Captain D.K. Jatar and India’s first international flight

What we know about our grand-uncle Capt.D.K. Jatar (Annakaka), is that he was on board the Kashmir Princess, and tragically lost his life because the plane was sabotaged. He was awarded the Ashok Chakra for his bravery. You can read about him, and his last flight here and here.

malabar-princess-lapoloWhat is less known is that he is a part of Indian Aviation history. In 1948, Air India launched its international operations to Europe. And on June 8, 1948, Malabar Princess (a 40-seater Lockheed L-749 Constellation) flew over 8,047 km from Mumbai to London via Cairo and Geneva. The photo of the airplane been sourced from here.

Air India’s maiden international venture was captained by K.R. Guzdar and D.K. Jatar, and carried 35 passengers, including JRD Tata. You can see the historical record here.

A. First crew

The person on the extreme left is DK Jatar and next to him is Flight Officer Dhuru, Air Stewardess Miss McCay, Radio Officer Sule, Flight Engineer D’Souza, Air Stewardess Miss Callaway, Navigator Maini, Flight Purser Ganesh. This historical photograph was taken by the Captain of the flight, KR Gazder.

Another photograph of the Malabar Princess:

malabar princess

(D.K. Jatar was Bapurao’s youngest son, known as Annakaka in the family. Annakaka was the grandson of Shriram Bhikaji Jatar.)

By Nita Jatar Kulkarni

 

 

 

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