The ”Queen”, named after Jarpal in Pakistan, is actually royalty on four wheels, a Willys jeep, sleek, shiny and in shipshape condition, the object of lavish attention at the 3 Grenadier Regiment’s camp, about 40 km from Leh.
The vehicle, with Urdu script on its sides, is a “war trophy” captured from Pakistan during the 1971 conflict.
Once fitted with a recoilless gun, this US-origin jeep now travels across India as a prized possession of the Regiment, which has ensured the almost 50-year-old vehicle moves like a well-oiled machine.
“We captured it during the Jarpal war and it was used by the Pakistani army as a part of their attack plan at Shakargarh border, in Jarpal area of Pakistan. So, it was named Jarpal Queen. From that war, India has two Param Vir Chakra medals,” said Colonel (retd) J S Dhillon.
The two Param Vir Chakra awardees were Colonel Hoshiar Singh from the Grenadier Regiment and Second Lieutenant Arun Khetrapal from the Armoured Regiment.
“It is a ”war trophy” and was shown to VIP guests and was also used during guard of honour for senior officers. It is in great condition and runs very smoothly,” said Colonel Dhillon, a Sena Medal recipient who was commissioned in the 3 Grenadier Regiment in 1982 and now heads the Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering, Gulmarg, under the Ministry of Tourism.