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Col Who Served in the Army, Navy and IAF Turns 100 Years | India News

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CHANDIGARH / NEW DELHI: In his 28 years as a defense man, Colonel Prithipal Singh Gill (retired) saw everything from World War II to the 1965 India-Pakistan War. On Friday, the only surviving officer to serve in all three wings of the armed forces turned 100 years old.
“I was lucky. Today, I would have been fired if I had changed so many times, ”Gill told TOIamid at his Chandigarh residency celebrations with his family and the regiment he raised.
From exploring the skies to sailing the high seas, his has been a unique career. It started in 1942, when he joined the Royal Indian Air Force as a pilot, without the consent of his family. “I would fly Howard planes when stationed in Karachi,” he said.
3 generations had served in the military before Gill
His family was so concerned that Lieutenant General RA Savoy, a senior British Army officer known to the family, got him transferred to the Navy in 1943. “I continued to serve on a mine-clearing ship before joining the INS Teer. as an officer officer during World War II. “As a young Navy second lieutenant, he attended a long-range artillery course and was qualified as an Artillery Instructor.
“Then, hoping to continue the family tradition of serving in the 1st Sikh Regiment, I joined the Army,” he said. Due to his experience as an Ordnance Instructor, Gill was posted to the Gwalior Mountain Battery, equipped with 5.4-inch howitzers, in 1951, his son, Dr. Ajay Pal Singh, told TOI. Three generations of his family had served with the Army before him: his great-grandfather Nehan Singh, his grandfather Bir Singh, and his father Harpal Singh.
Gill was then assigned to the 34th Medium Regiment and later rose and commanded the 71st Medium Regiment. On Friday, it was 71 Medium that sent him a cake on behalf of the Indian army to mark the occasion. Looking back, one of the best memories he has is from the 1965 Indian-Pakistani war. “We recovered four weapons from the enemy camp,” he said. Five years later, he retired as a sector commander for Assam Rifles at Ukhrul in Manipur as a colonel. “I have been busy since I retired. Squash, hockey, tennis, ”he said.

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