Abdul Hamid was inducted in the 4th Battalion of The Grenadiers in 1954 and became part of a recoilless gun platoon. After fighting in the 1962 Indo-China War, he was moved to Ambala and made a Company Quarter Master Havildar. But his skills with the recoilless gun meant that he would remain in the thick of action.
Battle Of Asal Uttar
During the 1965 Indo-Pak War, 4th Grenadiers was put in charge of defence of a vital area in Asal Uttar, ahead of Chima village in Punjab’s Khem Karan sector. Company Quarter Master Havildar Abdul Hamid was commanding a recoilless gun (RCL) detachment.
The Pakistanis began a series of attacks on 8 September, to probe the Indian defence. On 10 September, the Pakistanis launched an attack with a regiment of Patton tanks. This was preceded by intense artillery shelling.
“Realising the grave situation, Company Quarter Master Havildar Abdul Hamid, who was commander of a recoilless gun detachment, moved out to a flanking position, with his gun mounted on a jeep, under intense enemy shelling and tank fire. Taking an advantageous position, he knocked out the leading enemy tank and then swiftly changing his position, he sent another tank up in flames. By this time the enemy tanks in the area spotted him and brought his jeep under concentrated machine-gun and high explosive fire. Undeterred, Company Quarter Master Havildar Abdul Hamid kept on firing on yet another enemy tank with his recoilless gun. While doing so, he was mortally wounded by an enemy high explosive shell,” says the citation for the Param Vir Chakra awarded to him.
(Also Read- Lieutenant-Colonel Ardeshir Burzorji Tarapore, other participant in 1965 Indo-Pak War)
After the battle ended, the fields in the area were littered with Pakistani tanks that had either been destroyed or abandoned.
A plaque at a memorial to Abdul Hamid in Asal Uttar village (near Amritsar), says it all:
Never in the history of warfare have so many tanks been destroyed by any infantry man – a feat achieved by CQMH Abdul Hamid of 4 Grenadiers who destroyed eight Pakistani Patton tanks with this 106 Recoilless Gun before laying down his life for the nation. He was awarded Param Vir Chakra posthumously for his daring act. “SARVADA SHAKTISHALI”.