March 5, 2024

Sainik School, Bhubaneswar is one of the 33 Sainik Schools in India. Established by the Government of India on 1 February 1962 at Bhubaneswar, the Capital City of Odisha. The school prepares boys for entry into the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, Pune and for other walks of life. The school was started by Late Shri Biju Patnaik the then Chief Minister of Orissa on 15 Jan 1962 in an ad hoc government accommodation. The new building and infrastructure was brought up within two years at the present location under the personal care of Biju Patnaik and was inaugurated by Jawaharlal Nehru on 08 Jan 1964.

Within months of Nehru’s visit, on 12 September 1964, Air Marshal Arjan Singh visited the school and on that occasion, a Harvard Trainer aircraft was handed over for display at the school.

The Sainik School Harvard, as photogrpahed by Sudeep Pramanik in September 2023 (via Google Maps)

The School is located in the Capital City of Orissa in the close vicinity of Utkal University, Vani Vihar just 2 km away from National Highway.

Additional Photographs by Kishore Bishnoi show the Harard during night time.

An earlier photo by Lucky shows the Harvard was retaining its original tires in February 2020. note the inverted paint colours on the propeller blades.

The date and occasion are confirmed by one of the plaques displayed on site. Thus this becomes one of the oldest dated warbirds that is known to us with certainty. Before this, the oldest warbird for which we had a confirmed date of provenance was the Vampire at the Air Force Academy.

Unfortunately, the identity of this Harvard is a mystery. It should be noted that the Harvards were still in active service when this aircraft was presented to the school in 1964.

Photographs on this page are copyright of Ankit Raj, Shivam Kumar, Lucky, Kishore Bishnoi and Sudeep Pramanik.

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