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Group Captain Alagaraja Perumal

Service No 17150 Branch F(P)
Date of Birth: 04 Oct 1962
Date Commissioned 28 May 1983 Course 131 Course
Service End Retired on 31 Dec 2008 / Died on 07 Jan 2012
Remarks :
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Awards and Decorations


Number of Awards: 1
 
Shaurya Chakra
Wg CdrAlagaraja Perumal17150 F(P)Award Date 21 May 1999Announced 26 Jan 2006
Details :

Wing Commander Alagaraja Perumal was tasked on a vital Photographic Reconnaissance mission on 21st May, 1999 near the Line of Control over Dras, Kargil and Batalik sectors with two MiG-29 aircraft as escorts.

During the mission, at about 0900 hours, after photographing Batalik sector, he experienced a violent jolt accompanied by uncontrolled yaw and roll. The escort aircraft reported bright flash along with debris flying off and smoke emanating from recce aircraft's starboard engine. The aircraft had been hit by a missile. Despite the grave, life threatening situation, Wing Commander Perumal maintained his cool and displaying exceptional skill and courage, he managed to exit the threat zone. One of the engines was completely lost and the aircraft had suffered severe damage. Radio reception was garbled and intermittent, he could not hear the extent of damage caused by missile hit. The aircraft was behaving abnormally by yawing and rolling violently. Even in this dangerous situation, Wing Commander Perumal decided not to abandon the aircraft but retrieve the valuable equipment and above all the precious “mission photographs” on board. He took a daring decision of recovering crippled aircraft to the nearest airfield at Srinagar. He controlled the aircraft and kept in his cool inspite of the requirement of continuous descent to maintain speed over the hilly terrain. He displayed exceptional courage, determination and flying skill in controlling a crippled asymmetric powered aircraft for 45 minutes before executing a landing at Srinagar.

Wing Commander Alagaraja Perumal displayed gallantry and extraordinary professional courage in recovering damaged aircraft in total disregard to his personal safety.

Unit : 106 Sqn
Reference : Notification No. 36-Pres/2006 dated 26th January, 2006 published in Part 1, Section 1, Gazette of India dated 18th March, 2006.

Additional Notes

Remarks: via Wg Cdr Raju Srinivasan (email) Note added: 2012-01-10

 

With regret I informed you that Gp Capt A Perumal, SC, (17150) (Retd) passed away early hours yesterday in Salem, TN (about 155 kms from Coimbatore / Bangalore). He was with his family at a picnic with his school mates (Sainik School, Amravithinagar) on Saturday, 06 Jan 12, when his had a massive heart attack. He was rushed to a hospital and later passed away.
Gp Capt Perumal, after retiring from the IAF, was a pilot with Indigo and, later, joined a Charter company in the Bangalore. He was awarded Shaurya Charka on 26th Jan 2006 for his gallant action in the 1999 Kargil Conflict (he was awarded five years later!). During his recce mission on the Canberra, his aircraft was hit by a missile, crippling one engine. He managed to fly away from the conflict zone and landed in Srinagar.
On a personal note, Perumal was student in DSSC (2002-03) when I was his DS.  . A humble and gentleman to the core. We will miss him!
Our prayers are for Mrs Perumal and his daughter (studying in Australia) and his son (Class XI in Bangalore) to bear with this loss.