Service No : 678079
Place of birth : Bihar
Last Rank : Sergeant
Unit : 130 HU AF
Arm/Regt : Indian Air Force
Operation : Op Meghdoot
Martyrdom : August 26, 1996
Sergeant Krishna C Jha was recruited into the Indian Air Force in the technical stream of the IAF and got trained as a technician. Later he underwent a special course and got trained as a flight engineer. During the month of Aug 1996, Sgt KC Jha was on detachment in a forward area to carry out air maintenance operations in OP Meghdoot area.
During this period enemy had redeployed the forces in Southern glacier area and had established new bunkers at commanding positions directly threatening Indian Army Posts. The accessibility to the Army posts had also become extremely difficult since helicopter routes to the posts were under the enemy’s constant watch and threat. However undeterred the IAF detachment was constantly engaged in the supply missions to the AGPL(Actual Ground Position Line) on Saltoro ridge in south west of Siachen glacier.
Op Meghdoot: 26 Aug 1996
During 1996, Sgt KC Jha was serving with 130 HU AF based at Jammu. 130 Helicopter Unit known as "THE CONDORS" was formed on 15 February 1988 at Jammu with Wing Commander Harbans Singh Bath as its first commanding officer. The Primary role of the Unit since its inception had been of Air Support towards Op Meghdoot. However, in addition, it had been called upon to undertake varying tasks viz. SHBO, Flood and Relief & causality evacuation. During Aug 1996, the detachment of 130 HU AF was tasked to carry out the air maintenance sorties for the Army posts deployed on south west of Siachen glacier. Sgt Krishna C Jha as a flight engineer of the aircraft was assigned to carry out such air drop missions on 26 Aug 1996. The other crew members included Flt Lt Jain as captain, Plt Offr Vaibhav Bhagwat as a co-pilot, and Sgt R Murigappa as a flight gunner.
The missions involved dropping diverse load for the posts passing through the area dominated by the enemy posts with anti aircraft batteries. The pilots were completely aware of the risk involved, but they undertook the challenging task bravely and unflinchingly. Before the fateful sortie, two such missions were carried out successfully in spite of enemy’s interference. However during the third sortie after the load was dropped his helicopter was engaged by the enemy ground forces and was shot at by the anti-aircraft missile. The helicopter being flown by Flt Lt Jain and Plt Offr Vaibhav Bhagwat took a direct hit and crashed in the icy mountains. Sgt Krishna C Jha and other crew members Flt Lt Sandeep Jain, Plt Offr Vaibhav Bhagwat, and Sgt R Murigappa could not survive the crash and laid down their lives in the line of their duty.
Sgt KC Jha was a valiant soldier and dedicated air warrior who sacrificed his life in the service of the nation. Sgt KC Jha is survived by his wife Smt Bandana Jha.