Vayu Sena Medal Awardee List for the year 1973


A total of 40 Awards are listed.
Vayu Sena Medal : 40 |
Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Jagjit Singh Lamba 3927 AELUnit : DTDP(Air)  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Wing Commander Jagjit Singh Lamba was commissioned in the Aeronautical Engineering (Electronics) Branch of the Indian Air Force in January, 1950. During his career he has held a number of important appointments, and qualified himself to hold Category 'A' on a variety of transport aircraft. As the Deputy Director (Aviation Electronics) in the Directorate of Technical Development and Production (Air), he undertook a study to replace imported general purpose electronic test equipment used in the Air Force utilising indigenous items. The Air Force was using over 600 assorted items of imported electronic test equipment, stocked under different reference numbers, in respect of various aircraft and major electronic installations. As a result of his systematic efforts it was possible to rationalise over 240 assorted types of test equipment and replace them with only 17 indigenous products. This had resulted not only in a large saving of Foreign Exchange, but also in improving the serviceability and reliability of the test equipment. He also und ertook a study of locating the indigenous/international equivalents for electronic components used in our vital Air Defence System and has thus achieved significant results. During the operations in 1971, stocks of an electronic component in. the air defence system were running low and the consumption rate was high. He undertook the task of producing a solid­state substitute with the help of a local firm, which was found to be not only an acceptable substitute for the imported item, but had also improved the overall performance of the Air Defence System.

Throughout, Wing Commander Jagjit Singh Lamba displayed courage, professional skill and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Kanwal Krishna Malik 4335 F(P)Unit : 28 Wing  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Wing Commander Kanwal Krishan Malik has been the Officer-in-Charge Flying at an operational Wing for over two years. During this period he has shouldered the task of supervising the operations of Fighter Squadrons, helicopter unit, Aircrew Examining Board and numerous flight trials. Unmindful of his personal comfort, he was always ready to shoulder fresh responsibilities. The year 1971 mainly saw him fully occupied with his duties as Station Commander of a forward base, where, working under the most trying conditions, he infused enthusiasm and an offensive spirit by his high professional ability and personal supervision and guidance. The excellent results achieved by his unit in the operations in December, 1971 were, in the main, largely due to his stewardship.

Throughout, Wing Commander Kanwal Krishan Malik displayed courage and leadership.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Man Mohan Sinha 4408 F(P)Unit : Joint Air Warfare School  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Wing Commander Man Mohan Sinha was the first Chief Instructor-in-Charge of the Doctrine Development Wing at Joint Air Warfare School. During his tenure at Joint Air Warfare School, he visited numerous forward Bases and Wings and updated all Tactical Air Force Doctrine being formulated and taught at the Institution. When he was attached to Advance Headquarters Western Command during the India-Pakistan conflict of December, 1971, he helped in setting up the Joint Army Air Operation Centre at the Command Headquarters, which was responsible for planning and controlling all tactical Air Operations in the Western Theatre under Headquarters Western Air Command. During the actual operations, he worked with ceaseless devotion and total disregard to his personal comfort, His untiring efforts, thorough knowledge of the tactical air situations and constant devotion to his assigned duties, earned him the respect and admiration of his colleagues and subordinates alike.

Throughout, Wing Commander Man Mohan Sinha displayed courage, leadership and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Balchandra Shankar Deshmukh 4489 F(P)Unit : No.108 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Wing Commander Balchandra Shankar Deshmukh has been the commanding officer of a fighter squadron since November 1968. The highlight of the period of his command was his leadership of the Squadron during the operations in December, 1971. He flew twelve operational sorties during the conflict, a number of them deep into enemy territory. He always achieved task in the face of heavy enemy ground fire and opposition, in complete of his personal safety. Inspired by his courage, personal example and devotion to duty, his officers and men had worked enthusiastically and functioned as a well trained combat achieving excellent results.

Throughout, Wing Commander Bhalchandra Shankar Deshmukh displayed courage, leadership and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Walter Henry Marshall 4496 F(P)Unit : Fighter Training Wing  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Wing Commander Walter Henry Marshall has been on the strength of Fighter Training Wing since August 1970 and has been holding the appointments of Instructor and Officer-inCharge of Flying. In these capacities he has displayed a very high degree of organising ability and exemplary devotion to duty. He has succeeded in improving the quality of training at Fighter Training Wing. He has been instrumental to a large extent in revising both the Ground and Training Flying Syllabi at the Fighter Training and has taken particular interest in improving the training aids on the Station. He displayed exceptional ability in organising and controlling fly-pasts at various places with precision. During India-Pakistan conflict of December, 1971, he commanded a fighter squadron in the Western Sector. He visited all the nearby bases and prepared contingency plans meticulously. In record time, working round he brought his pilots, who had limited flying during the night to fully operational status for night flying. He was also responsible for making modifications to the available aircraft, which proved very useful during the conflict.

