Kirti Chakra Awardee List


A total of 34 Awards are listed.
Pages 1
Kirti Chakra
Flt Lt Ulrich Anthony D'Cruz 3296 GD(P)Unit : 7 Sqn  Award Date 01 Dec 47 Announced 26 Jan 52
Details :

Flt. Lt. U. A. D’Cruz while carrying out an offensive reconnaissance over the AKHNURBHIMBER area was shot down and captured by Pathan tribesmen on 1st December 1947. He remained a prisoner with the tribesmen and later with the Pakistan Army, until December, 1948 when he was returned to India under a scheme for the exchange of prisoners of war.

While a prisoner, Flt. Lt. D’Cruz was often beaten and threatened with death by his captors but neither ill-treatment nor the offer of monetary rewards could undermining his loyalty to his country or his service.

The fortitude and devotion to duty displayed by Flt. Lt. D’Cruz while a prisoner of war is in accordance with the highest traditions of his service and an example to his fellow officers and men.

Reference: Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Notification No. 17-Pres/52 dated 26th January, 1952 

Kirti Chakra
Sgt Ram Chandra Dua 21075 ORUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 30 Jan 48 Announced 26 Jan 52
Details : Sgt. Dua was responsible for apprehending the culprit who threw a bomb at Mahatma Gandhi on 20 Jan 48. The Bomb thrower Madan Lal was in possession of a Grenade and Sgt. Dua held onto him at the risk of his own life.
Reference: Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Notification No. 17-Pres/52 dated 26th January, 1952 

Kirti Chakra
Sgt Dev Raj Singh 10052 ORUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 30 Jan 48 Announced 26 Jan 52
Details : Sgt. Dev Raj Singh caught Nathuram Godse who had fired on Mahatma Gandhi on 30 Jan 48 and snatched away the Pistol from the Assassin by force. Godse was carrying the Loaded pistol and Sgt. Singh exposed himself to great Personal Risk in grappling with him
Reference: Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Notification No. 17-Pres/52 dated 26th January, 1952 

Kirti Chakra
Flt Lt Raizada Harbans Chawdry 2952 AE(M)Unit : 12 Sqn  Award Date 06 Oct 49 Announced 26 Jan 53
Details :

At about 1430 hours on the 6th October, 1951 an Indian Air Force Dakota crashed in Turkey, and resulted in the death of five aircrew, including Air Commodore Narendra. Flt. Lt. R.H. Chawdhry was one of two survivors of that accident. When the aircraft crashed, Flt. Lt. Chawdhry was thrown clear of the wreckage, and sustained serious injuries on his arm and knee. In spite of this he showed extraordinary courage and self sacrifice. His action after the crash was a noble example of conspicuous bravery and calmness in the most trying circumstances. He dragged the other survivor, Pilot Officer M.M. Dutt, who was unconscious and whose thigh bone was fractured, from the burning aircraft and thus saved the life of a comrade from certain death by fire. He then rushed to aid the other victims and succeeded in smothering the flames with his rain coat and in spite of the heat and smoke attempted to put out the entrapped persons from the wreckage. He did not stop his efforts against overwhelming odds until the main tank of the aircraft exploded and thus made further effort on his part impossible.

He improvised arrangements for the safety of the other survivor, Pilot Officer M.M. Dutt and walked 6 to 7 miles with utmost difficulty, through the great part of the night, through unknown mountainous territory to help.

Reference: Notification No. 22-Pres/53 dated 25th July, 1953 published in Part 1, Section 1, Gazette of India dated 1st August. 1953. 

Kirti Chakra
MWO Oruganti Sunderesiya 6084 AE(M)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 01 May 50 Announced 26 Jan 51
Details :

On 1st May, 1950 Flt. Sgt. O. Sundaresiya, having noticed that a fire had broken out in one of the compartments of the 603 Down Jhansi Lucknow Passenger between Chirgaon and Moth Stations. As pulling the emergency communications cord failed to stop the train, he climbed out of his carriage and working his way along the foot boards at great personal risk, got as near to the engine as possible, attracted the attention of the engine crew and thus succeeded in bringing the train to a stop. But for his timely action, there might have been many causalities among the passengers and heavy damage to Railway property.

Reference:  

Kirti Chakra
Wg Cdr Edul Jahangir Dhatigara 1899 GD(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 27 Mar 56 Announced 23 Jan 59
Details :

During the operation in the Naga Hills, the outpost garrison at Sakhai was cut off on 27th March 1956 and the hostiles kept up the attack on the outpost throughout the night. Next morning an emergency message was received that unless an immediate airdrop of water and ammunition was carried out at Sakhai, the garrison would have no means of defence. The aircraft which had flown on a normal sortie earlier that day had reported fast deterioration of weather and had suggested stoppages of further flying. The garrison commander pressed that the airdrop was absolutely essential. In the circumstances Wing Commander Dhatigara decided to make the attempt himself. There was also the requirement that the airdrop should be made in a zone of 40 yards by 20 yards. On reaching the spot Wing Commander Dhatigara found that dropping zone was partially covered and the air was very turbulent. After the first run-in, the outpost informed the aircraft that dropping circuit should be changed as the aircraft was being fired upon when passing over the villages of Sakhai, Vishyepu and Khivi. But due to clouds no other circuit was possible. Wing Commander Dhatigara, disregarding the advice from the outpost continued the airdropping operations in spite of bad weather and automatic fire from the hostiles. The supply of water and ammunition was successfully delivered to the garrison in good time and good condition.

By volunteering to carry out the airdrop under very adverse weather conditions and in the face of heavy automatic fire Wing Commander Edul Jahangir Dhatigara displayed initiative, courage and skill which was in the best traditions of the I.A.F.

