Attack on Narayanganj Fuel Depot by Kilo Flight Helicopter

36 × 24 inches

This painting is of “An Alouette III (Chetak) of Kilo Flight attacking the Narayanganj fuel depot” located near Dhaka. Both attacks were carried out on the night of 03/04 December 1971. In fact it is said that the first shot of the air war of 1971 was fired by an Otter and the Alouette helicopter of the Kilo Flight.

The Kilo Flight was the name for the air element of Mukti Bahini that became the Bangladesh Air Force in exile. It was formed in September 1971 with two fixed wing aircraft of IAF namely one Otter, one Dakota and one Chetak helicopter allotted to the flight from Air Force reserve with approval from Government of India. The training of its crew, taken entirely from amongst the personnel who had defected from West Pakistan, many of them were Bengalis from East Pakistan who had served in Pakistan Air Force (PAF).  The unit was officially declared as Kilo Flight and was formed on 28 September 1971.

The training was imparted by IAF personnel attached from different units in the Air Force. Legendary Gp Capt Chandan Singh (later AVM) was made in charge of the training that was conducted at Dimapur. Both the Otter and the Aloutte were modified locally to carry rocket pods and a multi-barrel machine gun.  Otter could also carry GP bombs internally in its belly to drop them as free fall bombs.  

On the night of 03 December 1971, the Otter piloted by Flt Lt Shamsul Alam and Captain Akram took off from Kailashahar in Tripura to attack the Chittagong Fuel Depot traveling a distance of 140 kms at low level. The fuel depot was set ablaze by firing rockets into the storage tanks in repeated attacks and returned unharmed to Iand at Kumbhigram.

The same night after the Otter set course for Chittagong, the Kilo Flight Aloutte III piloted by Squadron Leader Sultan Ahmed with Flt Lt Badr-ul-Alam as the copilot took off from Teliamura helipad near the International Border towards Narayanganj fuel depot on the outskirts of Dacca. This target too was successfully targeted with rockets to put the plant on fire destroying it completely.


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