Throughout, Wing Commander Walter Henry Marshall displayed courage, leadership and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Har Krishan Oberoi 4583 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Wing Commander Harkrishan Oberai was Officer-in-Charge Flying of an operational air base during operations in Decembet, 1971. By working hard he brought up the station Base Operations Room, Close Support Cell, ATC and GCA complex to full operational readiness. With his superior planning and organisational skill, he coordinated operations most effectively to make maximum use of the resources available to him. All close support missions assigned to the station were carried out under his able guidance. When the runway at his base was damaged by enemy action several times, he co-ordinated the repair work of the Engineers, and was on the runway with the repair teams throughout the night on many occasions, in sub-zero temperatures and with unexploded bombs lying close to the places of repair. He was a source of inspiration to the repair teams, who followed his example and repaired the runway in time for the next day's operations. Throughout, Wing Commander Harkrishan Oberai displayed courage and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Sube Singh Malik 4663 F(P)Unit : No.2 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Wing Commander Sube Singh Malik took over command of a fighter squadron in November, 1970. Throughout his stay in the Squadron, he has consistently endeavoured to improve the operational readiness of the squadron. During the India-Pakistan conflict 1971, he was required to move to the Western Sector at extremely short notice and operate detachments of the Squadron from several separate locations. All these moves were undertaken at very short notice and the detachments were operational at each of these locations immediately on arrival. Most of the moves were carried out either with very limited air transport support or none. The threat from enemy aircraft in the area in which his squadron operated was reduced almost to nil because of the activity of his unit.

Throughout, Wing Commander Sube Singh Malik displayed courage, leadership and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr William George Beddoe 4686 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Wing Commander William George Beddoe has been on the posted strength of a Tactical Air Centre as the Senior Air Staff Officer for a year. Shortly after his arrival at the unit, the Commanding Officer was posted out and the unit was called upon to move to a new location. As officiating Commander, Wing Commander Beddoe had to plan and execute the move. Due to his meticulous preparation, personal example and effective leadership, the unit accomplished the long road move with remarkable speed and became operational at the new location immediately on arrival.

During the operations in December, 1971, he was Senior Air Staff Officer of a Tactical Centre, where he carried out his duties with outstanding zeal and devotion. His example inspired his subordinates and won the praise of his Commanding Officer and the Army Officers who worked with him. Due largely to his efforts, the Tactical Air Centre was able to arrange effective air support to the Army during the war.

Throughout, Wing Commander William George Beddoe displayed courage, leadership and devotioirp to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Purnachandra Madhavrao Takle 4707 F(P)Unit : No.16 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Wing Commander Purnachandra Madhav Rao Takle was Flight Commander in a bomber squadron from1 February 1969 to March 1972 and assumed the command of Squadron in March 1972. During the period of his stay in the Squadron, he worked most diligently to improve the operational readiness of the Squadron.

During the operations in December, 1971, he carried out seven very vital and dangerous missions, covering both the Eastern and Western Sectors, involving deep penetration into the enemy territory. These missions included night interdiction by the light of flares and bombing raids against heavily defended enemy airfields. Besides carrying more operational missions than any other pilot in the unit, he supervised operational planning and aircraft servicing activities with exemplary keenness and determination. He was killed in a flying accident on 29th March, 1972.