Reference: Notification No. 23-Pres/58 dated 15th September, 1958 published in Part 1, Section 1, Gazette of India dated 20th September, 1958.  

Kirti Chakra
Sqn Ldr Nedyam Bhaskar Menon 2994 GD(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 28 Jan 56 Announced 26 Jan 59
Details :

On 19th June, 1956 a detachment of 3 Sikh Light Infantry while acting in “aid to civil Power” at Khonoma in Naga Hills was completely surrounded by heavily armed hostiles. Their supplies of food and water from the loyal Nagas were cut off shortly thereafter. An emergency request was therefore made to the nearest I.A.F. Station for airdrop of water and food. Two attempts made on the 26th and the 27th June failed due to inclement weather. On 28th June Sqn Ldr Menon, the Detachment Commander, personally took up a Dakota with the requisite supplies. In spite of bad weather and continuous heavy automatic fire of the aircraft and although the dropping zone was very narrow being only 40 yards by 15 yards, Sqn Ldr Menon with extraordinary courage, skill and utter disregard for his personal safety successfully dropped food and water to the garrison. His daring feet saved the garrison and enabled it to hold on till relief came. He repeated this performance under similar hazardous conditions on 1st July, 1956.

The action of Sqn Ldr Nedyam Bhaskar Menon was in keeping with the best traditions of the I.A.F.

Reference: Notification No. 23-Pres/58 dated 15th September, 1958 published in Part 1, Section 1, Gazette of India dated 20th September, 1958.  

Kirti Chakra
Sqn Ldr Reginald Azariah Rufus 3319 GD(P)Unit : Air HQ and Comm  Award Date 26 Feb 57 Announced 26 Jan 59
Details :

On 26th February 1957, the Prime Minister and his party were travelling from Mangalore to Raipur in a twin-engined I.A.F. plane piloted by Sqn. Ldr. Rufus. About an hour and a quarter after taking off, fire and considerable vibration in the port engine were noticed. Immediate steps were taken to put out the fire. With one of the two engines out of action, Sqn. Ldr. Rufus decided to land at a disused kutcha landing strip at Raichur 25 miles away-the nearest regularly used airfield being more than 80 miles. By exceptionally accurate judgment and flying skill he made a perfect landing thus ensuring complete safety of the Prime Minister and his party.

Throughout this incident, Sqn. Ldr. Rufus handled the plane with cool courage and skill in the best traditions of Indian Air Force.

Reference: Notification No. 37-Pres/59 dated 17th July, 1959 published in Part 1, Section 1, Gazette of India dated 1st August, 1959. 

Kirti Chakra
Sqn Ldr Ayyappan Sudhakaran 3937 GD(P)Unit : A&ATU  Award Date 04 Jun 60 Announced 04 Mar 61
Details :

On the 4th of June, 1960, Suqadron Leader Ayappan Sudhakaran was carrying out a test flight in a Gnat aircraft – the only one of its kind in India – which was fully instrumented when the engine flamed out at low altitude. He could have abandoned the aircraft and saved his own life but decided to save the aircraft by attempting a forced-landing. In this gallant attempt he lost his life.

Squadron Leader Ayappan Sudhakaran had been a test pilot for nearly three years at Kanpur during which period he made numerous test flights in which he faced great risk to his life and displayed outstanding flying ability and technical knowledge of a very high order. In this incident in which he lost his life he showed courage, devotion to duty and determination in the highest traditions of the Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India , 4th March 1961 - No.16 - Pres/61 dated 27th February 1961 

Kirti Chakra
Flt Lt Bal Krishan Desoares 4502 GD(P)Unit : 43 Sqn  Award Date 01 May 61 Announced 15 Aug 62
Details :

On 1st May 1961 Flt. Lt. Desoares was engaged in a sortie to drop food supplies to an Army detachment on the northeastern border. While nearing the dropping zone, he noticed that his Dakota was losing height very rapidly due to a down draught. Despite all the corrective actions taken, the aircraft-continued to go out of control. Flt. Lt. Desoares, with great presence of mind, skillfully directed the aircraft out of the wooded area and landed it on the snowcovered portion of the hill. On impact, a fuel tank of the aircraft caught fire and a portion of the aircraft disintegrated. Flt. Lt. Desoares though injured managed to extricate himself from the crashed aircraft and pulled his copilot out. He then rushed to the rear of the burning aircraft, in utter disregard of his personal safety, to rescue other personnel who might be injured or trapped.

Flt. Lt. Desoares continued to help his comrades and managed to rescue two of the Army ejection personnel. Thereafter he proceeded to recover the bodies of other crew members from the burning aircraft again disregarding his own personal safety.

Due to the psychological state of the survivors and the extent of their injuries, Flt. Lt. Desoares decided to keep his party near the aircraft for the next two days. With hardly any food, water, or warm clothing, he, by his personal example, infused confidence and courage in the survivors which helped them to pass two nights in a blizzard.

On the third day Flt. Lt. Desoares decided to leave the place of the accident and skillfully led the survivors through treacherous moun tainous terrain and forests with thick undergrowth to safety.

Throughout the operation, Flt. Lt. Desoares displayed the highest form of leadership and devotion to duty, in keeping with the best traditions of the Air Force. His exemplary action will be a source of inspiration to other pilots engaged in similar missions over difficult terrain.

Reference: Notification No. 10-Pres/62 dated 26th January,1962 published in Part 1, Section 1, Gazette of India dated 26th January, 1950.  

