New Delhi. 29 March 2021. Lieutenant General WAG Pinto, Param Vishisht Seva Medal (Retd), departed for his heavenly abode on 25 Mar 2021 at the age of 97 years. He is survived by his son Cdr Kevin Pinto (Retd).
Lieutenant General JS Nain, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Sena Medal, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Command along with other serving and retired personnel laid wreath to pay homage to the departed soul at a solemn ceremony held on Sunday at Pune. The Army Commander along with all ranks expressed deep condolences at the demise of the General Officer.
Lieutenant General WAG Pinto was popularly known for his dynamic leadership as GOC 54 Inf Div in the Battle of Basantar, during 1971 war. The General Officer was commissioned into 13 Frontier Force on 12 September 1943. Post-independence he joined the Brigade of Guards. He retired as General Officer Commanding-In-Chief, Central Command and also Colonel of the RAJPUT Regiment. The General’s motto in life was ‘Bash on Regardless’, a term he had coined to motivate his division in 1971 war.
The General was settled in Pune, he was better known as the “Victor of Basantar” for leading 54 Infantry Division to victory in 1971 Indo-Pak War in what is arguably the country’s most famous battle. In the legendary battle, Pinto’s division won as many as 196 Gallantry Medals in just 14 days of fierce fighting including two Param Vir Chakras and nine Maha Vir Chakras.
For a man who had led from the front, the General had a simple definition of leadership. He said, “To begin with, a good leader must have a strong personality and a good sense of humour. He must be able to inspire his men to do what he wants them to do”.