Early Life of Captain Gurbachan Singh Salaria
Captain Gurbachan Singh Salaria was born on 29th November, 1935 in village Jangla, Pathankot district of Punjab. His father was Chaudhary Munshi Ram Salaria. Gurbachan Singh Salari studied from Rashtriya Military School, Bengaluru and Rashtriya Military School, Chail. After schooling, he joined the 9th batch of National Defence Academy at Khadakwasla.
War Actions of Captain Gurbachan Singh Salaria
Captain Gurbachan Singh Salaria was commissioned in the first Gurkha Rifles on 9th June 1957. He was posted to the third battalion of the Regiment.
In 1960, after the Belgians quit Congo, a civil war situation developed in that country. When the United Nations decided upon military intervention, India sent a brigade of around 3000 men to the United Nations force. Captain Salaria was a member of the Peace Keeping Mission and was posted in Katanga, Congo. The plan was that one company with British armoured cars would attack the position frontally and Captain Gurbachan Singh Salaria with two sections of 3/1 Gurkha Rifles and two armoured personnel carriers would advance towards this roadblock from airfield to act as a cutting-off force.
Captain Salaria with his small force arrived at a distance of 1500 yards from the road block and came under heavy automatic and small arms fire from an undetected enemy position dug in on his right flank. The enemy also had two armoured cars and about 90 men opposing Captain Salarias small force. He led a charge with bayonets, khukries and grenades supported by a rocket launcher. In this gallant engagement Captain Salaria killed 40 of the enemy and knocked out the two armoured cars. This unexpectedly bold action completely demoralised the enemy who fled despite its numerical superiority and protected positions.
Captain Salaria was wounded by a burst of automatic fire in his neck but continued to fight till he collapsed owing to profuse bleeding. Captain Salarias gallant action had prevented any movement of the enemy force towards the main battalions action at the roundabout. It had also prevented the encirclement of United Nations Headquarters in Elisabethville.
Honours to Captain Gurbachan Singh Salaria
In the 1980, the Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) named fifteen of its crude oil tankers in honour of the PVC recipients. The tanker MT Capt. Gurbachan Singh Salaria, PVC was delivered to SCI on 26th October 1984, and it served for 25 years.
|More Articles in Heroes of Indian Army (2)|