Saturday, December 4, 2010

NAVY DAY: December 04

On 21 October 1944, the Royal Indian Navy celebrated 'Navy Day' for the first time.This met with considerable success and aroused enthusiasm not only in the ports where parades were held but also in inland centres where public meetings were organised. Encouraged by its success, it was decided to organise similar functions every year on a larger scale, and later, in the season when the weather was cooler.  Accordingly, the second “Navy Day” was celebrated in Bombay and Karachi on December 01, 1945.
In due course,“Navy Day” came to be celebrated on ‘15 December’ and the week in which '15 December' fell was observed as the ‘Navy Week’.
The special stamp depicting INS Nilgiri, issued on December 15, 1968 honouring the “Navy Day”, The ‘Navy Day-1968’ was very special, in this year the launching of India’s first Leander class Guided Missile Frigate ‘INS Nilgiri’ took place (23 October,1968) at Mazagon Dock Ltd., Bombay. 

 In the year 1971 India got engaged in a war with Pakistan. On December 4, the Indian Navy carried out a stunning attack on the Karachi harbour.Indian Navy’s six ‘Osa-I’ class Missile boats were deployed spear heading the attack on Karachi, code named ‘Operation Trident’.
 INS Khukri (F-149)
INS Khukri - a British Blackwood class Frigate was commissioned into Indian Navy on 20 November 1956. On December 8/9, 1971, INS Khukri was deployed on a mission to hunt enemy submarines present in sea lanes used by Indian submarines. Unfortunately, INS Khukri was hit by torpedoes launched by the Pakistan Naval Submarine Hangor. As INS Khukri started sinking,40 nautical miles off Diu Coast taking down with her a crew of 18 officers and 176 sailors, its Commanding Officer Capt.Mahendra Nath Mulla recipient of Maha Vir Chakra (MVC) (posthumous) did not try to save himself. He went down with his ship, observing the greatest traditions of the Indian Navy.  
  The act of Capt. Mullah and his crew is a shining example of the unyielding spirit and indomitable courage glorifying the highest traditions of the Indian Navy. In memory of the ship crew who laid down lives for the country, a memorial named ‘Khukri Memorial’ was set up in Diu in 1999. The memorial depicts the scale model of the frigate INS Khukri.
 The Pakistan navy's submarine PNS Ghazi (SS 479)  (ex.USS Diablo) was lost in the Bay of Bengal off Fairway buoy of Visakhapatnam harbour during  the 1971 Indo-Pak war.
In May 1972, at the Senior Naval Officers Conference, it was decided that hence forth; “Navy Day” would be celebrated on 4th. December in commemoration of the very successful Naval actions in the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal during the “Indo-Pak War of  1971”. 

The first "Navy Day" on December 04 was celebrated in 1972.
 On this Day when the Navy dedicated itself anew to the service of the nation, the Army Postal Service Corps (56 APO) brought out a Special Cover to commemorate the Navy Day on 4 December 1972.


  Indigenously built Missile Frigate INS Taragiri appears on the NAVY DAY stamp issued on 4 December,1981.
This special cover was issued at Bombay to commemorate 30 years of Naval Aviation in India on Navy Day on 4 December 1983. The Naval aviation formally saw the light of day with the commissioning of INS Garuda, a Naval Air Station at Cochin (now Kochi) on May 11, 1953. The cover has the picture of  INS Vikrant (R11), ex. HMS Hercules (R49) -a Majestic-class light aircraft carrier, the first aircraft carrier in the Indian Navy acquired  in 1957.
 Slogan Postmark “INDIAN  NAVY  THE  NATION’S  PRIDE” provided from some select Post Offices on “Navy Day"- 4th. December 1987.(The letter shown above was posted from Secendrabad by my friend Cdr.(Rtd) U.N.Acharya)
 50th. Anniversary of ‘I.N.S. Netaji Subhas’(formerly INS Hooghly), the Naval establishment in Kolkata was celebrated on 'NAVY DAY-2004'.
 NAVY DAY-2005 was dedicated to ‘BUILDER’S NAVY’ in recognition of the Indian Warship Designers & Shipbuilders.
 Navy Queen contestants on board the INS Mumbai in Kochi on the occasion of Navy Day on December 04, 2007.
  Navy Day stamp of  04 December 2008
Dedicated to the stellar role of the Indian Navy in “Reaching Out to Our Maritime Neighbours” in peace and in war in the Indian Ocean. Smaller Navies in the Indian Ocean Region like those of Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Seychelles, Mauritius and Maldives, look up to India and it's Navy as a source of help, support and assistance.  The theme "Reaching Out to Maritime Neighbours" is essentially framed on these lines.Indian Navy wants to reach out and extend a hand of genuine friendship to all these nations for mutual benefit.

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