Kirti Chakra
Flt Lt Raj Kumar Mehta 4102 GD(P)Unit : 23 Sqn  Award Date 09 Nov 60 Announced 26 Jan 62
Details :

On 9th November 1960, Flt. Lt. R.K. Mehta was detailed to fly a Gnat aircraft. While coming in to land at Palam airfield his engine flamed out due to a bird entering the intake. Though the engine had flamed out at a low height, Flt. Lt. Mehta did not abandon the aircraft but proceeded to attempt a landing fully aware of the risk to his life. He was not, however, able to make a safe landing and died instantaneously as a result of belated ejection.

Flt. Lt. Mehta was an experienced pilot and he was fully familiar with the Gnat aircraft. He faced the emergency with a remarkable degree of calmness and courage and did not even spare his life in his attempt to save his valuable aircraft. This selfless act of Flt. Lt. Mehta, his devotion to duty and personal courage were in the highest traditions of the Air Force.

Reference: Notification No. 10-Pres/62 dated 26th January, 1962 published in Part I, Section I of the Gazette of India dated 26th January, 1962.  

Kirti Chakra
Fg Offr Vaidyanathan Ganesan 30039 AUXUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 12 Mar 61 Announced 26 Jan 62
Details :

On 12th March 1961, Flying Officer, V. Ganesan of the Auxiliary Air Force, along with Flying Officer C.R. Mohan (Aux. A. F.) while on an instrument flying training exercise in a Harvard aircraft, was faced with an emergency due to excessive vibration of the engine. In spite of corrective action by Flying officer Ganesan, the aircraft continued to lose height. As captain of the aircraft he ordered flying officer Ram Mohan to abandon the aircraft, which he did. As he was about to follow suit flying officer Ganesan noticed a village in the immediate vicinity. Appreciating that the aircraft, if abandoned, would crash in the village and possibly cause death or injures to a number of innocent people, he stayed back and manoeuvred the aircraft away from the village. In doing this, he was fully aware of the risk to his own life but even so in deliberate disregard of his personal safety he attempted a crash landing away from the village and sacrificed his life.

Flying Officer Ganesan displayed airmanship and courage of high order and has set a noble tradition of bravery and self sacrifice for the Auxiliary Air Force.

Reference: Notification No. 10-Pres/62 dated 26th January,1962 published in Part 1, Section 1, Gazette of India dated 26th January, 1950.  

Kirti Chakra
Flt Lt Madhusudhan Ray 5004 GD(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 12 Oct 61 Announced 26 Jan 62
Details :

On 12th October, 1961, Flight Lieutenant Madhusudan Ray (5004) GD(P), Captain of a Dakota aircraft while engaged on a training flight had to crash-land the aircraft at Mahesh owing to loss of power immediately after take-off from Barrackpore airfield. He deliberately manoeuvred his aircraft so as to crash-land in the only available open space between inhabited multi-storeyed buildings. A crash into any of these buildings would have caused extensive damage to life and property. Flight Lieutenant Madhusudan Ray was able to ward off what might have been a disaster of great magnitude and in doing so sacrificed his own life and those of his crew.

In saving the lives of others, Flight Lieutenant Madhusudan Ray displayed gallantry, skill and spirit of self-sacrifice, which are in keeping with the highest traditions of the Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India , 3rd February 1962 - No.19 - Pres/62 dated 26th January 1962 

Kirti Chakra
Flt Lt Karan Sher Singh Kalsia 4474 GD(P)Unit : 7 Sqn  Award Date 19 Jan 61 Announced 10 Sep 62
Details :

On 19th January, 1961, while on a training flight, Flight Lieutenant Kalsia found that the engine of his aircraft had flamed out. The aircraft was heading towards Jamnagar city and had he bailed out and abandoned the aircraft, it would have crashed in the city, causing extensive damage to life and property. Realising this, Flight Lieutenant Kalsia turned his aircraft away from the populated area and in doing so lost valuable height. He then attempted a force landing as he was left with no other option and was killed in the attempt.

Flight Lieutenant Kalsia displayed courage of a very high order and gave his own life to avoid an accident which might have resulted in the loss of several other lives. His gallant action was in the highest traditions of the Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India , 22nd September 1962 - No.55 - Pres/62 dated 10th September 1962 

Kirti Chakra
Flt Lt Jagan Nath Vijayaragahvan 4483 GD(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 14 May 62 Announced 10 Sep 62
Details :

On 14th May 1962, Flight Lieutenant Vijayaraghavan was on an instructional sortie with Pilot Officer Evans as pupil. During a spinning exercise by the pupil, it was noticed that the aircraft failed to come out of the spin. At this moment, Flight Lieutenant Vijayaraghavan, took over the controls of the aircraft which however still failed to respond and started losing height rapidly. He twice ordered Pilot Officer Evans to bale out but by the time the latter did so, the aircraft had reached too low a height for Flight Lieutenant Vijayaraghavan to abandon it. Pilot Officer Evans escaped with minor injuries. The aircraft crashed killing Flight Lieutenant Vijayaraghavan instantaneously.

Flight Lieutenant Vijayaraghavan displayed conspicuous gallantry and a spirit of supreme self-sacrifice in saving the life of his pupil which was in the highest traditions of the Indian Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India , 22nd September 1962 - No.55 - Pres/62 dated 10th September 1962 

Kirti Chakra
Sqn Ldr Vishwanath Balakrishna Sawardekar 4593 GD(P)Unit : 101 Sqn  Award Date 10 Sep 65 Announced 15 Aug 66
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.

