Murat Singh Aulakh RIP 

Obituary To A Hero


New Delhi, 08 May 2006


Chandigarh, May 6: Indian Express reported Air Commodore Murat Singh Aulakh (Retd) was today cremated with service honours at the cremation ground in Sector 25, Chandigarh. A large number of serving and retired officers attended the cremation including Station Commander 12 Wing Air Force Station, Air Commodore T Venugopal. He passed away on Thursday. He was 88 and is survived by two sons and a daughter.

Few know that Air Commodore Aulakh was the first Station Commander of Air Force Station 12 Wing. The Chandigarh air force station has done yeoman service to the IAF and Army and even helped the Navy in repairs to naval aircraft. The Station was raised by Air Commodore Aulakh in March 1961. He was commissioned into the Royal Indian Air Force in 1941 along with Late Air Cmde ASM Bhavnani and just after Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh. He saw action in the Second World War in Burma and commanded No. 12 squadron from 1949 to 1950. He went on to hold important appointments in the IAF and also commanded the Communications Squadron responsible for flying VVIPs from 1953 to 1956. He served as Air Officer Commanding Jammu and Kashmir, Central Air Command and headed Aviation Research Centre of the Research and Analysis Wing.

A fine Anglo-Indian IAF officer, now settled in Australia, tells us about the 1962 China–India war in the Ladakh area where Gen. ‘Tappy’ Raina gave the Chinese a bloody nose and Air Cmde Aulakh was there to support the Army’s transport needs. Gen. Raina was one eyed and he became BGS of 33 Corps after that. Aulakh was a delightful character and it is reported that Gen. Bewoor once asked him to take Tappy up in a Vampire T11, over the Himalayas, which we know was an amazing experience. Raina wanted to have a look to see whether the Chinks were building a road to the border in a particular area. Gen Bewoor said Tappy saw more with his one eye than he did with his 2!!!

During the 1962 conflict with China, Air Commodore Murat Singh Aulak was AOC J & K. The Air Force under his leadership and the Army under Gen SP Verma and Brigadiers Grewal (till Sep 62) and TN Raina (after Sept 62) blunted the Chinese attack in this Sector. Much has been written about the reverses in NEFA but very little about the successful defence in Ladakh.

We have been harping on the release of documents of the 1962 and 1971 Wars and Gen. Henderson Brooks’ report and we are saddened to say that many heroes will fade from memory without anyone knowing of their true exploits and History will be the loser –– even an economist researcher like PM Manmohan Singh supports a 50 year embargo on the documents?

Our deepest sympathies go to Air Cmde Aulakh's family –– may his soul rest in peace.

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