Service No : 7812 F(N)
Date of Birth : January 11, 1942
Last Rank : Flight Lieutenant
Unit : JBCU AF
Arm/Regt : Indian Air Force
Operation : Op Cactus Lily
Martyrdom : December 4, 1971
Flight Lieutenant Ram Metharam Advani was born on 11 Jan 1942. He was commissioned into the Indian Air Force on 28 Oct 1963 at the age of 21 years. He joined the flying stream of the IAF and got trained as a navigator as part of 25 NAV course. After completing his flying training, Flt Lt RM Advani served with various flying squadrons located at different Air Force bases. By 1971, Flt Lt RM Advani had put in about 8 years of service and evolved into a professionally competent Navigator having experience in various air operations. During 1971, he was serving with JBCU (Jet Bomber Conversion Unit) based at Agra.
Offensive Air Operation (Indo-Pak War) : 04 Dec 1971
During 1971, Flt Lt RM Advani was serving with JBCU (Jet Bomber Conversion Unit) based at Agra. JBCU was raised at Agra on 01 May 1958 with Squadron Leader Mukund Ramchandra Agtey as its first commanding officer. When the war with Pakistan broke out on 03 Dec 1971, IAF launched numerous air operations against enemy targets commencing 04 Dec 1971. Besides undertaking deep penetrations strikes inside enemy territory , IAF also launched various close air support operations in support of our ground forces. The air support operations invariably were attacks against enemy tanks, artillery positions and other ground based weapons and systems in support of our ground forces. On the other hand deep penetration strikes were targeted at enemy vulnerable areas and positions to adversely affect it war waging capacity. JBCU too took on its operational role and launched many offensive air operations. On 04 Dec 1971, Flt Lt RM Advani along with his pilot Flt Lt Moses Sasoon was tasked for an offensive mission on the western border. The operation was a 4 aircraft mission to attack Mianwali airfield.
On 04 Dec 1971, Flt Lt Lloyd Moses Sasoon along with his navigator Flt Lt RM Advani took off in their Canberra ( IF-916) from Agra as planned. It was Mission 135 and had as its target the heavily defended Pakistani airfield of Mianwali with a TOT (time over target) of 2000 hrs. As the target was important for the enemy, it was heavily defended by the anti-aircraft guns and air defence aircraft. Despite the threat of enemy air defence assets, Flt Lt Advani and Flt Lt Moses went for the attack. However their aircraft was believed to have been engaged by an enemy Mirage III aircraft and shot down. Flt Lt Advani and Flt Lt Moses are presumed to have been taken over as POWs (Prisoners of War). However, successive regimes in Pakistan have denied the existence of Indian POWs in its jails. Presently, Flt Lt RM Advani's name features on the official list of the ’54 Personnel Missing in Action’, tabled in the Lok Sabha in 1979 by the then Minister of State of External Affairs Shri Samarendra Kundu.