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Boyra Day: IAF Recalls First Aerial Engagement With The Pakistan Air Force

Indian Air Force (IAF) recalled the first aerial engagement between IAF and Pakistan Air Force during the Battle of Boyra which took place on November 22, 1971

IAF recalls moments from Battle of Boyra on Boyra Day, says 'PAF Sabres were claimed'

Taking to Twitter, Indian Air Force (IAF) recalled the first aerial engagement between IAF and Pakistan Air Force during the Battle of Boyra which took place on November 22, 1971. Sharing pictures of the IAF pilots involved in the aerial dogfight, Indian Air Force informed that three Pakistan Air Force sabres were claimed by the Indian Air Force as two of them crashed in the Indian terrority. The Indian Air Force also informed that 22 Squadron of the IAF was 'rechristened' as 'Sabre Slayers' as well as decorated with battle honours. Hailing Flight Lietunant MA Ganapathy, Flight Lietunant RA Massey and Flag officer D Lazarus who were awarded the Vir Chakra for their efforts in the battle of Boyra, Indian Air Force informed that Flight Lietunant KB Bagchi of the unit was awarded a Vayu Sena medal for his efforts and role in the air battle, on the occasion of Boyra Day. 

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Battle of Boyra

On November 22, during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971, Pakistan Air Force and Indian Air Force engaged in an air battle after four PAF Sabres crossed into Indian airspace while providing support to the Pakistan Army units engaged in combat against the Mukti Bahini and Indian Army troops in the Battle of Garibpur. In response, two IAF Gnats and two MiG-21 moved to Kolkata Airport which was then known as Dum Dum to intercept the PAF Sabres and shot down three aircraft after which two Pakistan Air Force pilots were captured. The four IAF aircraft deployed for the mission were known as the 22 Squadron and returned back to the base unscathed. Flight Lieutenant Roy Andrew Massey, Flying Officer Donald Lazarus, Flight Lieutenant MA Ganapathy and Flight Lieutenant S Soares became the heroes of IAD in the Battle of Boyra. The detachment was commanded by Flight Lieutenant Roy Andrew Massey and Flight Lieutenant KB Bagchi was the flight controller during the aerial dogfight. 

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