During the operations against Pakistan in December, 1971, Flight Lieutenant Surinder Singh Malhotra was serving with a FighterBomber Squadron. On the 12th December, 1971 when he was detailed to carry out a photo reconnaissance mission over Risalwala airfield deep in enemy territory, he was required to take the photographs from a height of 4 kilometers in order to cover the entire airfield. The moment he pulled up to the required height he noticed two enemy MiG-19 aircraft flying over the airfield. One of these aircraft was ahead and to his right turning towards him. He skillfully maneuvered his aircraft and positioned himself behind the MiG-19. As soon as the enemy aircraft came within firing range, he opened fire and saw enemy aircraft emitting smoke and going down. After this engagement, he brought his aircraft back to base safely. On earlier occasions he had photographed the same airfield and had brought back excellent photographs, which were of immense value to our operations and planning. In addition, he also carried out a number of close air support and interdiction missions despite heavy ground opposition.
Throughout, Flight Lieutenant Surinder Singh Malhotra displayed gallantry, professional skill and devotion to duty of a high order.