Vayu Sena Medal Awardee List for the year 1985


A total of 22 Awards are listed.
Vayu Sena Medal : 22 |
Bar to Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Manek Bomanshaw Madon 7681 F(P)Unit : No.29 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 85
Details :

Wing Commander Manek Bomanshaw Madon, VM has been in command of a front line fighter squadron since 22 Jun 1983. He has 3600 hours of flying to his credit of which about 2000 hours are on supersonics. He is a Fighter Combat Leader and a Qualified Flying Instructor.

Under his command and leadership, the Squadron has made remarkable operational achievements which include a significantly greater flying effort, improved operational status of pilots, an impeccable flying safety record, extraordinary aircraft serviceability and better utilization of aircraft and manpower resources.

During an exercise held in Feb 84, the Squadron flew over 300 hours, accomplished successfully all tasks assigned to it and maintained a 100% serviceability state at detachment.

For these commendable achievements attributable to his leadership, dedication to duty, resourcefulness and ability to produce results, the President is pleased to award Bar to Vayu Seva Medal to Wg Cdr Bomanshaw Madon.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 6th April 1985 - No.29-Pres/85 dated 26th January 1985 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Dilip Chotu Sambare 7431 F(P)Unit : No.106 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 85
Details :

Wing Commander Dilip Chhotu Sambhare successfully commanded the Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron of the Indian Air Force from Nov 81 to Jun 84. During this tenure, he demonstrated flying skill of a very high order on Canberra aircraft and a correspondingly high level of airmanship, professional competence and specialist knowledge. Under his command, all survey and photographic tasks assigned to the Squadron were successfully completed. Also, the Squadron achieved a commendable accident­free record during the period under conditions of intensive flying and launching of operations from various bases spread far and wide in India.

Shortage of resources in men and material during his tenure called for additional and concerted effort oh the part of the Squadron to clear the backlog of priority survey tasks. This was made possible not only by his ability to inspire officers and airmen under his command to put in long hours of hard work, but also by his astute management of limited resources.

He has himself flown many hazardous photo reconnaissance missions successfully, in the face of danger to himself and the aircraft, and made available valuable information of national and strategic importance. His understanding of the urgency of these tasks was invariably sound, and he produced reliable results on every occasion in the critical time frame given to him.

For his devotion to duty, dedication to the Service and a high sense of responsibility in the highest traditions of the Indian Air Force, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Wing Commander Dilip Chhotu Sambhare.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 6th April 1985 - No.29-Pres/85 dated 26th January 1985 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Ujwal Ramachandra Dabir 7665 F(P)Unit : No.48 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 85
Details :

Wing Commander Ujwal Ramchand Dabir has been the Flt Cdr of a Transport Squadron since 10 Apr 82. He has a total of 3475 accident-free flying hours to his credit.

During March 1984, he was detailed to commence aircraft operations in the J&K area to give support to the Army for the exercise 'Meghdoot'. He carried out the first landing in a Packet aircraft on the new Thoise runway and thereafter cleared other pilots also for the operation. He planned supply dropping in the area and operated as flying supervisor to provide excellent support to the Army in the Nubra valley. With his professionalism and in-depth knowledge of the area, he was able to instill confidence in other aircrew operating over the most difficult terrain and under adverse weather conditions.

During June, 1984, he provided continuous support to the Army agencies in apprehending deserters from Ramgarh area. His personal example, dedication and efforts, motivated the whole station. As a result, despite limited resources, operations by day and night and fast turn around of reconnaissance and troopcarrying aircraft could be achieved.

During September, 1984, he was specially selected to conduct flood relief operations in Saharsa area. Once again, with only two helicopters, he was able to provide succor to thousands of marooned people. His dedication, personal example and efforts, far above the normal call of duty, highly motivated the flood relief team and earned high praise from the officials of the Government of Bihar.

For his devotion to duty and personal example in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Wing Commander Ujwal Ramchand Dabir.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 6th April 1985 - No.29-Pres/85 dated 26th January 1985 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Vasudevan Vatsalan Nair 7693 F(P)Unit : No.8 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 85
Details :

Wing Commander Vasudevan Vatsalan Nair is the Commanding Officer of a frontline Fighter Squadron.

Wing Commander Nair has always displayed leadership of high order, organizational ability, ingenuity, dedication and devotion to duty. Under his able leadership and guidance the Squadron won many laurels bringing repute to the Wing and to the Command. Under his command, the Squadron maintained a safe environment, carried out 5481 hours of accident-free flying notwithstanding severe and unpredictable weather conditions and extended working hours. In the very first year of his command, the Squadron was rated the Best Categorised Squadron (Supersonics) and won the IAF Instrument Rating Trophy. With his guidance in 1983-84, the Squadron won the prestigious and coveted IAF Flight Safety Trophy for being the Best Supersonic Squadron of the Year. These commendable achievements are attributable to ingenuity, hard work, dedication and exemplary leadership of Wg Cdr Nair.

