Akashganga:The Vayuputras and the abode of the Skyhawks (Episode-2)

Discussion in 'Military History' started by Sunil Kumar Banerjee, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. Sunil Kumar Banerjee

    Sunil Kumar Banerjee New Member

    Nov 18, 2012
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    Dhritarasthra had become restless.." Aren't you going too fast ?I have grown old and you forget so, my little child." Who are these "devas" that I have not heard of? where do they come from? Are they born of the womb of gods or the loins of the twice-born ? Were they hiding during the "Samudra Manthan "(Churning of the ocean) and unseen drank the magical potion of 'Amruta" of Sahasam, Kausalam, Balam (courage,strength and skill) to dare the gods of Mount Meru and fly to fight !? Dhritarashtra,with his boundless curiosity and excitable nature chided Sanjaya, who was obediently seated at his feet as always !

    Sanjaya, cool and composed, in a sure, measured voice answered, thus..."Oh ! my most munificent and merciful master.It is a tale that I have heard from my forefathers many a times which I shall thee tell today- of strange people. Sons of gods, they were! the village folk said in hushed tones seated across family fires on a cold wintry night.But they wore no jewels and had no marks of the twice-blessed.Sinewy, supple and strong.Handsome in mien,but fearful and possessed they looked always.The pretty women of the Skyhawks never slept well . They tossed and turned in the tempting thoughts of the forbidden that their gossips so unsuspectingly snared on being alone. Dhritarashtra,impatient made a strange noise on hearing this and cautioned Sanjaya to get on with it !The latter, a trifle embarassed this time stuttered how in those days they had the heralds,pennants,flags, mascots and crests to define and distinguish their uniqueness, pedigree.This tribe was called funnily a "squadron" and they travelled many lands to make their homes.Many "Vimanas" and "vahanas" did they embark upon and many "astras,"vajras" were used on their countless voyages while the people watched with awe and wonder. Dhritarashtra,sighed and wondered how much,things had changed !

    The squadron crest is awarded by the President of India to aparticular squadron. The PTS squadron crest consists of the Asoka held restingatop a laurel wreath on a white back ground with the squadron insignia displayed inside. The Ashoka head consists of four lions standing guard andfacing mutually perpendicular directions of North, South, East and West. Onlythree lions are visible in the crest. The squadron insignia depicts a deployedparachute bringing down a supply container with wings attached. This signifiesthe role the squadron is involved in. the words "PARATROOPERS TRAINING SCHOOL" are inscribed on the top of theinsignia and the words "INDIANAIR FORCE"inscribed on the bottom half.

    At the bottom of the crest is inscribed the squadron motto in sanskrit "SAAHAS KAUSHALAM BALAM"literallymeaning courage skill, strength. These words exemplify the traits of everyperson belonging to this unit.

    The history of 'SkyHawks' spanning over half century now, dates back to the days of the secondworld war. In Oct 1941, the 50th Independence Para Brigade was formed with HQin Delhi and simultaneously AirLanding Schoolwas formed at Willingdon (now Safdarjung) Airport, New Delhi. Two Indians were included in theBrigade for initial paratrooping. The first being 2nd Lt (Dr) Rangarajan andthe second Havaldar Hukum Singh.
    In 1942 the Air Landing School was rechristened as No 3 PTS, AF and moved toChaklala (Rawalpindi) now in Pakistan.Between 1942 and 1947 No 3 PTS had a number of RAF officers and NCOinstructors. Several Indian and Gorkha instructors were also empoyed. No 215Sqn which operated Wellingtons from Rawalpindi was employedinparatroping Gorkha troops.

    In 1944 Dakotaaircraft in addition to the Valencia Hudson Wellington and Helifax aircraftwere also used in paratrooping.
    In 1947, thePartition of India led to the Indian element of 12 PJI's along with twelvealongwith thirty eight U/T PJI's under Sqn Ldr TS Gopalan to move to Agra. PTS in its presentlocation came into being and training continued.


    The squadron took part in various operational assignments aswell and when it was called upon to do so. Some important assignments were:
    Indo-Pak Conflict 1965 ~ PTS carried out support missions, flying and supplying AD guns to Jamnagar and Jodhpur
    1971 Conflict ~ Sqn operated from Phaphamu Airfield and carried out training of pilots for day and night formation. PTS took part in the airborne assualt of Tangail in Bangladesh on 11 Dec 1971
    Siachen ~ The unit was called upon to undertake supply drop missions to Siachen Glacier. PTS continued supply drops till the end of 1986.
    Sri Lanka ~ On 04 Jun 1987 the unit had the privilege of executing relief supply drops during the seige of Jaffna. Over twenty three tones were dropped over a DZ. next to Jaffna
    Operation Pawan (IPKF Ops) ~ The unit took an active part in Operation Pawan maintaining two to five aircraft detachments at Bangalore, Sulur and Tambram. PTS operated at seven different bases of Srilanka to airlift IPKF jawans.
    Operation Cactus (Maldives) ~ On the night of 03 Nov 89, this unit alongth the rest of the fleet was to mobilise troops for Op Cactus. This unit launched eight aircraft with troops for Op Cactus. This launched eight aircraft with troops to Male. A total of forty sorties were flown for induction of troops.
    PTS has indeed come a long way from its humble beginnings. In recognition of exemplary service, the squadron was awarded the Presidents Standard by His Excellency, The President of India, Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma on the occasion of its Golden Jubilee in Nov 1994.
    Sqn Ldr M Vanian PJI 1968,Flt LtP Venugopal PJI 1982,

    MWO Venkatachalam PJI

    SgtPuran Singh F II A1965,Flt Lt CBJ Alexander Med 1953,MWO Venkatachalam PJI 1969,Sqn LdrM Vania PJI 1971,Flt Lt Dhingra PJI 1973,Sqn Ldr SH Pednekar F (P) 1974,Flt Lt Saxena PJI 1974,MWO Ghosh RK PJI 1974,WO Bhagat Singh PJI 1974,Wg Cdr S Chand F (P)1975 ,MWO Muthane MP F/E 1975,WO Cruz L PJI 1975,Sqn Ldr SH Paniker F (P) 1975,WO (HFO) KN Nair F/E 1982,WO Qutubuddin S PJI 1985,Wg Cdr Sodhi F(P) 1986,MWO Sandhu PJI 1988 ,Wg Cdr Mandhir Singh F (P) 1992,MWO Shaan PJI 1994 ,Gp Capt VS Govindrajan F (P) 1994

    Other Vayuputras had been recognised by the Devadhish, (Chief of Air Staff) and the lesser gods many times over !Recounting those names and times would weary the aged ears of the wily master and the wise courtier Sanjaya, quickly flitted away to the tales that he had wanted to hear and was troubled about .
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2013

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