Throughout, Wing Commander Purnachandra Madhav Rao Takle displayed courage, leadership and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Surinder Kumar Bajaj 4884 F(P)Unit : Air Head Quarters  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Squadron Leader Surindar Kumar Bajaj took over the appointment as Assistant Director of Intelligence at Air Headquarters in November, 1970. Before coming to Air Headquarters he was employed in a highly sensitive assignment requiring exceptional flying ability and initiative. To his present work, he has brought a fund of experience in handling sensitive tasks. During his short tenure in Air Headquarters, he has exhibited commendable acumen in tackling difficult problems. His thorough grasp of current situations and incisive examination of a particular case resulted in the saving of about Rs. 90,000/- to the State. He has been actively associated with a number of major security cases and by skilful1 interrogation has been able to unearth matters vitally affecting the security of the service.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Surindar Kumar Bajaj has displayed professional skill and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Onkar Singh Wadhawan 4899 F(P)Unit : No.221 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Squadron Leader Onkar Singh Wadhawan, in his seventeen years of commissioned service, has commanded two fighter squadrons and has served as Officer-in-Charge Flying of a fighter base. He has a total of 3799.45 hours of flying. His flying record has been accident free. As Flight Commander in an operational squadron, he has been responsible for conducting the conversion training of pilots onto advanced supersonic aircraft. His instructional flying ability on the aircraft is of an exceptional order. He has seldom worked less than 9 hours a day, driven by his keenness for perfection at work and faultless completion of his duties as a Flight Commander.

Squadron Leader Onkar Singh Wadhwan's exceptional professional ability and skill in the air, tremendous keenness for flying and remarkable thoroughness in all his work on the ground, are of special significance to the Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Kollagunta Sambamurthi Chandrasekhar 4962 F(P)Unit : Central Air Command  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Squadron Leader Kollagunta Sambamurthi Chandrasekhar has been on the posted strength of Headquarters Central Air Command since May, 1970. On re-organisation of Command Headquarters in July, 1971, he was reposted as Command Maritime Officer. Immediately before the commencement of the operations against Pakistan in December, 1971, when the tension in the sub continent was mounting, it was due to his extreme hard work that Headquarters Central Air Command and Headquarters Maritime Air Operations geared up sufficiently to cope with any demands of the Indian Navy. During the Operations, he volunteered for regular Canberra flying and, while on attachment to a bomber squadron, he carried out six operational missions. Throughout his career he has shown a high sense of duty, capacity for sustained hard work and cheerful acceptance of onerous tasks.

Squadron Leader Kollagunta Sambamurthi Chandrasekhar has always placed the interests of the service before his own and has shown an example of loyalty and devotion well beyond the normal call of duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Chandra Kant Dhawan 4995 F(P)Unit : No.25 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Squadron Leader Chandra Kant Dhawan has been serving as a Flight Commander of a heavy transport Squadron. This is his second tenure in the unit. Ever since 1963 he has been undertaking various difficult missions in the Ladakh Sector and has flown 3220 hours out of which 1680 hours were on operational sorties. Squadron Leader Dhawan was previously a fighter pilot. In that capacity he was selected to undergo conversion on Hunter aircraft in the UK, when these aircraft were introduced into service with the IAF. He soon became fully operational on that aircraft. Shortly thereafter, he contacted a rare disease which affected the retina of his eyes. He was taken off flying duties and utilised on various ground assignments. His disease was cured and owing to his persistent efforts he was allowed to return to flying duties, but only on transport aircraft. He qualified as a Captain on Dakota aircraft, but such was the quality of his performance that he was amongst the first few pilots to be selected for training on AN-12 heavy transport aircraft, when these were acquired for the Air Force. He was the only pilot of the rank of Flying Officer to qualify as a day/night captain on this aircraft. At a time when the squadron was in need of more trained crews, he rose to the occasion and successfully completed their operational training within a short period.

