Company Quartermaster Havildar Abdul Hamid, PVC (1 July 1933 – 10 September 1965) was a soldier in the 4th Battalion, The Grenadiers of the Indian Army, who died in the Khem Karan sector during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 in the Battle of Asal Uttar, and was the posthumous recipient of the Republic of India's highest military decoration, the Param Vir Chakra.
Abdul Hamid was born in a Muslim family at Dhamupur village of Ghazipur District of Uttar Pradesh on 1 July 1933, the son of Mohammad Usman
After five years of service in the anti-tank section Abdul Hamid had recently been promoted and given charge of quartermaster stores of his company. As he was the best 106mm recoilless rifle shot in the battalion, he was reverted to his former charge as NCO commanding the battalion's recoilless rifle platoon.
In the Lahore sector of operations, 4 Mountain Division of India, having been rebuffed in its advance to the Ichhogil by the Pakistani counter-offensive, fell back to the Khem Kharan area. In the new defence plan of the Division, 4 Grenadiers, along with three other battalions of the division formed a defence line between Assal Uttar and Chima villages on the Khem Karan-Bhikhiwind-Amritsar road and the Patti axis. 4 Grenadiers was on the northern flank in general area of Chima village while other battalions were to the south ending with its sister battalion, 7 Grenadiers, in Asal Uttar village itself.
Earlier the battalion had captured its objective on the Ichhogil canal but being outflanked by the Pakistani counter-offensive was ordered back to new positions. It had already been in combat for more than 24 hours when it began digging trenches and weapon pits in its defensive positions. The battalion defended area was covered with cotton and sugarcane fields and the battalion was able to camouflage its location, using ploughed fields for field of fire. The 106mm recoilless guns were deployed along the Khem Karan-Amritsar road. On 8 September, the enemy made repeated probing attacks on the 4th Grenadiers position. The battalions recoilless weapons and automatics were effectively sited by Hamid's company officers, Lt H. R. Jahnu and 2Lt V. K. Vaid. That afternoon Abdul Hamid destroyed two Patton tanks, the commander of one of which asked Hamid for directions just before Hamid destroyed the tank.
On 10 September 1965 at 0800 hours, a battalion of Pakistani armour supported by Patton tanks attacked the 4th Grenadier positions but was unable to locate the battalion's defences. The attack preceded by intense artillery bombardment to soften the target and to garner a heavy fire in an attempt to draw Indian response. By 0900 hours, the enemy tanks had penetrated the forward company positions. In the melee, Hamid saw a group of Pattons heading towards his battalion defences. Seeing the gravity of the situation, he moved out to a flank with his gun mounted on a jeep. Intense enemy shelling and tank fire did not deter him. He fired continuously knocking out three Pattons one after another but was killed by tank fire from the fourth before he could engage it.
Successful actions by Indian armour, artillery and infantry anti-tank actions, such as those of Abdul Hamid, tarnished the reputation of the M48 Patton and after the 1965 war, the M48 was largely replaced by the M60. India set up a war memorial named "Patton Nagar" ("Patton Town") in Khemkaran District, where the captured Pakistani Patton tanks are displayed.
Company Quartermaster Havildar Abdul Hamid, PVC (1 July 1933 – 10 September 1965) was a soldier in the 4th Battalion, The Grenadiers of the Indian Army, The Grenadiers of the Indian Army, who died in the Khem Karan sector during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 in the Battle of Asal Uttar, and was the posthumous recipient of the Republic of India's highest military decoration, the Param Vir Chakra.
Company Quarter Master Havildar Abdul Hamid 4th Battalion, The Grenadiers
Company Quarter Master Havildar Abdul Hamid was born on 1 July 1933, in Uttar Pradesh. He was enrolled in the 4 Grenadiers on 27 December 1954. During his Army service he earned the Sainya Seva Medal with Clasp J&K, the Samar Seva Medal and the Raksha Medal. During the 1965 Indo-Pak War, 4 Indian Division was entrusted with a two-fold responsibility - capture Pak territory east of Ichhogil Canal and contain possible enemy attack on Kasur-Khem Karan axis. The 4th Indian Division succeeded in reaching Ichhogil but the powerful Pakistani offensive forced it to fall back on Asal Uttar. The 4 Indian Division settled here to meet the enemy assault.
In the new defence plan of the Division, 4 Grenadiers occupied a vital area ahead of Chima village on the Khem Karan-Bhikhiwind road. A firm hold on this area was considered essential to sustain the divisional plan of defence. On Spetember 8th night, the enemy made repeated probing attacks on Grenadiers positions but was frustrated in all the attempts. The most serious threat, however, developed when the enemy attacked with a regiment of Patton tanks at 0800 hours on September 10th. The attack was preceded by intense artillery shelling so much so that every yard of ground occupied by the battalion was littered by a shell.
By 0900 hours, the enemy tanks had penetrated the forward company positions. At this critical juncture, Hamid was commanding a recoilless gun detachment. Seeing the gravity of the situation, he moved out to a flank with his gun mounted on a jeep. Intense enemy shelling and tank fire did not deter him. From his new position, he knocked out the leading enemy tank with accurate fire. Then he changed his position and knocked out another enemy tank. By this time the enemy who had spotted his position brought down concentrated machine gun and high explosive fire on him.
But he kept on firing. As he fired to hit yet another enemy tank, he was mortally wounded by a high explosive shell. Throughout this action, CQMH Hamid inspired his comrades to put up a gallant fight to beat off the enemy tank assault. His sustained act of bravery and disregard for personal safety, in the face of constant enemy fire, were a shining example, not only to his unit but to the whole division and were in the highest traditions of the Indian Army. Company Quarter Master Havildar Abdul Hamid was honoured with the highest wartime gallantry medal, Param Vir Chakra, posthumously.
Message edited by rakshas - Sunday, 30-August-2015, 10:22 PM