Reference: Gazette of India , 8th October 1966 - No.73 - Pres/66 dated 30th September 1966 

Kirti Chakra
Cpl Sukumar Ghosh 231479 ORUnit : 4 Sqn  Award Date 09 Nov 66 Announced 26 Jan 68
Details :

On 9th November 1966, at about 1030 hours, an operational fighter trainer aircraft with two pilots on board crashed while making an emergency landing at one of the forward airfields. Corporal Sukumar Ghosh was working in the dispersal area at that time rushed towards the aircraft. When he reached the scene, the fire had already started to spread. Unmindful of his personal safety, he first rescued the injured pilot in the burning rear cockpit. He then went forward to the front cockpit, and with the assistance of another airman, successfully unstrapped the injured and semi unconscious pilot and carried him out of the cockpit. He then went back to the front cockpit to salvage the parachutes out of the burning wreckage. By this time the rear cockpit was fully engulfed by flames. Despite this, he entered the front cockpit for the second time to salvage the parachutes. It is only when he was ordered by his officers present on the spot to desist from making further efforts that he gave up the attempt most reluctantly

Throughout, Corporal Sukumar Ghosh displayed exemplary courage and initiative.


On 9 Nov 66, Cpl Ghosh observed a MiG-21 U fighter-trainer crash and catch fire on the runway of the airfield. he immediately ran to the scene and rescued the injured pilot from the rear seat unmindful of his own safety. Then he carried the pilot from the front seat in an injured and semi conscious state to a place of safety. Both the pilots recovered safely later on.

Reference: Gazette of India , 6th April 1968 - No.24 - Pres/68 dated 26th January 1968 

Kirti Chakra
Flt Lt Kuldip Kumar Sharma 7584 METUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 17 May 70 Announced 26 Jan 72
Details :

On the 17th May 1970, at one of the forward airfields, a major grass fire broke out covering a large area around the Bomb Dump. Flight Lieutenant Kuldeep Kumar Sharma was the first officer to arrive at the spot and to lead the fire crew trying to control it. With the help from the small fire crew, he bravely fought the fire till more men arrived. Due to wind, the grass inside the Bomb Dump, the empty crates and the tarpaulins covering the High Explosive Bombs caught fire. Undeterred he kept on fighting the fire even when some stores began exploding.

Throughout, Flight Lieutenant Kuldeep Kumar Sharma displayed conspicuous gallantry and determination of a very high order.

Reference: Gazette of India , ??th August 1972 - No.93 - Pres/72 dated 26th January 1972 

Kirti Chakra
Flt Sgt Moj Prakash Puri 34629 ORUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 17 May 70 Announced 26 Jan 72
Details :

On 17th May 1970, a major grass fire broke out at a forward Air Force base covering a very large area around the Mechanical Transport Section and the Bomb Dump. Due to wind the fire spread into the Bomb Dump and the tarpaulins covering high explosive bombs and the grass around the building caught fire. Flight Sergeant MOJ Parkash Puri, as Senior Non commissioned Officer-in-Charge of the fire Section, gave an excellent account of himself and guided the fire crew throughout the fire fighting operations, in a cool and systematic manner. Regardless of his personal safety, he remained on the spot even when some of the stores began to explode.

In this action, Flight Sergeant MOJ Parkash Puri displayed conspicuous gallantry, determination and devotion to duty of a very high order.

Reference: Gazette of India , ??th August 1972 - No.93 - Pres/72 dated 26th January 1972 

Kirti Chakra
Sqn Ldr Deepak Yadav 8991 F(P)Unit : ASTE  Award Date 28 Sep 76 Announced 26 Jan 78
Details :

Squadron Leader Deepak Yadav was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in 1964. He served as in Squadron pilot in an operational fighter squadron for six years. During the Indo-Pak Conflict, 1971, he flew 20 operational missions deep into enemy territory with unflagging zeal and complete disregard for personal safety. For this he was mentioned in Despatches. An excellent fighter Squadron Pilot during his entire service period, he later volunteered for flight testing and made a significant contribution to test flying and the development of indigenous aircraft and systems.

On the 28th September, 1976, he was flight testing an aircraft to examine a specific problem area which he himself had identified on two previous flights. During the course of this flight-test, the aircraft experienced a structural failure resulting in complete loss of control. Squadron leader Deepak Yadav sacrificed his life in his cause of test flying.

Squadron Leader Deepak Yadav thus displayed conspicuous courage, determination and devotion the duty of a high order.


On 28 Sep 76, Sqn Ldr Deepak Yadav along with Flt Lt Ramesh Chandra Ghidiyal, were testflying a Kiran trainer to examine a specific problem area which he himself had discovered. During the course of the Airtest, the aircraft suffered structural failure and crashed killing both the pilots. Sqn Ldr Deepak Yadav, who had earlier in the 71 War had flown over 20 sorties, lost his life to the cause of testflying.
Reference: Gazette of India , 8th April 1978 - No.13 - Pres/78 dated 26th January 1978 

Kirti Chakra
Gp Capt Denzil Keelor 4805 F(P)Unit : TACDE  Award Date 27 Mar 78 Announced 26 Jan 79
Details : On the 27th March, 1978, while Group Captain Denzil Keelor was flying a combat aircraft at high altitude, its canopy flew off and this exposed him to explosive decompression ad severe wind blast. His eyes, ear-drum and left arm were injured and he experienced great difficulty in controlling the aircraft. Although abandoning the aircraft in the circumstances would have been justified, he decided to recover the aircraft. Under these adverse conditions, wherein he was not able to have a proper view due to wind blast, and that too only with one eye, he brought the aircraft back to base and executed a safe emergency landing.

Again, on 17th May 1978, during a live airto-air sortie, a 23 mm High Explosive shell burst as it left the gun muzzle. Shrapnel damaged the aircraft and caused total failure and a serious throttle restriction. The cone extended fully and the associated engine rumbling and surge gave every indication of engine bearing failure. Without electric instruments and Radio Telephony, Group Captain Keelor had no way of either knowing what had happened or of asking for assistance. Assuming that the engine bearing had failed, he decided to attempt am emergency recovery. With his flying skill and experience, he returned to the airfield, set up a flame out pattern and executed a safe landing. The throttle was stuck at 60% revolutions per minute, and in spite of this he was able to stop the aircraft without damage.

