Service No : 51675
Date of Birth : November 11, 1950
Last Rank : EAR 5
Arm/Regt : INS Khukri
Martyrdom : December 9, 1971
EAR 5 E John was born on November 11th 1950 in a Naval family. Son of a Naval veteran P.E.John and Smt Sosamma John, he had three siblings, Mary Jacob, Varghese John and Jems Villa. As EAR 5 E John’s father was in the Navy, he studied from different schools in various places. He had an inclination to follow his father’s footsteps right from his younger days. Eventually he joined the Navy at the age of 20 years. After completing his training EAR 5 E John was posted to INS Khukri for his seagoing training at the end of 1971.
Indo-Pak War Naval Operations : INS Khukri – 09 Dec 1971
During Dec 1971 EAR 5 E John was serving aboard INS Khukri. When the Indo-Pak War of 1971 broke out, the anti submarine frigates of the Navy, INS Khukri and INS Kirpan were given the responsibility of hunting and neutralizing enemy submarines in the North Arabian Sea. The Indian Naval radio detection equipment identified a submarine in the vicinity of Diu harbour on 03rd Dec 1971. Following this, INS Khukri along with two other ships INS Kirpan and INS Kuthar were dispatched to take on the threat of the enemy submarine.
In the late evening of 9th December, INS Khukri was attacked by the Pakistani submarine PNS Hangoor which fired torpedoes at it, causing devastating damage. The Captain of the ship, Capt Mulla evaluated the situation within minutes and issued orders for its abandonment. There were two massive explosions inside the Khukri and the ship went dark. It lost all power and began to tilt steeply to its right (Starboard) as chaos followed the order of ‘abandon ship’. Within a short span of time, the ship was hit by another torpedo. As the damage to the ship was extensive, a large number of officers and sailors did not get adequate time to follow the orders of their captain. Eventually the ship went down along with 18 officers and 176 sailors. EAR 5 E John was one of the brave-hearts who laid down his life at the age of 21 years in the line of his duty. EAR 5 E John was a valiant soldier and committed sailor, who made the supreme sacrifice following the highest traditions of Indian Navy.
EAR 5 E John is survived by his father Shri P.E.John, mother Smt Sosamma John and three siblings.