Sqn Ldr Abresh Mukherjea, put in this comment on the post Maruts at Uttarlai – 1971 Re-visited. Found it interesting enough to be a post by itself. Would probably be missed by many as a comment.
Besides, Abresh is a course mate! – Dara
Hi I just got to see the thread about Maruts and Uttarlai.
I was the IL14 pilot who had taken Bobby Kasbekar and gang to Jodhpur and so on. From October 71 till Feb 72 I was running an one aircraft detachment in Jodhpur. My job was run the daily milk run to Nal – Jaisalmer – Uttarlai – Bhuj – Jamnagar and back. This allowed me to study the Rajasthan terrain at 100mtrs or so for long distances! Officially of course.
Then Wg Cdr Ramdas was the best Engg Officer I have ever seen in my IAF career. He was the chief reason the airplanes stayed serviceable throughout our stay in Jodhpur.
I also did at least 4 or 5 parallel Twy T/O and landings at Uttarlai with the IL14. Remember Wingco Murthy and Mickey Jatar telling me that I did the best scramble they had ever seen. My crew except the engineer were standing below the wing parked about halfway down the Twy chatting with them and handing over the daily good water jerrycans for tea imported from Jodhpur and other stuff when the air raid siren went.
The roles were reversed, we got in I was pulling up the ladder when the engineer and Navigator started engines, I slipped into my seat as the copilot was pushing forward on the throttles and we got off stayed below 100ft and ran. Held off circling below dune tops NE of the Rwy till ATC came up again and said Base Cdr wants me on the ground again.
I think that day Sambo Shah my course mate got his kill.
Memories keep flooding back.