Company Quartermaster Havildar Abdul Hamid
In this post, we will see about the brave act of Company Quartermaster Havildar Abdul Hamid who received Param Veer Chakra for his actions during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965.
- Hamid joined the army in December 1954 in 4th Battalion of the Grenadiers
- During the Sino-Indian War, his battalion participated in the battle of Namka Chu against the People’s Liberation Army.
- During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, the 4 Grenadiers battalion was entrusted with a vital position before the village of Chima on the Khem Karan–Bhikhiwind At the Battle of Asal Uttar 9–10 September 1965, Hamid destroyed six Pakistani tanks and inspired. During an engagement with a seventh.
Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
- Pakistan army decided to attack Jammu and Kashmir after operation Gibraltar.
- In counter offence, India launched operation alongside the border.
- The 4th Infantry Division was charged with the capture of Pakistani territory and to stop the infiltration of the enemy
Battle of Asal Uttar
4 Grenadiers arrived at midnight on 8 September, and had dug 3-foot by dawn they had the first sight of Pakistani tanks. Hamid led the vehicle-mounted recoilless rifle (RCLR) detachment of his battalion.
The battalion held their fire until a tank 30 feet away was hit by Hamid with his RCL gun, and Pakistani soldiers in the two following tanks fled.
Pakistan started artillery shelling followed by another armour attack. Hamid determined to stop the enemy knocked out another tank, and the Pakistani soldiers in the following tanks again fled.
By the end of the day, an engineering company had laid anti-personnel and anti-tank mines around the Grenadiers’ position.
They battalion was attacked by Pakistani Sabre jets along with armoured attack next morning on 9 September.
Hamid had knocked out four tanks. The battalion destroyed a total of 13 tanks, and many abandoned.
The Indians withdrew a squadron of Sherman tanks, which were ineffective against the Pakistani Patton tanks.
Centurion tanks were also removed to deploy them in a position more suitable for a tank battle. As a result, the 4 Grenadiers had only RCL guns and mines.
On 10 September morning, the first wave of three enemy tanks, one leading and the other two following at 180 m distance, arrived.
Hamid destroyed another tank with his RCL gun. The Pakistanis attacked again with increased artillery support, and Hamid destroyed another tank.
Since his open jeep was vulnerable to the shelling, he moved to another position and ordered his men to take cover.
Hamid and a Pakistani tank soon spotted each other as Hamid was in open space he fired at the tank.
The enemy tank fired back which resulted in the instant killing of Hamid. The battalion suppressed further attacks by the Pakistanis, and the battle was a decisive Indian victory.
- For his actions at the Battle of Asal Uttar, Hamid was awarded the Param Vir Chakra on 10 September 1965.
- India Post issued a 3 stamp commemorating Hamid on 28 January 2000 as part of a set of five stamps honouring recipients of awards for gallantry.
- The stamp has a bust of Hamid and an illustration of a jeep with a recoilless rifle.
- A memorial was build in his village Dhamupur.
Hamid’s complete disregard for his safety during the operation and his sustained acts of bravery in the face of constant enemy fire were a shining example not only to his unit but also to the whole division and were in the highest traditions of the Indian Army. Stay tuned to DDE for more.