|Service No & Branch||10191 F(P)|
|Date of Birth: 11 Jan 1943||Commissioned: 13 Mar 1966||Course: 95 Course|
|Service End:||Retired on 04 Jul 1981 / Died on 03 Jul 2012|
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|Flt Lt||Winston Rabinder Sanjeeva Rao||10191 F(P)||Award Date||Announced 26 Jan 1972|
|Details :|| |
During the operations against Pakistan in December, 1971, Flight Lieutenant Winston Rabinder Sanjeeva Rao (10191) was attached to a Brigade in the Rajasthan area for duties as a forward Air Controller in the Air Contact Team of the Brigade. The duty of an Air Contact Team requires its members to position themselves at vantage points in the battle zones, from where they can see enemy targets, and to guide the pilots of attacking aircraft on to the desired targets by radio. On the 5th December, 1971, a platoon patrol of the Army came under heavy enemy artillery, mortar and machine gun fire. A company of troops was rushed to help the patrol, and Flight Lieutenant Rao was detailed to accompany them. He rushed to the area on a camel and took up a position on a dominating sand dune, exposed to enemy fire, from where he could direct our aircraft on to the enemy positions. Again on the 7th December, 1971, a company of the Army was under heavy enemy fire at Saidan and asked for an air strike to take place at 1715 hours. Flight Lieutenant Rao volunteered to proceed to the spot to carry out FAC duties, although he knew that Saidan was 52 kilometers away across the desert, including 12 kilometers through enemy territory, and that it was already 1200 hours. He succeeded in reaching the road head at 1400 hours and then having organised a patrol led it himself, carrying his radio set along with him on a camel. He succeeded in reaching Saidan well in time to direct the air strike very successfully and returned to the Battalion Headquarter on the 11th December, 1971. On the 14th December, 1971, at about 1000 hrs, the Saidan defended position was surrounded by an enemy battalion, and by 1400 hours it came under heavy enemy pressure. Once more, Flight Lieutenant Rao volunteered to go to the area to dire strike aircraft against the besieging enemy troops. He left the Battalion Headquarters in a jeep with his radio set and after linking with a patrol from one of the companies, managed to get through to the surrounded Saidan position. The enemy attack was beaten back, but during the night, they built up again for another attack. An air strike was called for at 0830 hours on 15th December 1971, and this was excellently directed by Flight Lieutenant Rao as a result of which the enemy was forced to withdraw having suffered heavy casualties in men and equipment.
Throughout, Flight Lieutenant Winston Rabinder Sanjeeva Rao displayed gallantry, professional skill and devotion to duty of a high order.
|Unit : 49 Sqn|
|Reference : Gazette of India , 29th July 1972 - No.92 - Pres/72 dated 18th July 1972|