Group Captain Denzil Keelor thus displayed conspicuous courage, exemplary professional skill and devotion to duty of an exceptional order.


Gp. Capt. Keelor who had rich and wide combat experience and the destruction of a Sabre aircraft to his credit, was flying a MiG-21 FL on 27 Mar 78, when due to structural failure the canopy of the aircraft detached and flew off. Gp Capt Keelor felt sudden decompression and loss of control, but managed to fly back to base and execute a safe emergency landing without the canopy. Later on 17 May 78, during firing trials one of the 23 mm Cannon Shells exploded causing extensive damage and total electrical failure to his aircraft. He sucessfully executed another safe landing back at his airbase.

Reference: Gazette of India , 28th April 1979 - No.15 - Pres/78 dated 26th January 1979 

Kirti Chakra
Flt Lt Anil Kumar Mathur 13591 F(P)Unit : 220 Sqn  Award Date 25 Nov 80 Announced 26 Jan 81
Details :

On the 25th November 1980, Flight Lieutenant Anil Kumar Mathur was authorised to air test a Marut aircraft. On getting airborne, he experienced excessive skid to the right. Flt Lt Mathur initiated corrective action which failed to stabilise the aircraft. He also observed that the temperature of the right engine had significantly dropped following the engine failure and the position of the tail plane setting was abnormal.

When Flight Lieutenant Anil Kumar Mathur decided to execute an immediate landing, he experienced a total hydraulic failure which made the controls and other systems inoperative. Consequently, on lowering the undercarriage, he found it very difficult to maintain level flight as trimmer was inoperative and on the lowering of the flaps for landing, he had to use his full physical strength to control the aircraft. Subsequently, he succeeded in landing the aircraft safely and made it available for fault investigation.

Flight Lieutenant Anil Kumar Mathur thus exemplary courage, presence of mind and professional competence of a high order.

Reference: Gazette of India , 4th April 1981 - No.?? - Pres/81 dated 26th January 1981 

Kirti Chakra
Flt Lt Shankar Iyer Chandrasekhar 13436 ADMUnit : Air Defence College  Award Date 21 Nov 81 Announced 26 Jan 82
Details :

On the 21st November, 1981, Flight Lieutenant Sankara Iyer Chandrashekhar (13436) Administrative was proceeding by train on his annual leave to Madras by LucknowJhansi Express and was travelling in a First Class compartment along with three other copassengers, all Railway employees. At about 2330 Hours when the train was between Malana and Lalpur railway stations (59 KMs from Kanpur), four armed robbers forced their way into their compartment. One of the passengers was stabbed. Awakened by the disturbance and responding immediately to the victim’s cries for help, Flight Lieutenant Chandrasekhar jumped down from his berth and grappled with the armed robbers while also attempting to pull the alarm chain. At this stage, one of the intruders shot the officer on his right temple at close range with a country made revolver killing him on the spot. Immediately thereafter, the armed robbers escaped under the cover of darkness without inflicting any further injury to the passengers. The circumstances under which Flight Lieutenant Chandrashekar gave his life were obviously such that only a person with abundant courage and steeped in the highest traditions of ‘Service before self’ could respond in the manner he did. Knowing fully well that he was facing a group of desperados not only armed with lethal weapons, but also unhesitating in using them, the officer reacted with reflexes of a well trained and disciplined member of the Air Force.

During the entire episode Flight Lieutenant Sankara Iyer Chandrashekhar displayed conspicuous bravery and courage of the highest order and laid down his life in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India , 3rd April 1982 - No.?? - Pres/82 dated 26th January 1982 

Kirti Chakra
Sqn Ldr Vishwanathan Nagarajan 8753 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 08 Jul 82 Announced 26 Jan 83
Details :

On the 8th July, 1982 at approximately 1100 hours, while on a RTR commitment from Madras to Cochin in a Dakota aircraft at 8000’, Squadron Leader Visvanathan Nagarajan (8753), Flying (Pilot), experienced vibration on the starboard engine. He decided to divert to Yelahanka-Bangalore. Since the vibrations on the engine kept increasing and the aircraft started losing height, he decided to feather the engine and ejected the load to reduce the weight of the aircraft. With the use of emergency methods, the propeller did not feather and the aircraft kept going down very fast. Realising the gravity of the situation and knowing that he would not be able to reach Bangalore or any other airfield, he decided to force land the aircraft in a lake-bed, which was the only clear place within reach and amongst generally mountainous terrain, under cloudy weather condition. He carried out a copy book forced landing and the aircraft settled in the lake in approximately three feet of water. Squadron Leader Visvanathan Nagarajan handled this grave emergency very successfully and thus saved not only valuable lives on board but more on ground.

Squadron Leader Visvanathan Nagarajan thus displayed exemplary professional skill, competence and devotion to duty of a high order.

Reference: Gazette of India , 19th March 1983 - No.13 - Pres/83 dated 26th January 1983 

Kirti Chakra
Sqn Ldr Hari Nath Chaturvedi 11161 MEDUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 83 Announced 26 Jan 84
Details :

Squadron Leader Hari Nath Chaturvedi VM (11161) Medical, was selected as a medical officer o the Second Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica 1982-83 where he organised the medical facilities during the entire expedition, under extremely unfavourable weather conditions.

