Indian Fighter Pilot call

September 28th, 2010

We got an email from a person who said he had been a fighter pilot for India in the Pakistan-Indian War in 1971, he was visiting his family in the United States and would like to talk to General Yeager.

Well. Let’s think about this. General Yeager was the American military assisting the Pakistanis in their war with India in 1971.

Annnnndddd….We’ve had a couple of emails from India military, who were still fighting against Pakistan in the Kashmir region and they weren’t particularly friendly. Or unfriendly.

So we asked this man to call us. He did. I chatted with him while I looked for General Yeager.

What a wonderful gentleman! And I do mean gentleman. Respectful. Gracious. Kind. He told me, without my asking, that the Pakistanis had not treated the Indian prisoners very badly. But after General Yeager interviewed them, the Pakistanis treated the Indian prisoners very, very well.

So you see, General Yeager is not well thought of for just one flight 63 years ago. It is occurences like this – and there are many – that keep  him in high esteem, even and especially noteworthy, with a former enemy.

I handed the phone to General Yeager. I was so grateful for this conversation. They conversed about the war, about talking in the prison. General Yeager had flown all the Russian planes the Indians were flying so they had much to talk about. The Indian pilots were amazed.

Gen Yeager mentioned that it was a shame – some Indian pilots had shot down a humanitarian plane – the Pakistanis were airlifting wounded Indian POWs to the hospital. The two fighter pilots agreed. No words could express….”That’s war.”

They talked some more – this time about fishing in Alaska, flying, traveling.

The gentleman said he is a farmer now and promised he would stay in contact.

I hope so. Elegant.


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