During the operations against Pakistan in December, 1971, he worked round the clock, controlling and coordinating the flying activities of the aircraft of his unit which had been dispersed to many bases around the country. He was also responsible for the training of his crews in new tactics, which went a long way to achieve the role of his unit. In addition, he participated in the Battalion group para drop in Bangladesh.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Chandra Kant Dhawan has displayed exemplary zeal, professional skill and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Alban Anthony D'Rozario 5044 F(P)Unit : No.20 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Squadron Leader Alban Anthony D'Rozario was a Flight Commander of a fighter Squadron during the operations in December, 1971. In the very early hours of 4th December, 1971, he flew in an urgently needed operational aircraft from a rear base and a few hours later led a four aircraft strike on an airfield, which was heavily defended. He pressed home his attacks and seriously damaged one enemy aircraft inside a blast pen. On 6th December, 1971, though his wingman's aircraft went unserviceable on the ground, he voluntarily proceeded on an interdiction mission, during which he destroyed two enemy diesel engines near Wazirabad, and brought back valuable information regarding enemy movements based upon which subsequent missions were planned. On the 7th December, 1971 he led a four aircraft deep penetration day strike on Kohat airfield where he set fire to a hangar and damaged other airfield installations. He thereafter, flew three close support missions in the Samba, Chhamb and Naoshera areas and inflicted heavy casualties on enemy troops and vehicles. On the 12th December, 1971 the Squadron was ordered back to a rear base but Squadron Leader D'Rozario voluntarily stayed at the forward base and led another close support mission on 13th December, 1971 in order to familiarise the relief Squadron's Flight Commander with tactics and terrain. Throughout, Squadron Leader Alban Anthony D'Rozario displayed courage and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Sharad Narayan Medhekar 5062 F(P)Unit : No.122 (Ad-Hoc) Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Squadron Leader Sharad Narayan Medhekar is the Flight Commander of an operational training unit. During the operations in December, 1971, he was attached to a fighter/bomber squadron in the Western Sector. On the 4th December, 1971, he took part in a mission to attack oil storage tanks at Karachi. He pressed home the attack in the face of heavy enemy ground fire. The splendid results obtained by this mission were most commendable. On the 12th December, 1971, he was again engaged in an attack on the enemy radar complex at Badin. Here, too, there was very heavy enemy ground fire, but he pressed the attack home, achieving remarkable success. To bring back evidence of the effect of the attack, he was also required to bring back photographs of the radar after the attack was over. In the face of the most intense ground fire he made the required photographic run over the target and was able to carry out the task. In addition, he carried out eleven other missions against the enemy in the close support role.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Sharad Narayan Medhekar displayed courage, leadership and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Harwant Bir Singh 5065 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Squadron Leader Hanwant Bir Singh has been in transport squadrons since his commissioning in January 1956. He has been engaged in our air maintenan tasks over NEFA, Naga Hills, J&K and Ladakh and has amassed a total service flying of over 6,000 hours. Out of this, he has flown approximatly 3,000 hours on operational sorties. Squadron Hanwant Bir Singh is a disciplined, dedicated competent pilot. He has displayed courage and skill in his flying and is always willing to undertake any task given to him. With his zeal and great aptitude flying he has acquired singularly great

proficiency various types of transport aircraft.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Hanwant Bir Singh has displayed courage, devotion to duty and professional skill of a high order.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Kevin Martin 5074 F(P)Unit : Air Force Flying College  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Squadron Leader Kevin Martin obtained his Flying Instructor's qualification in December, 1961. Since then he has served as a flying instructor and is curretly serving as the Assistant Chief Instructor at the Air Force Flying College. In his present appointment, he has flown a total of 1470 accident free instructional hours. The significance of this achievement lies in fact that an instructor must leave his pupil to handle controls as far as possible, so that lessons are properly learnt and skill is properly developed.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Kevin Martin displayed professioml skill and devotion to duty in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Bipinchandra Shantaram Raje 5182 F(P)Unit : No.222 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Squadron Leader Bipinchandra Shantaram Raje has been serving as a Flight Commander in a fighter squadron. He was assigned responsibilities for the Squadron Daily Serviceability State and flying training. By his hard work, initiative and drive he raised the operational efficiency of his Squadron to a very high standard. During the Operations in December, 1971, he volunteered to fly some of the most arduous and dangerous missions deep into enemy territory. On his very first mission his section was attacked by enemy aircraft and his No. 2 was shot down. Despite this he continued to lead missions with great success. In the interdiction and close support roles, he did exceptionally well, revealing in uncanny ability to detect well concealed targets.

His personal ability in flying, capable leadership, operational successes, and his contribution to the Squadron, both in operations and otherwise, are of special significance to the Indian Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Surendra Nath 5317 F(P)Unit : No.25 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Squadron Leader Surendra Nath has been engage in operational flying in a heavy transport squadron the Ladakh area since May, 1963. During his present and previous tenures he has completed 1550 hours of operational flying. He was employed as Training Flight Commander in the squadron. With perseverence and professional skill he conducted the training new pilots and familiarised them with the Ladakh sector. This he did with unflinching devotion to duty, has a total 5600 hours of flying on his record, of which 1800 hours are on instructional duties. During operations in December, 1971, he volunteered and participated in the Battalion group Para drops.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Surendra Nath display professional skill and devotion to duty in the best traditions of the Jndian Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Ravindra Nath Paul 5329 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Squadron Leader Ravindra Nath Paul has been on the strength of a heavy transport squadron since 1968. He has flown a total of 6080 hours of 2100 hours have been flown on operations over and NEFA areas. As a Flight Commander, he displayed remarkable organising ability in the planning and execution of assigned tasks. He himself is very keen and competent flyer and has inspired squadron pilots by his personal example.

