Sixty minutes later, the Air Force was pounding Pakistan's armoured formations.
Led by a 45-year-old who had taken over just a year earlier, the Air Force had stolen the initiative and initial advantage of Pakistan and out-foxed Pakistan Air Force which had top of line US jets as against India's old Gnats and Vampire fighters.
But the man who is considered a legend had any firsts to his credit.
Born in April 1919 when the First World War was ending, Arjan Singh was battle ready by the time the Second World War broke out. By the time the War was over, he received the Distinguished Flying Cross for successfully leading his squadron through many operations on the Burma front.
On 15 August 1947, Arjan Singh had the unique honour of leading the fly-past of more than a 100 air force aircraft over the Red Fort in Delhi.
In recognition of his extraordinary contribution, the government conferred the rank of the Marshal of the Air Force onto Arjan Singh in January 2002.
For some time now, he had been unwell due to age-related health issues but he always made it point to follow his heart.
Two years back, Arjan Singh had come to pay his last respect to former President Abdul Kalam. Many were surprised as he didn't think twice about his failing health, and got up from his wheel chair with a little bit of help to salute the coffin of the former President.
This extraordinary tribute defined the spirit of the man, determined, wise and brave.
He died this evening, 98.