They walk bravely in the arms of death leaving behind memories and their heroic acts. Lieutenant Colonel Ardeshir Tarapore, born in Mumbai, Maharashtra on August 18, 1923, showed the utmost courage and valor during the Indo-Pak war of 1965. From a very tender age, Lieutenant Colonel Ardeshir displayed remarkable bravery, saving his sister from a family cow that had broken loose.
Lieutenant Colonel Ardeshir Tarapore was firstly commissioned with the infantry wing of the Indian Armed forces. Due to an accident, a grenade had fallen into the bay area, reacting to which, Lieutenant Colonel Ardeshir quickly jumped and threw the grenade away. However, it left him seriously injured. Major General El Edroos witnessed this lion-hearted and exemplary act and transferred Lieutenant Colonel Ardeshir Tarapore to the armored regiment, a troop Lieutenant Colonel Ardeshir always wanted to join since his induction into the army.
During the Indo-Pak war of 1965, Lieutenant Colonel Ardeshir Tarapore was commissioned in the western sector. He took part in the Battle of Chawinda, the biggest tank battle that took place at Phillora in the Sialkot sector in 1965. Lieutenant Colonel ArdeshirTarapore and his men were assigned the task to capture Phillora. The southern thrust of the attack was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Ardeshir Tarapore of the 17th Poona Horse. Lieutenant Colonel Ardeshir Tarapore and his battalion planned to attack Phillora from the rear. A heavily armored and sudden counter attack by the Pakistani soldiers from Wazirali resulted into few Indian casualties. Lieutenant Colonel Ardeshir Tarapore, unperturbed by the enemy’s assault, held his ground and conquered Phillora with his brave men. The intense attack did not unnerve him and his battalion. Albeit the battle left him seriously injured, it did not deter his courage even slightly.
On September 14, 1965, Lieutenant Colonel Ardeshir Tarapore and his regiment were assigned with the task to capture Wazirwali. He gallantly led his team and conquered Wazirwali in no time. The battalion under the able and inspirational leadership of Lieutenant Colonel Ardeshir Tarapore went on to capture Jassoran and Butur Dograndi on the 16th of September, 1965. In the course of the battle, his own tank was hit several times. Undeterred by the attack on his tank, he continued maintaining his pivot at both the places. He helped the infantry that was supporting his regiment in attacking Chawinda. Motivated and inspired by Lieutenant Colonel Ardeshir Tarapore’s exemplary leadership, his men went on to destroy sixty Pakistani Army tanks with Indians only suffering nine tank casualties. The battalion ferociously attacked the enemy armor with the supreme courage, resulting in several casualties of the Pakistani soldiers. However, his tank was hit once again, enveloping it with flames and was set ablaze. Lieutenant Colonel Ardeshir Tarapore died a hero’s death, as a martyr for his country. Lieutenant Colonel Ardeshir was associated with the destruction of the highest number of the Pakistani Patton tanks.
Lieutenant Colonel Ardeshir Tarapore’s brave and invaluable efforts were honored with the highest military wartime decoration, the Param Vir Chakra. For his courageous and daredevil act of heroism, Lieutenant Colonel Ardeshir Tarapore’s name has been etched in the Hall of Fame of the Indian Army. The dauntless courage and grit he displayed shall inspire many future generations.