Service No: 4406 F(P)

Service: Air Force

Last Rank: Flying Officer

UNIT: 20 Sqn, AF

Operation : Op Cactus Lily

Date of Martyrdom : Dec 04, 1971

Fg Off KP Muralidharan

Fg Offr KP Muralidharan was serving with No. 20 Squadron, the “Fast and Fearless” Squadron of IAF, then located at Pathankot, a Hunter Squadron marked out for air support and offensive operations during the 1971 war.

 

Within 30 minutes of the Pakistan President Gen Yahya Khan’s declaration of war against India at 1630 hours on 03 Dec 1971, PAF fighter bombers struck Indian airfields at Srinagar, Avantipur, Pathankot, Amritsar and Faridkot followed by strikes at night against Ambala, Agra, Halwara, Amritsar, Pathankot, Srinagar, Sirsa, Adampur, Nal, Jodhpuir and Jamnagar.

 

Soon after PAF’s strike, the IAFs counter strike was mounted and on 04 Dec 71 at about 1100 hours, alongwith other pilots, Fg Offr Muralidharan was assigned with a mission to launch a hunter attack with A-462 Hunter Fighter against PAF airfields at Peshwar. He amazingly  ran into Pakistan air opposition and undertook his mission however he was intercepted by PAF’s F-86 Sabres., and then instead of evading the attacking Sabres got involved in a dog-fight.  In the ensuing fight he was last seen flying north of Peshwar in combat with a PAF Sabre, by his colleague in the air with another mission. Subsequently it was learnt that he was shot down by enemy sabre with no chance of ejecting out of the aircraft. This was later substantiated in the 1971 War Experiences narrated by a retired PAF pilot who has claimed to be the opponent then. Flt Lt Muralidharan, while flying deep into enemy territory, displayed gallantry, conspicuous bravery and exceptional devotion to duty in the highest order. His valour and commitment have been praised even by enemy pilots who managed to escape from his path.

 

He was declared missing and only after all hopes of getting him back failed the decision to declare him dead  was taken in late eighties. He was finally declared Killed (presumed) in Action (KIA) on 04 Dec 1971

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Source
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_Pakistan_Air_Operations,_1971
  • https://www.facebook.com/faujilovelife/posts/693679467342818
  • http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Personnel/Martyrs/197-1-Bangladesh-War.html
  •  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Cactus-Lilly
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6 Comments
  • A D SUDHINDRA

    2018at7:04 pm Reply

    Thank you for your service to our Nation. We miss you and will remember you always

  • P.N.Balachandran

    2018at7:50 pm Reply

    Exemplary courage.

  • N sudhakara gupta

    2019at9:30 pm Reply

    Thank you for your services to the nation you are the real hero.india lost the brave soldiers very sad

  • Harkesh Singh

    2019at7:57 am Reply

    U r the real hero of the nation whom sacrificed their lives for the nation. A big salute to our bravest Indian soldiers (serve the nation before self). जयहिंद

  • preetam patel

    2019at10:15 am Reply

    very good

  • Madhavan KC

    2020at6:10 pm Reply

    Why this great officer has not been awarded the Param Vir Chakra? He richly deserves it.I request the defence minister to consider this valiant officer for the Param Vir Chakra!!

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