Air Force veteran Wing Cmdr JM Nath, who took sorties in wars against Pakistan, China dies

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Image Source : TWITTER/@BAHADURMANMOHAN Air Force veteran Wing Cmdr JM Nath’s brave stories will remain alive in the hearts of Indians

Indian Air Force veteran Wing Commander Jag Mohan Nath (retd), who flew numerous reconnaissance sorties over Tibet and Pakistan during wars in 1962 and 1965 died in Mumbai on Monday. He will be remembered for his stunning sorties with Canberra aircraft.

Recipient of Maha Vir Chakra

The octogenarian, called ‘Jaggi’ by his Air Force colleagues, was twice the recipient of Maha Vir Chakra gallantry honour.

Six decades ago, when he leapt into his Canberra, a twin-engine jet bomber fitted with cameras, and flew into Pakistan on a top secret mission, then Squadron Leader Jag Mohan Nath already had a Maha Vir Chakra awarded to him for his 1962 war operations.

He left brave stories to inspire generations to come

He had flown into Aksai Chin and Tibet and returned with valuable inputs on the ground situation and enemy troop activities there, both before and during the Indo-China war. Three years later, in September 1965, he was awarded another Maha Vir Chakra, this time for his role in the Indo-Pak war. The Maha Vir Chakra is the second highest military decoration in India, after the Param Vir Chakra, and is awarded for acts of gallantry.

The citation of his first MVC read as follows: As Flight Commander of an Operational Squadron, Squadron Leader Jag Mohan Nath has fulfilled a number of hazardous operational tasks involving flying over difficult mountain terrain, both by day and by night, in adverse weather conditions and in complete disregard of his personal safety. He has displayed conspicuous gallantry, a very high sense of duty and a high degree of professional skill.

The citation of his MVC bar mentioned that he was again the Flight Commander with the Strategic Photo Reconnaissance Squadron flying the Canberra aircraft.

“He led his unit several times over hostile territory to obtain vital information about the enemy. The unescorted missions, which were in the nature of reconnaissance, entailed flying long distances over enemy territory and well-defended airfields and installations during daylight.

“Sqn Ldr Nath was fully aware of the risk he was running on each of these missions. Still, he chose to undertake the risky missions himself,” the citation said.

“The information gathered by him during his missions proved vitally important to the Indian air effort. The missions enabled our Air Force to attack vital enemy targets and this adversely affected enemy’s war effort,” it said. He was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra for the information gathered by him during his missions which proved vital to Indian air efforts during the wars. The missions enabled IAF to attack vital enemy targets and this adversely affected the enemy’s war effort. Wing Commander Nath retired in 1970 and later joined Air India as a commercial pilot.

(With PTI input)

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