Vayu Sena Medal Awardee List for the year 1965


A total of 16 Awards are listed.
Vayu Sena Medal : 16 |
Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Bhopendra Singh 3025 GD(P)Unit : No.23 Squadron  Award Date Announced 01 Jan 65
Details : Wg Cdr Bhopindra Singh, an experienced test pilot, is now in command of a Jet Fighter Squadron. He was entrusted with the complicated and exacting task of high altitude trials on the Gnat airraft. The task was hazardous in the absence of suitable data on which the bhaviour of the aircraft could be pre-assessed at high altitudes. Despite this handicap, Wg Cdr Singh, wih courage and professional skill, carried out the trials from one of the highest airfields located in treacherous mountainous terrain. The data collected as a result of the trials will have far reaching effect on the concept and future conduct of Fighter operations in the western sector. The operation of a Jet fighter from an airfield at a high altitude in Ladakh is a land mark in the history of the Indian Air Force. Wg Cdr Bhupinder Singh displayed courage and a high degree of prefessional skill in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force
Reference: Gazette of India 13th March 1965 - No.20 - Pres/65 dated 1st January 1965. 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Ashateeta Chakravarti 3662 GD(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 01 Jan 65
Details : Sqn Ldr Chakravarti has been engaged in transport support operations in Jammu and Kashmir area since August 1961. He has flown a total of 6018 hours including about 1023 hours on operations. He has been associated with trial landings on a number of advance landing grounds, and was the first to land at one of the highest airfields in the world. With his intimate knowledge of difficult terrain, he has imparted flying instructions to a number of junior pilots in forward areas. Throughout the operational flights, Sqn Ldr Ashateeta Chakravarti displayed courage, professional skill and devotion to duty of a high order.
Reference: Gazette of India 13th March 1965 - No.20 - Pres/65 dated 1st January 1965. 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Gurdip Singh 3944 GD(P)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date 21 Oct 62 Announced 01 Jan 65
Details : Sqn Ldr Gurdip Singh is the Filght Commander of a Transport Unit in Ladakh. After the declaration of emergency, in addition to his administrative responsibilties, he undertook a large number of hazardous sorties personally, before entrusting them to the pilots under his command. So far he has done over 4000 hours of lfying, of which 1200 hours were flown in forward areas. He has also carried out several supplly missions on advance landing grounds. Sqn Ldr Gurdip Singh was among the experienced pilots who airlifted tanks to Chushul and Leh in 1962-63. Recemtly , when an aircraft was held up at Leh due to engine trouble, he retrieved it from that area. He also acted as the Training Officer of his squadron and achieved remarkable success. Throughout, Sqn Ldr Gurdip Singh displayed a high standard of professional skill and devotion to duty in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force
Reference: Gazette of India 13th March 1965 - No.20 - Pres/65 dated 1st January 1965. 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Rathinder Kumar Basu 3968 GD(P)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 01 Jan 65
Details : Squadron Leader Basu has been a Flight Commander of a Heavy Transport Squadron in the Jammu and Kashmir area since April 1961. He has carried out a total of about 4,900 hours of flying, of which over 1400 hours have been on operational flights. He has also carried out more than 300 operational supply missions and has to his credit 200 landings on advance landing grounds like Leh and Chushul. Squadron Leader Basu was entrusted with the task of training and familiarising the new pilots of his unit with operations in the forward areas, and with perseverance and high professional skill successfully completed it. He is always eager to lead id the most difficult and vital missions, and thus sets a fine example to his subordinates. Squadron Leader Rathindra Kumar Basu displayed courage, leadership and devotion to duty of a high order.
Reference: Gazette of India 13th March 1965 - No.20 - Pres/65 dated 1st January 1965. 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Krishnaswamy Subramaniam 4213 GD(N)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 01 Jan 65
Details : Squadron Leader KRISHNASWAMY SUBRAMANIAN is a Navigation leader of a Heavy Transport Squadron. He has a total of 4650 hours of flying, of which about 1143 hours have been on operational flights during the emergency. He trained junior navigators and volunteered for most of the hazardous sorties. On 2nd June, 1962, while Squadron Leader Subramanian was on a supply-dropping mission, a parachute developed inside the aircraft and it became difficult to maintain height. Coolly, he operated the transporters on emergency, and the whole load was ejected without any loss of time. The aircraft was then able to climb normally. In October 1962, his aircraft came under heavy ground fire from the Chinese. Undaunted he maintained his position and kept on relaying vital information to higher authorities, which a proved to be of great value to the Commanders. Throughout, Squadron Leader Krishnaswamy Subramanian displayed great devotion to duty, courage and professional skill which are in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force.