On the 19th February, 1983, when only three scientists remained at the Antarctica Base Camp, Squadron Ldr Chaturvedi volunteered to stay back at the camp rather than return to the relative comforts of the ship. During the early hours of the morning, the camp was struck by a severe blizzard with a wind velocity of 130 Kmph, when the visibility became almost zero and temperatures fell to -15°C. Within minutes the entire camp was a scene of utter destruction and devastation. All the tents housing the scientific equipment and kitchen were uprooted and buried under layers of snow. Even the permanent hut erected there was no match to the fury of the blizzard, as both of its doors flew away permitting an unrestricted entry of snow and wind. Venturing out, even from this meagre shelter was fraught with the danger of being hit by camp stores flying around, and getting lost due to the zero visibility.

Squadron Leader Chaturvedi, in utter disregard to his personal safety and at great peril to his own life, tied himself to the end of a long rope, anchored to the hut, and went from ravaged tent to the other, trying to salvage and keep in safety whatever equipment and stores he could.

By nightfall, one of the members became seriously ill and started vomiting and another started showing signs of hypothermia. The medicine box could not be traced during the earlier attempts. Sqn Ldr Chaturvedi though himself exhausted, again wet out and by sheer determination and dedication was successful in retrieving the medicines which he administered to the ailing members and kept a vigil on them till they improved.

The entire nightmare of the blizzard lasted for fifty-two hours. During this entire period, with very limited and almost no shelter, Sqn Ldr Chaturvedi displayed extreme prof essionalism of the highest kind and a sense of devotion to duty beyond call. But for his initiative and courage, most of the sophisticated and extremely costly scientific equipment would have been destroyed and the invaluable data collected ad recorded during the entire period of the expedition lost.

Squadron Leader Hari Nath Chaturvedi thus displayed exceptional courage, conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty of a very high order.

Reference: Gazette of India , 24th March 1984 - No.24 - Pres/84 dated 26th January 1984 

Kirti Chakra
Wg Cdr Ravish Malhotra 7673 F(P)Unit : Indo Soviet Space  Award Date 26 Jan 85 Announced 26 Jan 85
Details :

In January, 1982, it was decided that a joint Indo-Soviet Space mission would be launched in 1984. Wg Cdr Ravish Malhotra responded most readily to a call for Indian cosmonaut volunteers. After a very rigorous selection process, including a most stringent medical examination which covered weightlessness and other strenuous mental and physical tests associated with space flights, he was declared fully fit and was selected as one of the two cosmonaut candidates from among 150 highly qualified and experienced pilots of the Air Force.

Wg Cdr Ravish Malhotra underwent an extremely demanding training schedule as cosmonaut at the YURI GAGARIN CENTER in USSR for 18 months and completed the same with great credit and distinction. During his training he displayed unflinching dedication, outstanding zeal, exceptional professionalism and courage. His commitment to his training as a cosmonaut, which involved many challenges and hazards, was total and complete. This not only won him many an accolade from all quarters of the training centre but indeed has been a matter of pride for the nation. He thus kept himself in complete readiness for the First joint Indo-Soviet Space Venture on 3rd April, 1984. Since only one Indian Cosmonaut was to go into space, Sqn Ldr Rakesh Sharma was finally selected for the flight.

Wg Cdr Ravish Malhotra during his entire period of training has thus displayed conspicuous gallantry and courage.

Reference: Gazette of India , 19th May 1984 - No.58 - Pres/85 dated 7th May 1985 

Kirti Chakra
Sqn Ldr Pradeep Sharma 13777 F(P)Unit : AFA Dundigal  Award Date 26 Jan 85 Announced 26 Jan 87
Details :

On the 24th October, 1985, when Squadron Leader Pradeep Sharma was flying a night instructional sortie on Kiran aircraft along with his pupil, the engine of the aircraft suddenly failed due to material failure. Besides the total loss of power from the engine Squadron Ldr Sharma was also confronted with confusing engine instrument indications because of the very peculiar nature of failure. Displaying exemplary coolness and professionalism he correctly analysed the failure for which there was no remedial action. At this stage, any pilot would have been fully justified in abandoning the aircraft, which was over 35 km away from base, as a forced landing at night had never been attempted before. Had he chosen the apparently only possible option of abandoning the aircraft, besides the inevitable loss of the aircraft and probable ejection related injuries to pilots, valuable evidence as to why the engine failed would have been lost.

Relying on his consummate skills and inveterate professionalism, Squadron Leader Pradeep Sharma completely disregarded the perils to himself and carried out a successful forced landing at night in a copy book fashion without any damage to the aircraft.

Squadron Leader Pradeep Sharma thus rendered superlative professionalism, cool and profound courage in saving a valuable aircraft in utter disregard to his own safety.

Reference: Notification No. 33–Pres/87 dated 26th January, 1987 published in Part 1, Section 1, Gazette of India dated 4th April, 1987. 

Kirti Chakra
Wg Cdr Maheshwar Datt 11607 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 01 Nov 86 Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

On the evening of 14th November, 1986, an unexpected and very high snowfall blocked both ends of the 3,400 meter high Zozila pass. Over one hundred vehicles were trapped in the pass along with their occupants. Numerous landslides and avalanches further added to the disaster. Wing Commander Maheshwar Dutt flying a Mi-17 Helicopter, flew a total of 75 rescue sorties, 56 of them in the first four days. He personally rescued 145 persons saving them from almost certain death in the raging blizzard with wind speeds of 70kmph and temperatures well below zero. On no occasion was a prepared helipad provided and Wg Cdr Dutt often landed on compact snow by the roadside. These operations, from makeshift helipads scarcely larger than his helicopter wheel base were carried until all the trapped persons were evacuated.

Wing Commander Maheshwar Dutt thus displayed conspicuous courage and sustained endurance in the face of hazardous natural conditions.

