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The 1965 raid on Pakistan’s Sargodha is the inspiration for Akshay Kumar’s Sky Force

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Akshay Kumar's Sky Force
Akshay Kumar's Sky Force

Akshay Kumar recently unveiled his upcoming movie “Sky Force,” an account of India’s 1965 attack movie hit or flop on a Pakistani airbase at Sargodha as retaliation. This untold tale will feature Veer Pahariya as Sq Ldr Ajjamada B Devayya and Akshay Kumar as Group Captain OP Taneja in key roles.

 Akshay Kumar's Sky Force
Akshay Kumar’s Sky Force

On 2 October 2023, Akshay Kumar made an exciting announcement via social media: He will star in a film called Sky Force which tells the true and untold tale of India’s first and deadliest air strike. Sharing a teaser for this project on Gandhi-Shastri Jayanti day (Oct 2), Akshay wrote – “On this Gandhi-Shastri Jayanti day we can celebrate our soldiers, farmers, intellects and anusandhan all at the same time – no better day to share our untold tale about #SkyForce which depicts India’s first and deadliest airstrike ever”.

ETimes has exclusively learned that this movie will depict India’s retaliatory strike against Pakistani Airbase Sargodha in 1965. At that time, Indian and Pakistani Air Forces came into direct confrontation after Pakistani forces launched attacks against Pathankot, Adampur, Halwara and Halwara on 6th September; Indian forces responded the following day with an assault against Sargodha which at that time was considered one of Asia’s most fortified bases; Indian pilots nevertheless conducted this strike causing severe damage against one of Pakistan’s most fortified bases on its most secure base on 8th September causing severe damage despite severe protection by Pakistani forces on 6th September 1965.

Sargodha’s story deserves to be told, as it marks the only instance wherein Indian Air Force awarded posthumously Maha Vir Chakra to one of their fighters.

Reports indicated that during the attack on Sargodha, different aircraft such as Canberras, Mysteres and Hunters were used. Two planes were lost during this operation – one was piloted by Flt. Lt. UB “Babul” Guha who was shot down by enemy missiles; Sq Ldr Ajjamada Boppayya Devayya is reported as missing and presumed killed due to lack of reports regarding their capture by Pakistani forces.

In 1979, Pakistan Air force issued an account of the 1965 war in which one of their premier jets, Lockheed Starfighter F-104 was shot down by an IAF Mystere. This caught Group Captain OP Taneja’s eye who led his 13 aircraft contingent. Following investigations by various sources it was revealed that Sq Ldr Ajjamada Boppayya Devayya who shot down Lockheed and thus saved lives of members en route back home who were on route homeward bound.

Devayya was posthumously awarded with the Maha Vir Chakra in 1988 by his widow. Our sources indicate that debutant Veer Pahariya may portray Sq. Ldr Devayya while Akshay Kumar will play Group Captain OP Taneja. The film is scheduled for release on 2nd October 2024 under Sandeep Kewlani and Abhishek Kapur’s direction and also stars Nimrat Kaur and Sara Ali Khatri as its cast.

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