During the operations in December 1971, Squadron Ravindra Nath Paul flew six low level night missions, displaying outstanding professional airmanship of exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Kodandera Cariappa 5376 F(P)Unit : No.111 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Squadron Leader Kodendera Cariappa Cariappa was commissioned in the Air Force in May, 1957. He did 1000 hours of operational flying before undergoing the Flying Instructors' course in 1963. He stood first in merit in flying at Flying Instructors' School. At the flying training school where he was posted during 1963-65, he flew over 1000 hours and proved himself as an outstanding instructor. During the 1965 operations, while serving in a fighter squadron, he carried out several missions at a great personal risk before he was shot down and taken prisoner of war. Since taking over as Officer Commanding of a Helicopter Unit in February 1969, he devoted himself to the task of bringing the squadron to a high state of operational efficiency and readiness. Under his inspiring leadership, the squadron's pilots have carried out long hours of day and night flying. He has carried out dangerous missions over Mizo Hills and Nagaland areas without regard for his personal safety. He streamlined the administration of the unit which yielded immediate results by way of improved functional efficiency.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Kodendera Cariappa Cariappa displayed professional skill, leadership and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Ashwini Kumar Bhide 5674 F(P)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Squadron Leader Ashwini Kumar Bhide was the Flight Commander of a transport squadron in the Western Sector during the operations in December, 1971. He undertook five low level missions over strategic targets, without fighter escort, deep into the enemy territory, which involved flying at low level and low speed over target areas. He successfully completed all his missions inspite of heavy ground fire over target, area and his aircraft being hit on more than one occasions. The cool courage displayed by him in the face of heavy enemy opposition was an inspiration not only to his own crew members, but also to all the other crews of his squadron.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Ashwini Kumar Bhide displayed courage, professional skill and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Clarence Joseph D'Lima 5870 F(P)Unit : AirHQ Communications Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Squadron Leader Clarence Joseph D'Lima was posted to Air Headquarters Communication Squadron in December, 1963 and has since flown 3254 hours on various aircraft. On the introduction of an advanced transport aircraft into the Air Force, he was one of the Pilots selected for training abroad and was adjudged exceptional after completion of the training. Prior to his posting to this unit, he had flown 2900 hours, mostly on supply dropping missions over NEFA and Nagaland. He has over 6200 hours of accident-free flying to his credit. He has held the highest category on transport aircraft for the last three years. Besides his flying, he has taken active part in all the other activities of the unit.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Clarence Joseph D'Lima displayed courage, professional skill and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Subramanian Srinivasa Rathnam 6010 F(P)Unit : AirHQ Communications Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details : Squadron Leader Subramaniam Srinivasa Rathnam was posted to Air Headquarters Communication Squadron in August 1966 and has since flown 2400 hours. Prior to his joining this unit he had flown over 3000 hours in five vears, of which 2000 hours were over NEFA aittd Naga hills area. Apart from his outstanding keenness for flying, he proved his professional ability by obtaining 'A' transport category and check Pilot's endorsement on CARIBOU aircraft when he had only 4 years of total service. On posting to Air Headquarters Communication Squadron, he began conversion on to a type of aircraft he had not flown previously. He was the first pilot selected for conversion on TU 124 aircraft and has since obtained 'A' transport category on this type also. He has flown over 6200 hours in his service career.