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Squadron 47
"Black Archers"

The figure of a kneeling archer with drawn bow has been chosen for its suggestion of poised readiness. Its significance as a crest is that it is symbolic of the aim for fine training and absolute preparedness for the appointed task. The classic form of the human figure has been chosen for the qualities of dignity and physical and mental strength which are essential ingredients of the classic rendering of features, skill and physique. In the final drawing, however, the features have been omitted in order to preserve the symbolic dignity. To accentuate the classic times, no dating accoutrements have been made.

The archer is also indicative of the zodiac sign of Sagittarius, the symbol which covers the period during which the squadron was formed (18th December 1959).

The device itself has been rendered in black and white, as it is felt that the resulting simplicity is appropriate tribute to the classic form, and lends itself to easy reproduction in embriodery, in paint of the aircraft, as an enamelled pin without the need for base-relief

The motto "Karmani Vyapurutham Dhanuhu" may be translated as "My bow is stretched for its task," thus continuing the symbolism of the device. The line is taken from the kalidas drama "Sakuntala", where in king Dushyant before leaving for Swarga, hands over the governing of his kingdom to his Pradhans and instructs them in the duties of Kshatria. One of these instructions is "Karmani Vyaprutham Dhanuhu" your bow always stretched for its task.

No. 47 Squadron, Air Force was formed on 18 December 1959 at Halwara as an amalgamation of the best officers & men picked up from various units of the Air Force. The Squadron adopted a kneeling Black and Archer as its Squadron Insignia. With its bow stretrched to perform the task, the Archer signifies ever ready state of the Squadron personnel to perform the task given with utmost efficiency. The squadron was first equipped with Toofani aircraft. The first aircraft to arrive in the Squadron No 871. Shortage of personnel, equipment, working tools and other teething troubles faced by an infant squadron were minor hurdles which the Archer gang easily accomplished and which did not stand in the way of squadron performance was so good that within a fortnight of its formation, the squadron had the honour of presenting the skills of the Air Force at the Republic Day parade. Soon after the fly past, in March 1960, the squadron took part in the 27th aniversary display at Bombay. The excellent show in these displays ensured that the Squadron more or less permanently got the task of carrying out fly past for the Republic Day parades.

In 1961, the Squadron moved to Kalaikunda. At the new base, the Squadron soon established itself and carried out extensive flying. The sudden move and other problems could never were the Squadron's prime task of achieving Operational efficiency in the air. Every month the task was met and yet the pilots wanted more. In August 1963 the Squadron moved to Bagdogra and also operated a detachment from Gorakhpur.

In September 1964, the squadron moved to its new location at Hasimara.

The squadron took part in both the Indo-Pak conflicts since its formation. During the 1965 war, on 2 September 1965, five Toofanis proceeded for the air defence of Tezpur. Thus with the total strength of nine Toofani aircraft, the Squadron operated detachments at Guwahati & Tezpur. A lone Toofani was left behind because of certain snags. The remaining crew of the Squadron stayed back at Halwara for army co-operation and helping the local administration to take on the enemy in the Western sector. The Squadron started getting back on 29 September 1965 and by October, it was back at Halwara in full strength. The tremendous experience gained by the Squadron came handy while undertaking operations in 1971 conflict.

In April 1967, during Ex ALERT, the Squadron performance was exceptional. Squadron delivered the armaments loads so accurately over TISTA range that the visiting dignitaries were awe-struck. On 23 March 1968, the Squadron converted from the ageing Toofanis to the new thundering supersonic Mig 21 Fls. The Squadron also moved out from Hashimara to Chandigarh. In February 1969, the Squadron moved to its new location at Hindon. Having operated from Palam earlier, the air space around was not new. The Squadron stayed there for the following two years.

During the 1971 Indo-Pakistani Operation, the main role of the Squadron during these operations was Air Defence. The Squadron was virtually spread over entire Northern & Central India. It manned detachments from four different places, namely Jamnagar, Halwara, Palam and Hindon. Other than Air Defence, a host of counter air missions were also undertaken over Badin airfield. At Jamnagar, Wg Cdr HS Gill who was leading one of the counter air missions was shot down by ground fire. There was no news about him over next three years. Finally in 1974, he was declared a martyr and awarded VrC posthumously. The strike over Badin airfield, however, continued and Pakistanis found it hard to launch any mission from that airfield as it was rendered virtually unfit. The Squadron earned a total of two Vr C and VSM and four Mentioned in Despatch.

In November 1973, Squadron moved to Halwara, its formation base. For next five years, the Squadron stayed there. The proximity of the Sidhwan Khas range gave the opportunity to the pilots to hone their skills & achieve a high level of proficiency in air to ground work. In January 1978, the Squadron moved on to its new location at Chabua where it was to stay for the next seven years. During the same year, Squadron pilots won the 1978 EAC gunnery meet, as well as the 1979 Instrument Flying Trophy also. In November 80, while operating from Chabua airfield, an intruding Chinese IL-18 aicraft was identified and photographed by a pilot from the squadron. The photograph was developed and sent to Air HQ. The job was commended by the Air

In May 1985 Squadron moved to Hashimara. The unit won the 1985-86 EAC Gunnery meet.

In 1986, when the Government cleared the procurement of the latest state of art technology ac MiG-29, the honour of being the first unit was bestowed upon the Black Archers. In October 1986, Squadron pilots were sent to USSR to convert to that aircraft. In May 87, the Squadron moved to Pune and converted to the Mig-29. While at Pune, the Squadron underwent exhaustive training to prepare a viable pilot fleet for the new aircraft. Along with this, being the first to operate the modern generation aircraft, it had the mammoth task of reviewing all the tactics and develop them for sound operational effectiveness. Once the tatics were defined, the squadron participated in enough exercises to hone their skills and were fully geared to meet any challenge to prove their worthiness. In February 1996, the squadron received new aircraft which comprised four fighters and a trainer. These aircraft had the additional capability of carrying the wing drop tanks and thus had an increased Radius of Action. Sufficient number of sorties were flown to understand the limitation and advantages of the new aircrafts.

In March 1997, the squadron moved to Adampur. This move was completed in record time and the Squadron was operational within 7 days of its coming to Adampur.

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Page last modified: 09-07-2011 02:44:03 ZULU