Reference: Gazette of India 13th March 1965 - No.20 - Pres/65 dated 1st January 1965. 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Bhagat Singh Kalra 4492 GD(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 21 Oct 62 Announced 01 Jan 65
Details : Squadron Leader Bhagat Singh Kaira was in command of a Helicopter detachment in NEFA during October-November 1962 and flew 300 operational sorties during this short period. On 21st October 1963, he averted a major disaster by making a quick and correct appreciation oF a dangerous situation. Five helicopters were operating individually for conveying troops to a forward area. The GOC-in-C. Eastern Command was travelling in one of the helicopters. Enroute to the forward area. Flight Lieutenant Kalra was informed by the Captain of another aircraft that a large lire was raging in an Army post ahead. Noticing a great deal of unusual troop movement, he ordered all helicopters to return to base, and thus saved them as as well as their occupants, On 23rd October 1962, flying from dawn to dusk. Flight Lieutenant Kaira evacuated about 300 women and children from Tawang. On another occasion, he rescued two Air Force officers who had to crash land after their helicopter had been shot down by the Chinese. Throughout the operations Flight Lieutenant Bhagat Singh Kalra displayed a very high sense of duty and professional skill which are in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force.
Reference: Gazette of India 13th March 1965 - No.20 - Pres/65 dated 1st January 1965. 

Vayu Sena Medal
Flt Lt Purushottam Laxmikant Purohit 4581 GD(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 01 Jan 65
Details : Flight Lieutenant Purohit has been engaged in air transport support operations in Jammu and Kashmir since 1957. He has done about 1000 hours of operational flying over this area. In April I962, when his Squadron was moved out from this area Flight Lieutenant Purohit volunteered for transfer to the incoming Squadron so as to extend to it the benefit of the experience gained by him. During his operational tour, he flew 160 missions carrying heavy loads to forward areas. He was always a source of inspiration to other aircrew. Throughout, Flight Lieutenant Purushottam Laxmikant Purohit displayed courage, initiative and devotion to duty of a high order.
Reference: Gazette of India 13th March 1965 - No.20 - Pres/65 dated 1st January 1965. 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Amarjit Singh Sandhu 4705 GD(P)Unit : No.23 Squadron  Award Date 10 Mar 64 Announced 01 Jan 65
Details : On 10th March 1964, Flt Lt Sandhu, while in formation of Gnat aircraft, experienced a flame out of engine followed by a total electrical failure rendering the tail plane inoperative. He was faced with the choice of either abandoning the aircraft and ejecting himself, or carrying out a 'deadstick' forced landing. Inspite of the failure of vital services, he chose the latter in order to save a valuable aircraft from destruction. This was the first time that a 'dead-stick' landing was carried out in a Gnat aircraft. Flt Lt Sandhu also made it possible for the technical staff to ascertain the defect leading to the flame-out of the engine which, if undetected might have caused serious accidents in the future.Flt Lt Amarjit Singh Sandhu displayed courage, high professional skill, and devotion to duty whicha re in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force
Reference: Gazette of India 13th March 1965 - No.20 - Pres/65 dated 1st January 1965. 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Trevor Joseph Keelor 4818 GD(P)Unit : No.23 Squadron  Award Date 05 Feb 64 Announced 01 Jan 65
Details : On the 5th February 1964, Flt Lt Keelor was detailed to ferry a Gnat from Poona to Palam in a formation of five aircraft. The last part of the flight had to be undertaken at a height of 41,000 feet. While descending to land at Palam, he discovered , at a height of 15,000 feet that there was no response from the engine to the throttle movements. After informing the leader, Flt Lt Kellor immediately broke off the formation and attempted a landing at Palam, knowing fully well that previous attempts to force land a Gnat had resulted in fatal or serious injury to the pilot. With great presence of mind and careful handling, he accomplished the forced landing successfully without any damage to the aircraft. Flt Lt Trevor Kellor displayed courage, presence of mind and a high standard of professional skill in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force
Reference: Gazette of India 13th March 1965 - No.20 - Pres/65 dated 1st January 1965. 

