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Flying Officer Dennis Oman Barty

Service No 3129 Branch GD(P)
Date of Birth: 01 Jan 1925
Date Commissioned 21 May 1945 Course 32 Course
Service End No Details
Remarks : TP 12 Sqn (48), Joined RAF (501786), 30th Sept. 1954
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Notes: 1) Ranks shown are substantive ranks at retirement. 2)Branch is at retirement and may not match with branch at Commission 3)Notional seniority is reflected in dates of substantive rank.

Appointments, Postings & Other Service Particulars

DatesRankUnitLocationAppointmentPhoto
04 Apr 1946 - 01 Aug 1946Plt OffrNo. 7 Squadron, RIAF Fm 151OTU to 12Sqn
18 Aug 1946 - Fg OffrNo. 12 Squadron, RIAFBhopal 
01 Jul 1947 - 12 Aug 1947Fg OffrNo. 6 Squadron, RIAFMauripur 
 
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Awards and Decorations


Number of Awards: 1
 
Vir Chakra
Fg OffrDennis Oman Barty3129 GD(P)Award Date 29 Mar 1948Announced 26 Jan 1950
Details :

On 19th June 1948 at Poonch, information was received from our columns at Potha that there were 12 seriously wounded casualties to be evacuated from Potha. The Austers which were sent there from Jammu for that purpose were only able to evacuate four of them when they ran short of petrol. The petrol which was sent from Jammu during the day was not suitable for the Austers and they could not carry on evacuation of the casualties unless the particular type of petrol was received from Jammu. Contact was made by wireless to Jammu to have the petrol sent up immediately by the next Dak. Unfortunately all the Daks had left Jammu as the weather was closing in and even the request to send a Harvard with this petrol could not be complied with. In the men time a Dak had landed in Poonch piloted by Fg Offr D.O. Barty. He had orders to unload his supplies in Poonch and proceed back to Srinagar. His Dak starboard engine was giving trouble.

The time then was approximately 1500 hours when Maj. Gen. Atma Singh, GOC JA div., who was on the airstrip asked Fg. Off. Barty whether it would be possible for him to go to Jammu, collect the petrol and bring it back to Poonch as there were still 8 casualties to be evacuated from Potha. It was essential to evacuate these 6 casualties as it meant saving their lives and also enabling the column to advance to Mendhar. Since Starboard Engine was defective and the weather had closed down around Jammu Fg. Off. Barty decided on his own initiative to proceed to Potha instead of Jammu and evacuate the casualties to Srinagar in one sortie. He had only a very short time to make up his mind as the weather was closing down around Poonch and Srinagar airfields it was impossible for him to wait for sanction from his H.Q. to land at Potha and evacuate the casualties that evening.

The airstrip at Potha was only between 450 and 500 yards long and 100 feet wide and the surface was in a series of steps and very bumpy. There was only one way of approach to the airstrip as at the other end there was a hill and it seemed absolutely impossible to land a Dakota on that airstrip. The pilots of the Austers found it very difficult themselves to land and informed Flying Officer Barty accordingly. But in spite of advice given by these two officers and all the rest of the officers on the airstrip not to undertake this precarious mission Fg. Off. Barty decided that he had to help those eight lives which were at stake and proceeded to carry out his mission. He said that he had seen this strip during the supply drop in the day and considered that he could land a Dak there. The undertaking was a great success.

The outstanding example of bravery and courage coupled with initiative and soundness of judgment shown by this officer was of the highest order. It was not only a credit to RIAF but it should go down in the annals of aviation as a unique achievement. In comparison to the landing in Poonch and Leh, this will be an unbeaten record which should be given wide publicity.

The gallantry and initiative shown by this officer was beyond the normal call of duty. He was not only responsible for saving eight lives but also for enabling the column to continue to its advance to Mendhar. Fg. Off. D.O. Barty IND/3129 GD (P) displayed extraordinary initiative and took on a responsibility which might have ended in disaster. His action not only helped the lives of the eight men but also enabled our column to continue to its advance to MENDHAR.

Unit : 12 Sqn
Reference : Gazette of India , Extraordinary, No. 2-Pres., dated 26th January, 1950