Commodore Kasargod Patnashetti Gopal Rao (KP Gopal Rao) was an Indian Navy officer who served the country and took his last breadth on 9 August 2021. Commodore KP Gopal Rao is a notable navy officer who participated in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 and was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra for his outstanding contributions during Operation Trident.
About Cdr K.P. Gopal Rao
Cdr K. P. Gopal Rao was born in Mangalore on 13 November 1926. His father’s name was Rai Bahadur K.P.Janardhan Rao. His elder brother, Maj. K.P.S. Rao had also served in the Indian Armed Forces, in the Indian Army during the Second World War.
Motivational Facts About Commodore KP Gopal Rao
- K. P. Gopal Rao was commissioned into the Indian Navy on 21 April 1950
- He was awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal for distinguished service of a high order in January 1971
- Rao was a recipient of the Veer Seva Medal
- He played a key role in the war with Pakistan to liberate East Pakistan that is now Bangladesh.
- Gopal Rao led a Small Task Group of the Western Fleet and launched an offensive off the coast of Karachi as part of Operation Cactus Lily.
Contribution of Cdr K.P. Gopal Rao in 1971 War
During Indo-Pak War 1971, he was commander of two Arnala-class anti-submarine corvettes INS Kiltan and INS Katchall that were part of the task group that attacked Karachi Harbour on 4 December 1971 during Operation Trident. The two corvettes were tasked to provide communications and conduct target acquisition with their superior radar as well as give anti-submarine cover. Operation Trident was a huge success and resulted in sinking two Pakistani destroyers (PNS Khaiber and PNS Shah Jehan), one minesweeper (PNS Muhafiz), one cargo ship (MV Venus Challenger) and setting afire oil dumps and other installations. For his outstanding performance, he was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra, India’s second highest military decoration.
Cdr KP Gopal Rao breathed his last here on 8th of August 2021. The naval veteran died of age-related illness. He is survived by survived by two daughters and a son.