Memoir: Mission Over Tibet Followed by Royal Salute and Auburn Fair American Girl

M G Singh By M G Singh, 26th Apr 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Personal Experiences

I was detailed for a mission over Tibet and had to postpone my rendevous with US AF captain.Even now when I think of teh mission, I feel happy as one of my achievements of my flying days

The Mission to Photograph Tibet

The Beginning
About a decade and a half back I had returned from an exercise with the USAF from Alaska. There I had struck up a friendship with a USAF Captain. She was white and lovely. Maybe, she liked me for she accepted my invitation to spend a week with me at the Himalayan resort of Darjeeling.
Accordingly the lass took a seat in the Commander in Chief Far Eastern US Air force's plane on his periodical visit to Delhi. I was to recieve her and then we had planned to fly to bliss.
The Fatefull Meeting
I was just leaving when the Commodore, the old Foggie called me. I cursed, but went alll the same to meet him at Vayu Bhavan( Air Head quarters). I found the old man in a sombre mood. He got to the point immediately
"Look MG,I backed you and put nothing in your reports after you were regularly sleeping with the NCO girl in the USA."
I wondered why the old foggie was bringing this up. He continued " Look son, I did it beacuse I felt you are one of the best pilots we have,Now I hope you will prove me right. You are selected for a secret mission over Tibet. You will take off tomorrow from Chabua in Assam and fly the MIG23 photo recce version across Tibet and photograph some senstive sights. We have satelite images but we want eye witness photographs from ground level. You will photograph and continue to Leh in Ladakh."
The Foggie continued." you will be on your own and in case the Chinese down you, we will say that you are a renegade pilot and we have nothing to do with you. I know you wont say NO as the recce mission is cleared at the highest level. Further details will be given by satation commander, Chabua."
I wanted to ask about Captain S. But he had read my thoughts" the girl is being picked up and taken to the Darjeeling resort of the Oberai and she is told that you will meet her there, I f you come back".
That was it , the interview was over . I saluted and left. It never occurred me to say no. I felt the blood in my nostrils as I boarded the AN32 to Chabua. I only hoped the mission was secret, because a similar mission in 1959 had been leaked to the Pakis and a F86 was airborne and waiting for the Indian Canberra, which was shot down.
The Mission
I took off from Chabua, ere the sun had just risen. The Station Commander who had briefed me , saw me off. Good luck was all he said.
I climbed the MIG 23 to 25000 ft and crossed the Himalayas. I immediately came down low and sped towards my target. I wondered whether the Chinese radar had caught me. I maintained radio silence and activated my ECM. A flew low over the site and had two runs , shooting with my camera all the time,
I saw Chinese air Force planes being scrambled and I knew the real test had begun now and I was unarmed. I pulled up and sped towards Leh. I had maybe 2/3 minutes lead as I touched 2.6 mach. I prayed to Guru Nanak as I saw a bright light and knew that a missile had been fired. My ECM worked and I dodged and continued. It was one hell of a run and I saw Leh airfield and I know that I had won.
The Finale
I landed in Leh and taxied to the exclusive hanger. The old foggie was there . All he said was " there is a plane waiting to take you to Siliguri and a chopper will take you to Darjeeling."
I reached Darjeeling and was delighted to be with my girl. As we retired to the bedroom, there was a knock and a waiter entered witha large wrapped hamper.
I opened it and found that a bottle of the rarest scotch Royal Salute was neatly gift wrapped with the word "Well Done". The old foggie had his own way of saying thank you.
After that what happened is my private moment of bliss. Neeedless to add that in the Independence day list I found my name for a commendation by the Chief.


Flying Mig 23, Mission, Old Foggie, Rare Scotch, Tibet

Meet the author

author avatar M G Singh
A man who spent his early years in Air Force. An avid writer with over 6000 articles and 60 short stories published.Two novels on the anvil for publication.

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
28th Apr 2014 (#)

Interesting post!

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
28th Apr 2014 (#)

wow me you have a most interesting this I do...

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
29th Apr 2014 (#)

Sounds like bountiful award for a job well done. However, the older my son gets, the more I feel the need to work for world peace. I would not want him risking his life for any government initiative!

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author avatar micheal
29th Apr 2014 (#)

Interesting post Madan some people fly, others sit, watch and judge, I enjoyed the read my friend.

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author avatar n.c.radomes
30th Apr 2014 (#)

Interesting mission indeed very challenging and saturated with never-to-be-forgotten memories.

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author avatar Ptrikha
1st May 2014 (#)

Quite like a movie and you were the hero :)

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