Number Name Branch Died in Service? Picture?

Wing Commander Vishwanath Balakrishna Sawardekar

Service No & Branch 4593 F(P)
Date of Birth: 31 Mar 1933 Commissioned: 10 Oct 1953 Course: 61 Course
Service End: Died in Service 04 Apr 1972 (39 Years age) Aircraft Loss MiG-21 FL at Hindon. Bird
Qualifications Held :
Remarks :
Promotions Gazetted
Fg Offr : 14 Oct 1954Wg Cdr : 01 Oct 1971
Training and Other Courses Attended
16 APFIC (Fg Offr) -
Badges Qualified
Google the Bharat Rakshak Website for : "V B Sawardekar"
Notes:1)Branch is at retirement and may not match with branch at Commission 2)Notional seniority is reflected in dates of substantive rank.

Appointments, Postings & Other Service Particulars

01 May 1965 - 30 Sep 1965Sqn LdrNo 1. Jet Training WingHakimpet Chief Flying Instructor
08 Jun 1970 - 04 Apr 1972Wg CdrNo.29 SquadronHindon Commanding Officer
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Awards and Decorations

Number of Awards: 2
Kirti Chakra
Sqn LdrVishwanath Balakrishna Sawardekar4593 GD(P)Award Date 10 Sep 1965Announced 15 Aug 1966
Details :

Squadron Leader Vishwanath Balkrishna Sawardekar had been attached to a Fighter reconnaissance squadron for operational duties during the September 1965 operations. On 10th September, 1965, he, along with his copilot, was about to take off on a sortie in a jet trainer, the airfield was suddenly attacked by four Pakistani aircraft as a result of which the trainer aircraft caught fire. Before they could abandon the burning aircraft, the co-pilot’s clothes caught fire; he crawled away from the aircraft but collapsed after removing the top of his burning overall. Sqn. Ldr. Sawardekar received facial injuries. At this stage the ammunition in the aircraft caught fire and began to explode. Without regard for his own safety, Sqn. Ldr. Sawardekar ripped off the remnants of the co-pilot’s overall which was still burning and cut away his burning shoes and socks. He then wrapped his own overall around co-pilot’s body and smothered the flames. He saved the life of his comrade.

Squadron Leader Vishwanath Balkrishna Sawardekar displayed exemplary courage and a spirit of comradeship and devotion to duty which are in the best traditions of the Air Force.

Other Details: Sqn. Ldr Sawardekar along with Sqn Ldr M J Marston were taxiing in a Vampire Trainer at Bagdogra, when the airfield was attacked by Pakistani Sabres. The Vampire was attacked and it caught fire. Sqn. Ldr Sawardekar jumped out of the burning aircraft and rescued his co-pilot inspite of his own injuries and exploding ammunition. Sqn Ldr Sawardekar elected to help his colleague with utter disregard to his personal safety.

Unit : 101 Sqn
Reference : Gazette of India , 8th October 1966 - No.73 - Pres/66 dated 30th September 1966
Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Wg CdrVishwanath Balakrishna Sawardekar4593 F(P)Award Date 26 Jan 1972Announced 26 Jan 1972
Details :

Wing Commander Vishwanath Balakrishna Swardekar was commissioned in Flying Branch of the Indian Air Force on 14th October, 1953. He has served with serval fighter and fighter bomber squadrons of the Air Force. He is a qualified flying instructor and has rendered service in several flying tanning units. Wing Commander Swardekar is presently in command of supersonic fighter squadron. During the Indo-Pak conflict of December, 1971, he had wide responsibilities as his squadron was operating in detachments at three separate locations. He ensured that all the task, including fighter escorts and sweep missions were undertaken successfully. The aircraft of his squadron shot down no fewer than three enemy F-104 Starfighters and one MiG­19. He, himself, though heavily burdened with supervision of his three detachments, was always at the forefront of operational missions undertaken by his aircraft. On 16th December, 1971, he was on a mission to escort other aircraft which was to strike at the enemy. One of the aircraft being escorted was hit by enemy ground fire, and the canopy was shattered, the pilot being severely injured. Wing Commander Swardekar joined the crippled aircraft and escorted it for a distance of 70 nautical miles, much of it over enemy territory, back to its base, keeping up the morale of the injured pilot and guiding him back home. He thus saved the pilot and a valuable aircraft.

Throughout, Wing Commander Vishwanath Balakrishna Swardekar has thus rendered distinguished service of a high order.

Unit : 29 Sqn
Reference : GoI19720126

Accidents and Incidents: 1

DateAircraft TypeTail NoPilot/CrewUnitRemarks
04 Apr 1972MiG-21 FLWg Cdr Vishwanath Balakrishna Sawardekar +
29 SqnBirdhit over Hindon
The data in the header section of this page comes from the Gazette of India - Click here to see the source
Note: All the data available here is publicly available in the Gazette of India, published by the Indian Government, or from public domain sources, press releases about Awards and Right-To-Information (RTI) Requests. Additionally data shared by veterans is added to the page with permission. No data with respect to serving officers below the rank of AVM is displayed. Information in Gazette of India and Award citations and photographs as released by the Indian Air Force are the only details displayed.