During the operations against Pakistan in December, 1971, Flight Lieutenant Gurdev Singh Rai was serving with a Fighter-Bomber Squadron in the Western Sector. On the 4th December, 1971, he was detailed to carry out a strike mission on a Sakesar Signals Unit Complex. He carried out the mission successfully, causing extensive damage to the installations and aerials of the unit, despite strong air and ground opposition. On the 5th December 1971, he was detailed as leader of a strike mission to the same target. He exhibited conspicuous courage and determination in the face of strong enemy opposition and succeeded in damaging the Radar Unit to the extent that it went off the air completely thereafter. But unfortunately, he could not be contacted thereafter.
Throughout this operation, Flight Lieutenant Gurdev Singh Rai displayed gallantry and leadership of a high order.