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The Indian Army is one of the world’s largest and most respected armies. It has a rich history of bravery and heroism, with many soldiers and officers displaying exceptional courage and selflessness in the face of danger.
There are numerous examples of superhuman feats of bravery and courage displayed by Indian soldiers in various conflicts and operations. The Indian Army also has several special forces units, such as the Para Commandos and the Marcos, who are trained in unconventional warfare and are known for their exceptional physical and mental toughness.
Overall, the Indian Army and its soldiers have a proud tradition of heroism and selflessness and continue to inspire generations of Indians with their courage and dedication to duty. One example is KK “Jumbo” Majumdar DFC, who has contributed to the Indian army and given his whole to the nation.
Wing Commander Karun Krishna Majumdar
Born on 6th September 1913 in Kolkata, Karun Krishna Majumdar came from a renowned family. His maternal grandfather Womesh Chunder Bonnerjee was the President of the Indian National Congress. Because of his height and personality, Commander Karun got the nickname “Jumbo” as a Wing Commander.
Wg Cdr Majumdar completed his schooling in Darjeeling at St. Paul School. And further, in 1932, he went to England to be admitted to Royal Air Force College Cranwell. He returned to India as a trained pilot in 1933.
Karen joined No.1 Squadron of the Indian Air Force in 1930 as a Flying Officer. As a pilot, he took his first flight with Westland Wapiti and Hawker Hart. Later, he was promoted to Flight Commander of the ‘C’ Flight of No. 1 Squadron.
Karun Krishan then got promoted to Squadron Leader and handled the charge of No. 1 Squadron in Miranshah.
The Taungoo Attack, 1942
The Imperial Japanese Forces occupied Burma in 1942. The No. 1 Squadron of the Royal Indians was posted in Burma with Karun as the squad leader, and the entire team reached Burma on 31st January 1942. On 1st February, the Japanese Army bombed Tanugoo and caused considerable damage to the place. However, the No.1 Squadron managed the damage as they took certain precautions of hiding the Lysander and protecting it.
Commander Majumdar took immediate retaliatory action even after knowing that the Lysander aircraft was not dedicated to serving as a fighter or bomber. But, with 250 pounds weighing hanging in the wings of a Lysander, Karun set off solo towards the Japanese airbase, Mae Hong Son. The New Zealanders of No. 67 Squadron of Royal Air Force sent the two Buffalo aircraft as the escort. Com. Karun took a big risk to fly and drop the bombs on the targeted point and destroy the aircraft, airfield, and enemy hangar.
The next day, Wing Commander Karun took his entire Squadron for a bombing mission and damaged the aircraft, building, and other installations of the enemies. Before the SquadronSquadron was sent back from Burma in Apr 1942, the team greatly assisted the army.
Com Karun was forced down in the Shan Jungles due to an engine failure and managed to get to Lashio after a tragic journey through the dense forests.
Other Facts about Wg Cdr Majumdar
After returning from Burma, Karun Krishna took the next two years in staff and flying assignments. He was promoted to wing Commander and was the first Indian to get such a rank in the Indian Defence Force.
Wg Cdr Karen also gave his contribution to a posting in No. 268 RAF Squadron flying Spitfires for the Allied invasion held in Europe in 1943. His efforts in reconnoitering the Falaise-Gap sector were recognised and earned him further laurels. The operation ended on 20th September, and in this span of 100 days, he flew 65 stories in Hawker Typhoons and Mustangs. He even got shot up once and landed in the enemy’s territory, but luckily got rescued.
Wg Cdr KK was also a hero in World War 2, a fighter and a born leader with a Bar to the DFC gazetted on 23rd January 1945.
The Final Mission
17th February 1945, Com Karen decided to perform aerobatic practice in a Hawker Hurricane. The aircraft he chose was not properly functioning as it has a history of problems and snags. He ignored the advice of his friend, Fg Off Harider Singh, and took the aircraft to the area near Lahore.
In the routine of aerobatic practice, there was a dive in which the aircraft’s undercarriage legs got unlocked from the wheel and went down, which disrupted the aircraft’s stability. The aircraft crashed due to the disturbance, and we lost our hero Wing Commander Karun Krishna Majumdar at the spot itself.