Service No: 5105 GD(P)
Service: Air Force
Last Rank : Flight Lieutenant
Last Unit : PTE/1 Sqn, AF
Date of Missing : Sep 07, 1965
Son of a professor Dr Prafulla Chandra Guha, Flt Lt Babul Guha joined the Air Force on 1st Apr 1956. He was commissioned into the Indian Air Force as a fighter pilot and got trained on various fighter aircrafts of the IAF. By 1965, Flt Lt Babul Guha had put in nearly 9 years of service and developed into a committed soldier and professionally competent fighter pilot. Later Flt Lt Babul Guha got posted to PTE (Pilot’s Traning Establishment) as a flying instructor to train the young IAF pilots.
After serving for few years Flt Lt Babul Guha got married to Ms Swapna and the couple had a son Arindam Guha. As the war with Pakistan broke out in 1965 the pilots of PTE were sent to various forward airforce basis to take part in air operations against the enemy.
Attack on Sargodha Airfield: 07 Sep 1965
During Sep 1965 Flt Lt Babul Guha was attached with No.1 Squadron based at Airforce Base at Adampur in Punjab. At the height of 1965 war with Pakistan, the No.1 squadron which was operating Mystere aircraft from Adampur airbase, was entrusted to attack the highly fortified Sargodha air base of Pakistan Air Force. Sargodha airbase located west of Lahore hosted the headquarters of the Central Air Command, one of the three combatant air commands of the PAF. The base was the hub of PAF effort during the war. On 7th Sept the IAF mounted 33 sorties against the heavily guarded PAF complex at Sargodha. The commanding officer of the squadron, Wing Commander OP Taneja decided to launch a wave of sorties on 7th September. In their pre-dawn mission, they successfully attacked the Sargodha airfield albeit one of the pilots, Sqn Ldr AB Devayya, lost his life before shooting down a PAF’s F-104 aircraft.
Flt Lt Babul Guha was part of the two Mystere aircraft strike mission which went to Sargodha airfield in the afternoon. He and the other pilot had to face the alert PAF’s aerial as well as ground-based forces. While the aircraft flown by the other pilot was shot down by the ground forces, Flt Lt Babul got engaged in a dogfight with the aircraft flown by PAF’s pilot Flt Lt Malik. At around 1540 hours, during the dogfight, Flt Lt Babul’s aircraft got shot by a deadly sidewinder missile fired from adversary’s F-86 Sabre jet. Later Flt Lt Babul Guha was declared Killed in Action (KIA).
Flt Lt Babul Guha exhibited exemplary courage and grit in the face of the enemy and proved his mettle as an ace fighter pilot. Though he was declared KIA, some unconfirmed news now & then have suggested that he is still alive and is one among the 54 Prisoners Of War (POW) who are kept at Pakistan’s Kot Lakhpat prison.
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