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Subramaniam Srinivasa Rathnam displayed courage and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Baljinder Kumar Dhir 6460 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Squadroin Leader Barjinder Kumar Dhir was appointed Commanding Officer of a Helicopter Unit on its formation in February, 1971. Faced with the adminisative problems of any newly formed unit, he threw imself into his work with vigour and enthusiasm. Initial maintenaince problems were overcome with resourcefulness and in the space of six weeks, his unit as able to undertake routine commitments. Being the only qualified Flying Instructor in the Squadron, he had to undertake three tasks simultaneously administration of the Squadron as a whole, training of the aircrew, and such other important commitments as were assigned to the unit. Within a short space of six months he undertook important commitments and also completed the conversion training of more than half of his aircrew. By the end of 1971, all pilots on his posted strength were converted. Prior to the operations in December, 971, detachments from this squadron were employed on mercy missions and flood relief operations in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa and West Bengal. During the perations, the squadron operated in small detachments at four different locations, the most important being the tass assigned to the squadron in the Bangladesh Operations.Throughout, Squadron Leader Barjinder Kumar Dhir displayed courage, leadership aind devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Yashpal Sharma 6498 F(P)Unit : Flying Instructors School  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Squadron Leader Yash Pal Sharma has been carrying out instructional flying for the last five years. He has a total of 4680 hours of accident free flying, of which 727 hours are on instructional duties. During his tenure at Flying Instructors' School, he has shown commendable enthusiasm in training trainees to be qualified flying Instructors, when the unit faced an acute shortage of instructors, he volunteered to take more pupils and worked ceaselessly towards successful completion of courses. Thus he set an inspiring example, not only his colleagues but also to the pupils.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Yash Pal Sharma displayed professional skill and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Narayana Keshtur Sastry 6923 F(P)Unit : Aircrew Examination Board  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Squadron Leader Narayana Kestur Sastry joined the Indian Air Force as an airman in November, 1943. With meritorious noncommissioned service of over 15 ears behind him, he was commissioned in the Technical/ Signals branch in January, 1963. During his service, he has served as an Air Signaller in a transport squaron, Air Headquarters Communications Squadron and Aircrew Examination Board. His tenure in a transport squadron involved flying to the far flung airfields and dropping zones in Kashmir and Ladakh, over very inhopsitable terrain. During his service in the Air Headquarters Communications Squadron, he had the privilege of being a crew member on numerous imporant flights. In the Aircrew Examining Board, he was responsible for judging the efficiency standards of the Air Signallers throughout the Air Force, for which task he was eminently suitable, for having set the highest standards himself. In the performance of his duties as an Air Signaller in various units, he has logged a otal of 7325 hours of flying, which is a noteworthy achieveme nt. During the operations in December, 1971, he was attached to one of the important forward operational bases of the Air Force. He served there is a member of a team responsible for conducting certain special operations of great significance to the Air Force. He worked with unremitting zeal which enabled the team to achieve the aims of the special operation in full measure.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Narayana Kestur Sastry displayed courage, professional skill and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Kailash Chandra Parik 7221 F(P)Unit : No.121 (Ad-Hoc) Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Kailash Chandra Parik was a member of an operational detachment formation which was given a special role in the operations in December, 1971. He displayed a high degree of initiative, resourcefulness and imagination in preparing the specialised aircraft for operations. In spite of his limited experience in night flying, he achieved through his hard work, avid interest and application of correct techniques, a high standard in night flying. On the 11th December, 1971, he took off for a night flying mission at a very low altitude of 200'- 300' above ground level, and attacked railway yards well inside enemy territory, causing considerable damage. He was not satisfied by attacking these two targets and before returning straffed an enemy troop concentration. On the 12th December, 1971 he again took off in darkness to attack fuel dumps 40 Nautical Miles deep inside enemy territory and successfully located the target in the "Black-out" conditions. He carried out attacks on the target with extreme precision and determination.