Reference: Gazette of India , 2nd April 1988 - No.27 - Pres/88 dated 26th January 1988 

Kirti Chakra
Wg Cdr Daljit Singh Minhas 11287 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 05 Apr 88 Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

On the 4th April 1988, Wing Commander Daljit Singh Minhas was flying Hunter Mk 56 aircraft. On the final approach for landing, the aircraft flamed out without warning at the very low and critical height of 200 feet. He realised that he had to eject immediately if he had to have even a very slender chance of survival. Also as a dedicated officer he realised that were he to do so his aircraft would in all probability crash into village Asnabani which was just ahead on the approach. This brave officer chose to stay with the aircraft for a few seconds longer to control it and ensure that the village was safe. He ejected but his aircraft was already too low for any chance of survival.

He would have been fully justified in ejecting from the aircraft to save his life. His deliberate decision to stay with his crippled aircraft and sacrifice his own life rather than risk those of others point to his immense bravery far beyond the call and honour of duty. The supreme sacrifice so deliberately and coolly made by him in a situation of extreme distress and crisis will for ever be an example for others to emulate.

Wing Commander Daljit Singh Minhas, thus displayed conspicuous courage, a high degree of professionalism and sense of duty in grave distress leading to is making the supreme sacrifice, in the finest traditions of the Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India , 8th April 1989 - No.?? - Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Kirti Chakra
Flt Lt Mysore Krishnaswamy Ramaprasad 18440 AEMUnit : 9 Sqn  Award Date 01 Jul 91 Announced 26 Jan 92
Details :

On the 15th Jul 1991, the fighter Squadron of Flight Lieutenant Mysore Krishnaswamy Rama Prasad moved to 41 Wing, Air Force for Live Armament Practice. On the 17th July 91, a MiG-27 ML aircraft No. TS 539 was armed with one 250 Kg Bomb on the rear fuselage station, and 100 rds of 30 mm Front Gun ammunition had lined up on the runway for a pair take-off. As the throttle was opened, the pilot in the other aircraft noticed sparks and fire emanating from the rear of aircraft TS 539. The pilot of aircraft TS 539 was informed about the fire and asked to vacate his aircraft immediately. The rear of the aircraft was engulfed in fire by the time the crash tender arrived.

While the efforts to extinguish the fire were going on, there was a grave danger of the 250 Kg Bomb exploding at any instant. Flt Lt Prasad jumped and pulled himself up to the cockpit, and put the battery master and all armament switches off. He slipped while jumping down due to foam/water on the runway and injured his leg. Without bothering about the injury, he proceeded to open the panel that housed the fuel shut off cock. The fuel shut off cock was required to be closed to prevent further spread of fire. This panel was red hot as there was fire in its proximity at the time. He persevered and succeeded in opening the panel, and closed the fuel shut off cock manually. Fully aware of the grave danger of the bomb exploding at any moment due to intense heat, Flt Lt Prasad now moved to the 250 Kg Bomb to remove its fuse and make it safe. The electrical release unit cartridge could have operated, due to intense heat, thereby causing the bomb to release and possible explode. Flt Lt Prasad, therefore, removed the electrical release unit cartridge, thereby eliminating the danger of accidental release of the bomb. He then removed the electrical connection to make the 30 mm gun safe. The timely actions taken by Flt Lt Prasad prevented further damage to a costly aircraft and possible loss of several human lives. Flt Lt Mysore Krishnaswamy Rama Prasad, thus displayed conspicuous courage and exemplary presence of mind in tackling a potentially dangerous situation.

Reference: Gazette of India , 11th April 1992 - No.?? - Pres/92 dated 26th January 1992 

Kirti Chakra
Wg Cdr Rajiv Kothiyal 15696 F(P)Unit : NFTC  Award Date 04 Jan 01 Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :

Wing Commander Rajiv Kothiyal (15696) F(P) was commissioned as a Fighter Pilot in the Indian Air Force on 15th June, 1979. After successful stints in various fighter squadrons, he served as a Flight Commander in a front-line-air-superiority MiG29 squadron. On completion of his tenure, he was selected to undergo the Experimental Test Pilot Course at the United States Air Force Test Pilot School. He graduated successfully from his prestigious institution in May 1990. In February, 1995, Wg Cdr Kothiyal was selected for the challenging assignment of being the Test Pilot for the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) project. Since then he has been actively involved in every facet of the design and development of the LCA, providing the most important pilot-interface to the LCA project. The successful development of control law for the Digital Fly-by-wire Control system, the Cockpit architecture and the pilot’s check lists and emergency procedures are attributed to Wg Cdr Kothiyal’s professional diligence and application of mind. Having successfully participated in the development activities, Wg Cdr Kothiyal was entrusted with undertaking the maiden flight of the first prototype of the LCA on 04-01-2001. This was the first occasion when an aircraft fully developed in India was to fly with a Fly-by-wire system. This complex system is packed with computerised flying controls, which enable an unstable aircraft to be flown with a very high degree of agility. Wg Cdr Kothiyal meticulously planned the test flight and ensured that every contingency was catered for. Wg Cdr Kothiyal flew the maiden test flight in the most exemplary manner.

Wing Commander Rajiv Kothiyal in this pioneering act displayed exceptional professionalism, courage and bravery that were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Indian Air Force.

Reference: Notification No. 56-Pres/2001 dated 26th January, 2001 published in Part 1, Section 1, Gazette of India dated 26th May, 2001. 

Kirti Chakra
Cpl Akhilesh Kumar Mishra 734502 ORUnit : AFS Bhuj  Award Date 26 Jan 01 Announced 15 Aug 01
Details :

Corporal Akhilesh Kumar Mishra is on the posted strength of a fighter squadron located at Bhuj, Gujarat since 10 Apr 2000.

