7 November 2015

PARAM VIR CHAKRA , Lt Col AB Tarapore

Lt Col AB Tarapore

Lieutenant Colonel Ardeshir Burzarji Tarapore was born on 18 August 1923 in Bombay , Maharashtra . He joined the Hyderabad State Force in 1942 and saw active service in West Asia during World War-II. He was commissioned in Poona Horse on 01 April 1951. The biggest tank battle of the 1965 Indo-Pak War took place at Phillora in the Sialkot sector. During the southern thrust of the Indian Army on the Kaloi-Phillora axis the 17 Horse commanded by Lt. Col. A B Tarapore advanced on the right flank. On 11 September 1965, the regiment was assigned the task of delivering the main armoured thrust for capturing Phillora. It decided upon launching a surprise attack on Phillora from the rear.


To achieve the surprise, when the regiment was thrusting forward between Phillora and Chawinda, it was suddenly counter-attacked by the enemy's heavy armour from Wazirali. Lt. Col. A B Tarapore defied the enemy's charge, held his ground and gallantly attacked Phillora with one of his squadrons supported by an Infantry battalion. Tho gh under continuous enemy tank and artillery fire, he remained unperturbed throughout this action. When wounded, he refused to be evacuated. On 14 September 1965, he led his regiment to capture Wazirali. Unmindful of his injury, he again led his regiment and captured Jassoran and Butur-Dograndi on 16 September 1965. In this battle his own tank was hit several times. But despite the odds, he maintained his pivots at both these places and thereby helped the supporting infantry to attack Chawinda from the rear. Inspired by his leadership, the regiment fiercely attacked the enemy armour and destroyed approximately sixty enemy tanks, suffering only nine tank casualties. However, Lt. Colonel A B Tarapore tank was in flames and he died a hero's death. The valour displayed by him in this action, lasting 6 days, was in keeping with the highest traditions of the Indian Army. Lieutenant Colonel Ardeshir Burzarji Tarapore was awarded with the highest war-time gallantry medal, Param Vir Chakra, posthumously.

CITATION  
LIEUTENANT COLONEL A.B TARAPORE,  
POONA HORSE (17 HORSE) (IC-5565)  
On 11 September 1965, the Poona Horse Regiment under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Ardeshir Burzarji Tarapore was assigned the task of delivering the main armoured thrust for capturing Phillora in the Sialkot Sector in Pakistan .  As a preliminary to making a surprise attack on Phillora from the rear, the regiment was thrusting between Philloira and Chawinda when it was suddenly counter attacked by the enemy’s heavy Armour from Wazirali.  Lieutenant Colonel A. B. Tarapore who was then at the head of his regiment, defied the enemy’s charge, held his ground and gallantly attacked Philloira with one of his squadrons supported by an infantry battalion.  Though under continuous enemy tank and artillery fire, Lieutenant Colonel  A B Tarapore remained unperturbed throughout this action and when wounded refused to be evacuated.
On 14 September 1965, though still wounded he again led his regiment to capture Wazirali.  Such was his grit and determination that unmindful of his injury, he again gallantly led regiment and captured Jassoran and Butur-Dograndi on 16 September.  His own tank was hit several times, but despite the odds he maintained his pivots in both these places and thereby allowed the supporting infantry to attack Chawinda from the rear.

Inspired by his leadership, the regiment fiercely attacked the enemy heavy armour destroying approximately 60 enemy tanks at a cost of only 9 tank casualties, and when lieutenant Colonel A. B Tara pore was mortally wounded the regiment continue to defy the enemy. The valour displayed by lieutenant Colonel A.B. Tarapore in this heroic action, which lasted six days, was in keeping with the highest traditions of the Indian Army.

COURTESY: INDIAN ARMY; www.indianarmy.nic.in

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