Vayu Sena Medal
Flt Lt Hilton Noel Byrne 5046 GD(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 01 Jan 65
Details : Flight Lieutenant Byrne has been Flight Commander of a Helicopter Unit operating in NEFA since September 1962. He has flown more than 10(10 hours in less than 2 years in this area and has made about 750 landings at helipads in difficult mountainous terrain. He has fulfilled different assignments including conveying of troops and equipment) trial landings at new helipads and screening junior pilots in difficult and unfamiliar terrain and in adverse weather conditions. He has also carried out trials and assessed the operational capability of MI-4 Helicopter. This included troops assault, supply dropping, carrying of external loads and deplaning troops by ropes etc. Flight Lieutenant Hilton Noel Byrne has displayed courage, determination and a high degree of professional skill.
Reference: Gazette of India 13th March 1965 - No.20 - Pres/65 dated 1st January 1965. 

Vayu Sena Medal
Flt Lt Rakesh Tandon 5391 GD(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 16 May 64 Announced 01 Jan 65
Details : As Flight Commander of a Helicopter Unit in NEFA, Flight Lieutenant Tandon has carried out over 900, landings in advance landing grounds / airfields and has flown over 1000 hours. On 16th May 1964, a helicopter, while attempting to land at a helipad, It got its front oleos bogged down on the ground as a result of which they got dangerously bent backwards. Realising the danger involved, the pilot abandoned the landing and flew back to the base. This information was passed on to Flight Lieutenant Tandon who was flying his own helicopter. He landed immediately, and proceeded to assess the damage on the helicopter which was instructed to hover low over the airfield. He organised a soft landing area by placing old tyres and barrels in such a manner as to give support to the aircraft when it landed. Thereupon, he instructed the hovering helicopter to lower the rope ladder by which he climbed into the damaged aircraft and took over control personally. He manoeuvred the helicopter and landed safely on the prepared spot thus saving the helicopter as well as its occupants. Flight Lieutenant Rakesh Tandon displayed initiative and a high degree of professional skill in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force.
Reference: Gazette of India 13th March 1965 - No.20 - Pres/65 dated 1st January 1965. 

Vayu Sena Medal
Flt Lt Mohan Dharamdas Lalvani 5658 GD(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 01 Jan 65
Details : Flight Lieutenant Lalvani has been working since 1961 as a Flight Commander with a Helicopter Squadron operating Ladakh. He has a commendable record of about 1000 landings at helipads located in difficult mountainous areas. During the Chinese aggression on the northern borders in October-November 1962, he undertook a large number of difficult assignments. In addition to his duties as Flight Commander, he had to undertake training of junior pilots who were not conversant with the terrain and had no operational experience. He assisted the Squadron Commander in planning and executing the tasks allotted to his. unit. Throughout Flight Lieutenant Mohan Dharamdas Lalvani displayed high professional skill, courage and devotion to duty.
Reference: Gazette of India 13th March 1965 - No.20 - Pres/65 dated 1st January 1965. 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Fg Offr Jagbir Singh Rai 6507 GD(P)Unit : No.59 Squadron  Award Date 29 Feb 64 Announced 01 Jan 65
Details : Flying Officer Jagbir Singh Rai has been serving with a Logistic Support Squadron in NEFA. He has carried out nearly 600 operational sorties and has made nearly .500 landings in forward airfield/advance landing grounds. On 29th February 1964, Flying Officer Rai was on an operational mission flying from Dinjan to Tilling in NEFA. When the aircraft came over a river valley surrounded by high mountains and snow covered peaks, he heard a loud noise in the engine and experienced a sudden loss of power. Realising that there was no suitable area for a forced landing. Flying Officer Rai immediately turned back towards the nearest airfield at Pasighat. When he was about 10 miles from there, his engine caught fire, and thick smoke and oil covered the entire windscreen and obscured his view. Though nearly chocked by smoke he tried lo control the fire. Ultimately he crash-landed in a small river bed, sustaining severe injuries to his legs and arms. He extricated himself from the wreckage, crawled to a pool of water nearby and stayed there till he was rescued. Flying Officer Jagbir Singh Rai displayed courage and professional skill of a high order.