A devastating earthquake struck Bhuj on 26 Jan 2001. Immediately after the earthquake Cpl Mishra immediately ran to rescue the survivors. For the next four days, he worked day and night and saved 19 lives. He had no rescue equipment but only his will, imagination, bare hands and raw courage. Snaking through tiny crevices, he worked his way in and pulled out one boy and three women from the remains of three different buildings in Shivnagar area on 26 Jan 2001. The same night, human sounds were detected in another mound of rubble. Despite parts of the building still collapsing in fresh tremors, Cpl Mishra continued to tunnel his way through different collapsed floors of the buildings. Fully aware of the risk of being buried alive any moment, he worked through the night to rescue a father and child. On 27 Jan 01, Cpl Mishra again volunteered to enter a small passage created by Army engineers through the top concrete slab of Vaibhav Laxmi Apartment in Shivnagar. He scraped through the rubble and tunneled his way through three different levels of the buildings (almost 30 feet) to save Cpl Shah and his wife. Working almost non-stop for six hours, he finally rescued Mrs. Gita Ben trapped below two pillars, a roof and a wooden frame in the early hours of 28 Jan 01. On 29 Jan 01, Cpl Mishra rescued a teenaged girl named Avni, who had been pinned down by two concrete beams. In the night, while the tremors continued, he entered the most unstable part of the wreckage and emerged after about an hour with the last survivor in that complex.

Corporal AK Mishra displayed conspicuous valour and presence of mind in rescue operations, without caring for the grave risk to his life.

Reference: Notification No. 128–Pres/2001 dated 15th August, 2001 published in Part 1 Section 1 Gazette of India dated 9th February, 2002.  

Kirti Chakra
Wg Cdr Sudhir Kumar Sharma 17717 F(P)Unit : 111 HU  Award Date 11 May 04 Announced 26 Jan 05
Details :

Wing Commander Sudhir Kumar Sharma, Flying (Pilot) is commanding a Helicopter Unit since 05 August 2002.

On 11 May 2004, Wing Commander Sharma was directed to urgently evacuate three members of a mountaineering expedition to Mt Kamet, who were critically injured due to inclement weather. These casualties were at an altitude of 23,260 ft, which is beyond the ceiling of 23,000 ft of Chetak helicopter. Due to their serious injuries, it was impossible to bring them down. Wing Commander Sharma flew in his Cheetah helicopter to the site and on locating the survivors realized that the only option was to land on an unprepared small tabletop sloping area located on an exposed snow covered ledge. Such landing demanded extraordinary courage and exceptional flying skills. Even a slight mishandling of helicopter controls could lead to a catastrophic accident endangering the life of the pilot.

No one in the world had ever attempted landing a helicopter at such a high altitude let alone evacuate casualties from an unprepared, snow bound and sloping piece of ground. Despite the deterring and trying conditions, deteriorating weather, severe turbulence, gusty jet stream exceeding 120 kmph and low margin of power available, Wing Commander Sharma, displaying resolute determination, utmost courage and an utter disregard for his personal safety, landed at the site not once but three times to evacuate the causalities. His courageous act under these near impossible conditions was instrumental in saving the lives of three mountaineers from certain death. The rescue from an altitude of 23,260 feet is the highest ever landing and casualty evacuation by any helicopter and in the process set a world record which has been recognized by Limca Book of World records.

Wing Commander Sudhir Kumar Sharma displayed conspicuous bravery in face of impossible odds, exceptional courage and rescued the mountaineers.

Reference: Notification No. 125 –Pres/2005 dated 15th August, 2005 published in Part 1 Section 1 Gazette of India dated 15th August, 2005.  

Kirti Chakra
Wg Cdr Balakrishana Pillai Sreebhavan Krishna Kumar 17870 F(P)Unit : 122 HF  Award Date 26 Dec 04 Announced 15 Aug 05
Details :

Wing Commander Balakrishna Pillai Sreebhavan Krishan Kumar is posted as the Commanding Officer of a Mi-8 Flight at Air Force Station, Car Nicobar since 08 November 2004. On 26 December 2004, Air Force Station Car Nicobar was devastated by a severe earthquake, which was followed by a Tsunami. Wing Commander Krishna Kumar’s house was one of the first to be engulfed and destroyed by the tidal waves. After having faced a near death situation and surviving the same, Wing Commander Krishna Kumar lost no time in getting airborne, to take stock of the situation and to carry out search and rescue operations.

On getting airborne, Wing Commander Krishna Kumar saw the havoc being wrecked by 30 feet high tidal waves and realized that time was at premium. He immediately commenced rescuing families and personnel stranded on balconies, rooftops and high ground before the tsunamis could demolish or engulf the structures. Rescue operations by winching up and evacuation by landing was getting dangerous by the minutes and as the water was consuming everything in sight. In spite of his own traumatic escape from near death situation, Wing Commander Krishna Kumar kept the composure and displayed extreme courage and professionalism by continuing to manouevre the helicopter under marginal safety conditions, thereby saving approximately 400 lives. In subsequent days, despite losing all his belongings in the Tsunami, Wing Commander Krishna flew numerous sorties to provide relief and succour to thousands affected not only in Car Nicobar but also in the rest of the Nicobar group of islands.

Wing Commander Balakrishna Pillai Sreebhavan Krishan Kumar displayed extraordinary courage, conspicuous gallantry and compassion to fellow beings in the face of heavy odds in a natural disaster.

Reference: Notification No. 34–Pres/2005 dated 26th January, 2005 published in Part 1 Section 1 Gazette of India dated 9th April, 2005.  

Pages 1