Panaji (Goa): Naval war hero and Kirti Chakra awardee, Commander Noel Kelman, passed away at the age of 92 in Porvorim on Friday following a brief illness, the Navy said.
His funeral took place on Monday at the Holy Family Church Cemetery here and was attended by several serving and retired Naval officers. The Navy accorded him a 12-man Naval guard of honour during the funeral. Commander Kelman was awarded the Kirti Chakra for valour during the liberation of Goa in 1961. He was involved in an operation to flush out the Portuguese from the Anjadip Island.
"The boat, in which he was making the assault, came under heavy fire and three of his sailors were killed and he himself sustained bullet injuries in both his legs. He, however, continued to fight and his determination resulted in the Portuguese being neutralised," the Navy said. Kelman had also been awarded the King's commendation in the Second World War for his role in sinking a Japanese submarine.
Former Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Madhvendra Singh, who was possibly a midshipman during the Liberation of Goa, in a message said, "Kelman and I were on the INS Mysore during the assault on Anjadip island and I saw him coming up the accommodation ladder of INS Mysore, with blood oozing from both his legs. A brave man and a thorough gentleman! May he rest in peace!" He was a founder member of the Goa Branch of the All India Anglo Indian Association.