Tuesday, December 7, 2010

SUBMARINE DAY: 8 December & Submarines of Indian Navy

8th. December 1967 is the date of commissioning of “INS Kalvari (S-23) the first Submarine of the Indian Navy.
The day "8th December" is observed by the Indian Navy as the “Submarine Day”- the foundation day of the Indian Navy’s Submarine Arm. 
INS Kalvari (S-23) - a Foxtrot class submarine was built at Riga, erstwhile USSR. She was De-commissioned after 29 years of service on 31 May 1996. INS Kalvari's Fin (tower) is  now installed at Beach Road, Vizag and is maintained by the Vizag City as part of its Museum. 

The special postmark was provided inside the INS Kalvari Fin on  8th Dec. 1999. The day coincides with the ‘32nd. Submarine Day’.(The cover and the cachet were designed by Cdr. U.N.Acharya).
On the occasion of this commemoration, a philatelic exhibition on stamps on 'Ships', 'Navies of the World' and 'Lighthouses' was organised in the Central Gallery of the Corporation Museum. The collection was lent by the eminent philatelist D.H.Rao of Chennai.
Cdr. U.N.Acharya, Hon. Secretary, Naval Philatelic Society was an organising member and the driving force of the Kalvari Fin Philatelic Commemoration Committee.
Special Post Mark of 8.12.1982, Visakhapatnam Naval Base P.O., first ever cancellation provided underwater, commemorating 15th Anniversary of Submarine Arm.
 '15th Anniversary of Submarine Arm' special Post Mark of 8.12.1982, Calcutta.
 Special Post Mark of 8.12.1987, Visakhapatnam, commemorating 20th Anniversary of Submarine Arm.
 20th Anniversary of Submarine Arm, postmark 8-12-1987, New Delhi.
Submarines of Indian Navy
 INS Virbahu is the alma matar of the submariners. With the acquisition of submarines, INS Virbahu, a shore establishment was commissioned at Vishakapatanam on 19 May 1971.  INS Virbahu  primarily functions as shore support unit for providing administrative, logistic and operational support to the I.N.Submarines based on the East Coast.
  Special cancellation provided from Visakhapatnam Naval base P.O., on 17 Sept,1986 to mark the home coming of INS Sindhughosh at INS Virbahu - the submarine base of Eastern Naval Command.

INS Sindhughosh (S55) is the lead ship of her class of diesel-electric submarines of the Indian Navy.The submarine was commissioned in April 1986 in Riga, Latvia. Sindhughosh class is one of the three diesel-powered submarine classes in the Indian Navy which is made in the surname of Ghosh. The Project 877 Submarines, known in India as the 877 EKM or Kilo class Submarine or 'Sindhu' class, were built under a contract between Rosvooruzhenie (USSR) and the Ministry of Defence (India).
 De-Commissioning of INS Khanderi on 18-10-1989. INS Khanderi (S22) commissioned on 6th December 1968 was a Kalvari class diesel-electric submarine of the Indian Navy.
 INS Vela (Date of Issue: 12.2.1984)              A Foxtrot class submarine INS Vela (S40) was the lead ship of her class of diesel-electric submarines of the Indian Navy. INS Vela was Commissioned on 31 August, 1973 by the then Lt Cdr. J.M.S. Sodhi  at Riga, Latvia, in the erstwhile Soviet Union and decommissioned by Rear Admiral (Retd.) J.M.S. Sodhi, the Commissioning Commanding Officer of the submarine on 25 June,  2010.

INS Sindhugosh (S-55) & INS Shiskumar (S-44)
Indian Navy has four Shiskumar class submarines of German design under 10th Submarine Squadron INS Vajrabahu, Western Naval Command.  INS Shalki (S-46) and INS Shankul (S-47) were built at Mazagon Dock Ltd, Mumbai in technical collaboration with HDW, Germany.

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.