Throughout, Flight Lieutenant Kailash Chandra Parik displayed courage, professional skill and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal
Flt Lt Dinesh Kumar Dhingra 7563 PJIUnit : Para Training School  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Dinesh Kumar Dhingra has been working as a Parachute Jumping Instructor since 1965. During this period he has made a record number of 564 jumps. He has the distinction of being the only officer in the Indian Air Force who has successfully completed 'Free Fall Basic Jump Master Courses' abroad. His professional skill is of a very high order. He has volunteered for pioneering and dangerous assignments, and has thus been a source of inspiration to his colleagues and subordinates. During the Airborne assault operations over Bangladesh on the 11th December, 1971, he was on board the leading aircraft.

Throughout, Flight Lieutenant Dinesh Kumar Dhingra displayed courage, professional skill and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Pamidi Ramalingeswara Prasad Rao 7798 F(P)Unit : Aircrew Examination Board  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Pamidi Ramalingeswara Prasad Rao has been employed in operational flying duties in Jammu and Kashmir, since 1963. From 1968, he has been employed as a Navigation Instructor and currently is an Air Force examiner. During the Operations in December, 1971, he readily volunteered to undertake hazardous missions and rendered great assistance in their detailed planning. He was the leading navigator in three of the missions undertaken by him. On 15th December, 1971, he led the formation to a vital installation located deep in the enemy territory; under extremely difficult conditions he

successfully bombed target undeterred by the ground fire. In all missions undertaken, he displayed tenacity, courage and a very high order with complete disregard to his personal safety. His courage and extreme devotion in the face of enemy fire was exemplary and a source of inspirationl to others.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Harinder Pal Singh Shergill 8427 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Harinder Pal Singh Shergill has been on the posted strength of a fighter squadron since February, 1967. He achieved a high standard in combat flying, and was utilised to lead and train junior pilots. He stood first in the Western Air Command Gunnery Meet 1970, in the air to air phase, setting a new record by securing 98.27% hits. He also contributed towards evolving an effective combat air patrol pattern over the airfield which was put to use during the Operations in December, 1971. On 16th June, 1971, while on a ferry from Jodhpur to Poona be experienced engine failure over Poona airfield. He had the option of abandoning the aircraft. But due to thickly populated area around the airfield he chose to crash land the aircraft as ejection might have caused damage to the civilian population. He sustained serious burns as a result of this accident.

Throughout, Flight Lieutenant Harindar Pal Singh Shergill displayed courage, professional skill and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal
Flt Lt Suhas Vasant Javadekar 9016 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Suhas Vasant Javadekar was posted to an operational transport squadron in the Eastern Sector on commissioning in December, 1964. He qualified as a Captain in September, 1967 and has subsequently flown 1630 accident-free hours. These include 1026 hours on operational serties in NEFA, Nagaland and Mizo Hills areas. In the process, he has carried out 820 landings and 509 Supply dropping missions on Advanced Landing Grounds and Dropping Zones. A sound, mature and methodical pilot, who, by his ready acceptance of difficult commitments and their successful completion, has inspired his collegues with confidence.

Throughout, Flight Lieutenant Suhas Vasant Javadear displayed professional skill and

devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Pradeep Kumar Tayal 10474 F(P)Unit : No.22 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Pradeep Kumar Tayal was on the strength of a fighter bomber squadron during the Operations in December, 1971. He carried out a number of operational sorties deep into enemy territory. On the 10th December, 1971, he led a formation of aircraft to attack on the Brigade Headquarters at Kushtia. Undeterred by the heavy ground fire he made two attacks and destroyed this nerve centre of the enemy in the sector. During the attack his aircraft was hit by ground fire which punctured the aircraft's main fuel tank. With his aircraft streaming fuel, he climbed up to gain height while heading towards base. He ran out of fuel when 10 nautical miles short of base. Though the airfield was partly obscured by cloud, he displayed great flying skill in carrying out a safe landing. Undeterred by this incident, on the same day he led another mission over Khulna and in the face of heavy ground fire positively destroyed one enemy tank and put another out of order. He also disrupted a convoy of enemy troops proceeding towards Khulna.

Throughout, Flight Lieutenant Pradeep Kumar Tayal displayed courage, professional skill and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Hari Nath Chaturvedi 11161 MEDUnit : MPF  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Hari Nath Chaturvedi has been in the Para Medical Pool since March, 1969, and is commanding a team of the Medical Para-troopers Flight. He has to his credit 56 operational parachute descents including five free fall stabilized jumps and has qualified on all conventional transport aircraft in paratrooping. In order to render emergency medical aid by paratrooping to marooned aircrew at inaccessible heights, he made a unique parachute descent in the treacherous snow bound areas of the Kashmir Valley. This was followed by a 72 hours survival exercise to gain a first hand knowledge of the utility, adequacy and shortcomings of present day aircrew clothing and personal survival packs, carried by our aircrew. It was mainly due to the efforts, guidance and the risk undertaken by him that the snow survival exercise contributed significantly to the acquisition of unique snow survival knowledge, for the Indian Air Force.

Throughout, Flight Lieutenant Hari Nath Chaturvedi displayed courage, leadership and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal
MWO Bidya Nath Banik 28176 ORUnit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Master Warrant Officer Bidya Nath Banik has been on the posted strength of a squadron since July, 1968. He has 28 years of service to his credit. Though his flying career spans two decades, his enthusiasm, keenness and zeal for flying remain unabated. He has a total of 9430 hours of flying to his credit. Out of these, he has flown to less than 4206 hours in operational areas of Jammu and Kashmir, NEFA and Nagaland. His personal example of unremitting hard work, strict discipline and zealous devotion to duty has always been an example to his colleagues and juniors alike. He has also been instrumental in co­ordinating quick conversion of new signallers.

