Wing Commander Hardyal Singh Dhillon has been in command of one of our operational Transport Squadrons deployed in J & K since the onset of emergency. This is his second operational tour in this area; first tenure being as a Fighter Pilot during Kashmir operations in 1948. Wg Cdr Dhillon was awarded the Vayu Sena Medal for his outstanding performance during Goa operations in 1961.
Immediately on taking over the Squadron, Wg Cdr Dhillon was faced with the enormously increased task of airĂ‚Âlift of vital supplies to our Army personnel employed in forward areas. In spite of the low manning level and various maintenance difficulties, Wg Cdr Dhillon faced the situation with grim determination, dauntless courage and unflinching devotion to duty. He re-organised his unit to meet the challenge with limited resources at his disposal. Having realized that in order to deliver the goods successfully Dakota aircraft of his unit will have to operate its maximum limits, he led most of the vital and hazardous missions personally and carried out 571 sorties involving more than 1000 hours in a remarkably short period of 20 months. On many days after having flown 8 hours, he had to deal with the administrative problems of his unit and could be seen supervising the servicing of his aircraft, thus ensuring proper running of the unit and a high rate of serviceability.
Inspired by his personal example and devotion to duty the officers and his men cheerfully worked round the clock as a perfect team and kept and much needed supply lines for the Army open throughout the year and thus brought admiration and credit from the troops to the Service. The Squadron completed the assigned airĂ‚Âlift to all the forward airfields and flew 16000 hours in spite of frequent interludes of bad weather within a period of 20 months, which is a remarkable achievement. He, by his careful planning and maintaining rigid discipline, both on the ground and in the air, kept his Squadron accidentĂ‚Âfree throughout this period. In spite of the difficult living and working conditions, Wing Commander Dhillon by taking personal interest in the welfare of his officers and men successfully maintained a very high morale in the Squadron.
Wing Commander Hardyal Singh Dhillon has thus rendered service of most exceptional order.