Battle of Boyra - Indo - Pak War 1971

36 × 24 inches

On 22 November 1971, well before the war between India and Pakistan was declared, four Gnat fighters of 22 Squadron based at Dumdum airport took off on an aerial interception mission. IAF radar near Barrackpore had picked up few Pakistan Air Force (PAF) jets crossing into Indian territory in West Bengal attacking Indian Army positions deployed near the Indo-Pak border. The formation was lead by Flt Lt Roy Andrew Massey. Other members were Flt Lt AM Ganapathy, Fg Offr Don Lazarus and Fg Offr Soares. Gnats made contact with the Pakistani Sabres while they were engaging Indian troops on ground at Garibpur area. In the ensuing air battle between four Gnats and three Sabres, all three Sabres were shot down with nil loss to Indians. Two of the Pakistani pilots, Flt. Lt. Parvez Mehdi Qureshi and Fg Offr Khalil Ahmed were captured over Indian territory and turned into Prisoners of War (POWs). After the war Flt. Lt. Parvez Mehdi Qureshi went on to become Chief of Pakistan Air Force. The Battle of Boyra is named after the Boyra Salient, a feature which dominates the Garibpur area, and technically it is called the Battle of Boyra since it was an aerial battle fought over the Boyra salient. Flt Lt Massey, Flt Lt Ganapathy and Fg Offr Don Lazarus were awarded Vir Chakras for shooting down the enemy fighters that soon became international news and Pakistan could not deny its involvement in attacking targets well inside Indian territory as their pilots were in custody of Indian forces.


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