Reference: Gazette of India 13th March 1965 - No.20 - Pres/65 dated 1st January 1965. 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
MWO Sig Puthyadth Nanu 14491 ORUnit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 01 Jan 65
Details : Master Warrant Officer Puthyadth Nanu [Signaller (Air).] has been serving as Deputy Signals Leader with a Heavy Transport Squadron in Jammu and Kashmir area since 1961. Earlier, he did two tours in Jammu and Kashmir and four tours with the Squadron operating in NEFA and Naga Hills. After the declaration of emergency, he volunteered for most of the difficult sorties. He has flown a total of nearly 6400 hours including about 26OOO on operations. By virtue of his operational experience and intimate knowledge of the terrain, he contributed a great deal in fulfilling the tasks allotted to his unit. In addition to assisting the Signals Leader in training junior signallers) he often rendered valuable advice to the Squadron Commander in planning and executing the operations. His personal example was a source of inspiration to other Signallers. Master Warrant Officer Puthyadth Nanu has displayed courage, devotion to duty and a high standard of professional skill in keeping with the best traditions of the Indian Force.
Reference: Gazette of India 13th March 1965 - No.20 - Pres/65 dated 1st January 1965. 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
WT Sig Krishnagiri Venugopal Kanan 47007 ORUnit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date 04 Mar 63 Announced 01 Jan 65
Details : Warrant Signaller Kannan [Signaller (Air).] has been working with a HeavyTransport Squadron operating in Jammu and Kashmir area since 1961. He has done a total of over 3000 hours of flying, nearly half of it in forward areas. On 11th September 1961, landing at Chushul, the nose wheel of his aircraft sheared off. With commendable presence of mind he switched off the generators, alternators and the master battery switch in order to prevent electrical fire. He jumped out of the aircraft with a fire extinguisher and looked round for any hot point caused by friction. He stood by till the entire crew got out of the aircraft, and thft ground crew took over charge. On 4th March 1963, while on a supply-dropping mission in Ladakh one of the elevator cables snapped. Only part of the total could be dropped : the remainder was stuck on the transporter and this prevented the cargo doors from closing. Warrant Signaller Kannan immediately went to (lie rear of the aircraft to supervise in the discharge of the cargo by the ejection crew. Since two of them were affected by lack of oxygen and had become unconscious, he himself got down to eject the load and close the cargo doors. Although exhausted, he carried the election crew to the pressurised cabin where oxygen was administered to them. Throughout, warrant Signaller Krishnagiri Venugopal Kannan displayed courage and devotion to duty of a high order.
Reference: Gazette of India 13th March 1965 - No.20 - Pres/65 dated 1st January 1965. 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
WO Chacko Joseph 47055 ORUnit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date 20 Oct 62 Announced 01 Jan 65
Details : Warrant Officer Joseph [Flight Gunner] has been serving with a Heavy Transport Squadron in Jammu and Kashmir area since 1961. So far he has flown a total of 3500 hours including nearly 1600 hours on operations in Ladakh area. In addition to bis duties as a Gunnery leader, he successfully trained junior gunners and familiarised them with the operational role of the unit. On 20th October, 1962, while operating on the northern borders, Warrant Officer Joseph's aircraft came under heavy ground fire from the Chinese. With cool courage and professional skill, he located the gun position on the ground and warned not only his Captain, but also other aircraft operating in the area at that time. This information was relayed to the authorities at base. His prompt action saved the other aircraft from possible damage. Warrant Officer Chacko Joseph displayed a high degree of professional skill and devotion to duty in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force.
Reference: Gazette of India 13th March 1965 - No.20 - Pres/65 dated 1st January 1965. 

The Awards Database presented here was made possible by the kind generosity of Air Marshal Bharat Kumar, author of Courage & Devotion to Duty : A Chronicle of IAF's Honours and Awards (1932-2008). Air Marshal Bharat Kumar had very graciously given permission to reproduce the citations from the book on this website.
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Note: All the data available here is publicly available in the Gazette of India, published by the Indian Government, or from public domain sources, including press releases about Awards. 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.