Flt. Lt. Sardar Mohinder Singh Pujji - (RAF) ~ A tribute
Sardar Mohinder Singh Pujji Flt. Lt. died at the age of 92 in Dartford U.K
Almere - 24-09-2010: He was Sikh hero of 2nd World War. He took part in Burma and the European campaign during 2nd World War as a pilot of Royal Air Force. I met him several times. He was very active with full of humor, very intelligent and brave.
He joined the Royal Air Force in 1940, became Squadron leader and won Flying Cross for bravery. His plane was hit by bullets badly but he managed to land safely despite a deep wound in his head, turban saved him. In 2008, he got a Life Time Achievement award from Graveshame Council U.K.
To honor 300 years of Khalsa and the sacrifice of Sikh soldiers during World Wars, the City of Ieper together with the European Sikh Community organized a Celebration of Peace on Sunday 4 April 1999 at Cloth Hall in Ieper, Belgium and Sardar Mohinder Singh Pujji also came from UK to attend.
Flt. Lt. Mohinder Singh Pujji was honored along with several other living soldiers of World War II by Governor Paul Brijne of Inflanders Province of Belgium.
Flt. Lt. M.S. Pujji has stated during the inauguration of monument of Sikh soldiers at Hollebeke on 03-04-1999, "I was posted to No.253 Squadron RAF, flying Hurricane IIB fighters from RAF Kenley, which is a couple of miles south of Croydon. We were a mixed bunch, with pilots also from Poland , America , Canada and Australia . Equipped with twelve machine guns, our hurricanes were extensively flown day and night, to intercept German bombers and reconnaissance aircraft."
Sikh Nation salute Sardar Mohinder Singh Pujji and May Waheguru grant peace to the departed soul and give strength to his family members.
It should be noted that Royal Indian Air Force played its role from the beginning of 2nd World War (1939) with one squadron and strength of 200 officers and men. It had grown by 1945 to a strength of 28,500 and nine squadrons. It saw action throughout the Burma campaign. British Indian officers also served in the Royal Air Force in Burma , Europe and other theatres.
|Sardar MS Pujji second from right|
In Pujji's words, "I was posted to No. 253 Squadron RAF, flying Hurricane IIB fighters from RAF Kenley, which is a couple of miles south of Croydon. We were a mixed bunch, with pilots also from Poland, America, Canada and Australia. Equipped with twelve machine guns, our Hurricanes were extensively flown day and night, to intercept German bombers and reconnaissance aircraft.
"I was later attached with No.43 Squadron, flying Hurricanes from Martlesham, the RAF fighter Squadrons being switched from base to base every few weeks, but remaining in the Greater London area. Later, we converted to the Spitfire Mk.V and I was promoted to Flight Commander. Our operational task now included fighter sweeps over occupied Europe and we made low-level attacks on enemy targets when we were not required to provide fighter escort to RAF bombers. During these operations, I was involved in many dog fights with Luftwaffe fighters and my total tally was two Messerschmitt Me 109s confirmed as shot down and three damaged".
[Above in ital. from: http://www.sikh-history.com/sikhhist/personalities/military/sikhiniaf.html]