Throughout, Master Warrant Officer, Bidya Nath Banik has displayed high degree of professional skill, inspiring leadership and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
MWO Framroz Jalejor Vania 400179 ORUnit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Master Warrant Officer Framroz Jalejer Vania has been serving in an operational heavy transport squadron since May, l969. By virtue of his hard work, he has achieved a very high level of professional knowledge. He has always been keen to fly. During his short stay of 2½ years in the unit he has amassed a total of 1700 flying hours. He has flown a total of 3940 hours so far, out of which 1700 hours were on operational sorties over the most difficult and hazardous terrain of the Himalayas. His cheerful disposition and hard work, analytical mind and high sense of loyalty and integrity, coupled with high level of professional knowledge, have been an example to his colleagues. He has imparted training to newly posted flight engineers. During the operations in December, 1971, he always volunteered for hazardous operations which included going many times over the enemy territory.

Throughout, Master Warrant Officer Framroz Jalejer Vania displayed professional skill and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
WO Douglas Godfrey 43569 ORUnit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Warrant Officer Douglas Godfrey has been operating as Flight Gunner with a transport squadron in Jammu & Kashmir, NEFA, Mizo Hills and Nagaland areas, since 1963. He has carried out 2750 hours of operational flying on supply dropping and transport operations. He has also participated in many proving flights in most difficult and advanced dropping zones in Jammu & Kashmir, NEFA, Mizo Hills and Nagaland. He was always, the most willing volunteer for bombing missions undertaken by the squadron. During the operations in December, 1971, he carried out a number of bombing missions in the Western Sector. Unmindful of danger to his personal safety, he has performed his flight gunner duties on all the missions with a high sense of responsibility and courage against heavy enemy ground fire.

Throughout, Warrant Officer Douglas Godfrey displayed courage, professional skill and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Bar to Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Lalit Kumar Datta 6506 F(P)Unit : No.107 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Squadron Leader Lalit Kumar Dutta, while commanding a Helicopter Unit, was entrusted with the task of Casualty Evacuation, Air Maintenance and Reconnaissance, at a forward base, in the Western Sector. In addition to other tasks at his own base, he himself, flew a number of sorties, and in this, he not only exhibited total dedication to the service with complete disregard to personal safety, but also high professional skill, courage and outstanding qualities of leadership. He thus instilled confidence amongst his officers and men thereby inspiring them to undertake various types of missions in the face of the enemy. In addition, he always found the time to look after the welfare of his officers and men.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Lalit Kumar Dutta displayed courage, leadership and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Bar to Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
MWO Koliengod Narayana Venkatachalam 11947 ORUnit : Para Training School  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Master Warrant Officer Koliengod Narayana Venkatachalam is a very senior Parachute Jumping Instructor trained in 1946. He has completed 450 live descents which include water descents his altitude and experimental jumps from many types of aircraft using different types of parachutes. His excellent grasp of the requirementsents in Airborne Assault Operations combined with skill as a fast stenographier made him the natural choice for working with the planning team for operations in Bangladesh. He spent long and arduous hours with the planning team; it was largely due to his herculean efforts, that all plans were completed on schedule. He had both the energy and motivation, to fly and achieve the unique distinction of being the only Parachute Jumping Instructor to complete two operational sorties as Despatcher, in the Pathfinder aircraft during the final sorties of the Airborne Assault Operations, which were mounted over Bangladesh.

Throughout, Master Warrant Officer Koliengod Narayana Venkatachalam displayed professional skill and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Bar to Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
WO Koshy Thomas 302634 ORUnit : No.114 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Warrant Officer Koshy Thomas was enrolled in the Indian Air Force in August, 1948. He was serving with Helicopter Unit in the Eastern Sector during the operations in December, 1971. His unit was engaged in airlifting troops/armament and casualties. He always volunteered to fly in all types of sorties, both by day and at night, without any regard to his personal comfort. Throughout the special heliborne operations at Sylhet, his helicopter was under heavy enemy ground fire. With complete disregard to his personal safety, he got out of his Helicopter, in enemy territory, and supervised the unloading, thus enabling the quick and successful completion of the task. He carried out a total of 124 sorties which included 26 sorties by night.

Warrant Officer Koshy Thomas thus displayed courage and exceptional devotion to duty in the best tradition of the Indian Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

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, 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.