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

Flt Lt Ram Metharam Advani

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.

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  • Mrs. Damayanti Vijay Tambay,

    2021at6:07 pm Reply

    Indeed very tragic and sad. both for Flt Lt. Advani’s daughter Dolly who was not even born then and his wife. I share their pain and anguish as someone in similar predicament. They have lived in uncertainty for 50 years now. I have known Dolly as a young girl and we along with some other relatives tried to find answers. But our Govts have failed and terribly disappointed us. May this never happen to other soldiers ever. As the country rejoices the 50th year let people know that some of the brave hearts fought for them but were left behind in Pak custody to languish and meet their end.Mrs Advani and Dolly I am with you, always. My respect and regards.

  • Lakshman Kirpalani

    2022at8:16 pm Reply

    I am Lakshman Kirpalani, first cousin of Ram (Ram was my mother’s (Kalan) elder sister’s (Radha) son).
    I wish to point out a small correction in Ram’s fathers name Metharam,( it is mentioned as Netharam).
    I had a dream to visit my ancestorial land (Karachi & Hyderabad) as I was the only one of the four siblings who was born in India.
    I recently visited Pakistan with my wife in November 2021.
    Very recently, while browsing Bollywood movies, I saw the name 1971.
    This movie enthused my interest. I must mention, during my visits to India, I have always made it a point to visit a couple of my cousins and these happen to be Ram’s brothers.
    I had attended the wedding of Ram with my Dad, sometime in June 1971 in Worli Mumbai.
    I offer Dua for Ram’s family. I was recently talking to Ram’s youngest brother Bhagwan, who mentioned about Mrs Tambay.
    I am not at liberty to write anything more.

  • Aapta

    2023at11:18 pm Reply

    Great respect for Flt Lt. Advani.

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