At the height of the Indo-Pak war of 1965, Sqn Ldr A B Devayya was the sixth in a strike mission formation that launched an aerial assault on the Pakistani airbase in Sargodha.
Recovering from the surprise raid, the Pakistani air defence was activated just when Devayya’s bomber pierced through the skies. But Devayya did not retreat, instead engaged
bravely, shooting down a fighter.Eventually, his damaged aircraft went missing, and he emerged as a martyr of high repute. On Monday, as the martyrs of that momentous war were paid rich tributes at the National Military Memorial here, war veteran Air Commodore Raghu Ram recalled Devayya’s story with pride.
Putting that war in the right perspective, he said: “Pakistan wanted to regain the Kashmir Valley since the Partition and they felt that this would be the right time
to gain control of the valley as there was some disturbance there. Pakistani forces infiltrated the Valley in a bid to take over the entire Kashmir.”
There were about 24 or more points from where Pakistan could enter, he recalled.
“The enemy suffered its first defeat when it tried to incite the local population. Our army immediately reacted on the information provided by the locals. The real heroes were the Indian army who fought on the ground to stop the infiltration.”