’ in the hope that MarutFans will make valuable inputs editing, improving and also deleting ‘stuff’. Let’s have some vigorous participation. I will then post a final version to ‘Sense and Nonsense’. A special request to our designers , three of whom (names unknown to me) were part of the project (I understand Dr. V.M. Ghatge lost them to Dr. Tank and they, along with a sizeable contingent of HAL engineers, became a part of the latter’s team), many of the early crew engineers, members of 31 and 220 squadrons who can provide highlights that I have missed. A special request to my C.O. at A&ATU, Groupie Kapil Bhargava, a Marut veteran test pilot, an eminent writer and MarutFans’ Poet Laureate who inspired me and other members of the blog to try our hand at rhyme: Please give this song the once over. Thank you Sir. Each paragraph is numbered for easy reference. The song below has been set to the tune of a WW2 song, “Bless them all..”, which is the chorus, and the main body rhymes with, “There’s a troop ship that’s leaving Bombay…”, which is a part of “Bless them all…”.
The Marut Song
1. Bless them all, bless them all
The long and the short and the tall
Bless all the Marut’s old Boffins like you
Bless all the Marut’s old Air Jockeys too
2. The Marut HF Twenty Four
Best in its class and more
We celebrate the golden jubilee
Of its first air flight Anniversary
3. Jai ho! Jaya Ho! Joya ho!
A hurricane on the go
Cannons and Rockets nest within its breast
Bombs under wings go to make up the rest
4. Enough to destroy the toughest defence
The Marut was designed for blitzkrieg offense
The enemy cowered under fortified bunks
But the Marut blew them into many a chunk
5. Dreamed up by Dr. Kurt Waldemar Tank
And his team; best of the German brain bank
Built by our Hindustan Aeronautics
Designers, Engineers all ecstatic
6. Together they made Bharat’s fond dream come true
With expert guidance by our test flying crew
Of Dasu, Chopie, Kapil, Karan, Chuchu
Priti, Babi, Ajit; to name a few
7. Suranjan Das, Jagat, Saper and Kiddo
Tested the Marut like no one could do
However they made the supreme sacrifice
Each of them paid with his very own life
8. They built a lean-and-mean fighting machine
Marut its name; Son of Wind God Divine
Tempest of Fury, Destroyer of foe
Conquered our hearts, yes, like never before
9. At the start there was just the Dagger
Soon joined by Tigers and Lions eager
Some of the best pilots flew the Marut
With twin engine config, no trainer to boot
10. The pilots just loved it, went boppers
Soon they pulled out all the stoppers;
Tightening up their French g-suit laces,
And put the Marut through all its paces
11. As they enjoyed its low level antics
Folks on the ground became frantic
As they ducked for cover to escape its downwash
They went belly down, that’s how low the ‘plane was
12. Hydraulic leaks were a given
But Marut pilots were quite driven
When they had manual incidents dear
They said it was just a `normal` failure!
13. Then Softy at AHQ took a good look
At accident records, as seen in the book
Crunch numbers, whichever way he did try
The Marut by far was the safest to fly!
14. It helped that Dagger pilots were lucky
Even though brash they were also plucky
For three years in-a-row they put up a good show
Their accident rate was zilch! nada! Zero!
15. Sis ‘n’ Danny ensured the task was complete
Transonic squadrons no way could compete
The Daggers earned laurels two years in a row;
The Group’s Best Squadron in the IAF. Wow!
16. Marut’s techies were up to the task, yeah
Led by Shashi and crew; even eskay
When spares were short,
Lo! they pulled out rabbits
Out of the hat, as it was their habit
17. When the C-in-C said, `Show me hundred percent!
Our Boffins picked up the glove every person
The Daggers were up in front we must mention
Flew all the planes in squadron formation
18. The Marut was truly Pavan Putra
A Gentle Giant to his own mitra
But swiftly it flies through the enemy skies
With bombs, Sneb rockets and cannons it strikes
19. When the runway was out of commission
They used taxi-tracks for their missions
They did a great job of hunting down the foe
And earned glory, Vir Chakras, laurels galore
20. When challenged by a frisky Sabre fighter
Joe Bakshi took on the pesky blighter
He fired all cannon perfectly head-on
And shot down the foe; yes, his aim was dead-on!
21. The marut’s career was cut short; a pity
For want of good engines and spares
But in the books of epic air warfare
Marut’s fair name will be right up-front there.
22. Jai ho! Jaya Ho! Joya ho!
A hurricane on the go
We salute the Designers, Engineers,
Pilots, Boffins and all Pioneers
23. Thanks to HAL; our Dreams did come true
You built South_Asia’s first fighter too!
The Golden Jubilee is Historical
Gratefully we say farewell to you all
24. Bless them all, Bless them all
The long and the short and the tall
Bless all the MarutFans you, you and you
We’ll drink a toast to your families too!
Bless them all, Bless them all, Bless them all.