April 23, 2024
The War memorial at Uttarlai airfield

Uttarlai airfield was first set up just before the 71 War. It was one of the forward airfields that provided facilities to the HF-24 Maruts, Gnats, Hunters, and MiGs during the war. The airfield continued in service even after the war and is today a major airbase. The HF-24 Maruts flew for the first time in combat from this airbase.

The Uttarlai War Memorial dedicated to Flt Lt P V Apte. The Hawker Hunter can be seen in the background. Pic Courtesy: Indian Air Force.

In the 1990s, and possibly early 00s, a Hawker Hunter was originally displayed at the Uttarlai War Memorial. This commemorates the role the airbase played in the 1971 War and is dedicated to Flt Lt P V Apte of 221 Squadron who lost his life flying from this airbase.

The above picture was dated from the early 2000s. However, the Hunter cannot be located since then on Google Earth imagery and it is believed that this could be one of the aircraft that was moved to the Jaisalmer War Museum

A quick summary of the warbirds in and around Uttarlai are given below:

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