The success of the ceremony of Colour Presentation to the Squadron on 05 Mar 84 was the result of Wg Cdr Nair's administrative excellence, his meticulous planning, hard work and personal involvement coupled with organizational ability under trying circumstances.

A fighter pilot to the core, Wg Cdr Nair has to his credit 2670 hours of supersonic jet flying.

For his outstanding leadership, unflagging zeal, absolute devotion to duty, unflinching loyalty and professionalism, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Wing Commander Vasudevan Vatsalan Nair.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 6th April 1985 - No.29-Pres/85 dated 26th January 1985 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Joginder Singh Sisodia 7696 F(P)Unit : No.5 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 85
Details :

Wing Commander Jogendra Singh Sisodia has been flying fighter aircraft since 1963. During his service of over 20 years, he has flown Vampire, Mystere, Marut and Jaguar aircraft. He is fully operational on all these types and has been assessed as an above-average pilot. He is an 'A-2' flying instructor with Master Green Instrument Rating on fighters. He has held the post of Flight Commander in Marut and Jaguar Squadrons.

Wg Cdr Sisodia took over command of a newly formed Jaguar Squadron and accomplished the task of not only moving the Squadron to a new location but converting the entire Squadron on to a new generation attack aircraft. He addressed himself to this task with single-minded effort and exceptional devotion to duty with the result that the Squadron was able to achieve 'fully operational' status within a period of just one year. This notable achievement significantly enhanced the operational potential of the IAF. Wg Cdr Sisodia completed his tenure in January, 1984, handing over to his successor not only an exceptionally potent operational unit, but also one without any accidents. Throughout his service, Wg Cdr Sisodia has displayed exceptional devotion to duty, high qualities of leadership and high professional skill both in the air and on the ground during peace and war.

For his exceptional devotion to duty, high professional skill and qualities of leadership, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Wing Commander Jogendra Singh Sisodia

Reference: Gazette of India dated 6th April 1985 - No.29-Pres/85 dated 26th January 1985 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Pritam Singh 8127 F(P)Unit : AFS Bidar  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 85
Details :

Wing Commander Pritam Singh has been serving as Chief Instructor at Air Force Station, Bidar since 28 Jan 82. Endowed with considerable operational experience on Canberra aircraft, he has, in addition, vast instructional experience spread over a period of 19 years. He has performed instructional duties on HT-2, Harvard, Kiran, Iskara, Vampire, L-29, L­39 and Canberra aircraft. He has held the appointments of Assistant Chief Flying Instructor and Chief Flying Instructor at the Air Force Academy and the Fighter Training Wing respectively. He has been a category A-2 instructor for the last 10 years and has a total of 2350 hours which are accident free.

During his tenure as Chief Flying Instruc tor at Air Force Station, Bidar, the performance of the Training Wing has been constantly improving under his able supervision and mature guidance. All the five courses have passed out on schedule and have been accident-free. He has displayed singular drive and high professional acumen in improving the flying standard of QFIs and trainees. This has significantly contributed to an accident-free flying record in nearly 19000 hours under his supervision.

Wg Cdr Pritam Singh's organising ability, meticulous planning and able supervision have contributed greatly to the Flight Safety record of Air Force Station, Bidar. It has mainly been due to his efforts that the station has maintained a zero accident rate for the last three years. He has been a perennial source of inspiration to instructors and trainees placed under him.

For his exemplary professional competence, leadership and an impeccable record of accident­free operational and instructional flying, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Wing Commander Pritam Singh.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 6th April 1985 - No.29-Pres/85 dated 26th January 1985 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Narinder Singh Chahal 8155 F(P)Unit : No.114 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 85
Details :

Wing Commander Narinder Singh Chahal has the rare distinction of having commanded three helicopter units. He has 4700 hours of instructional flying. He has flown extensively over the most treacherous terrain in the Eastern as well as the Western Sectors of the country.

Under his inspiring leadership, one of the helicopter units gave an excellent account of itself when it was assigned the arduous task of bombing operations against insurgents in Nagaland in 1974-75. In recognition of its extraordinary performance, during these operations, the unit became the recipient of three Vayu Seva Medals.

Once again under his able command, another helicopter unit, his second, was adjudged the Best Helicopter Unit of the IAF for the year 1980. It also later won the coveted Flight Safety Award and Maintenance and Operational Trophies of Western Air Command.

In his present appointment as OC of a helicopter unit, Wg Cdr Chahal has undertaken several VVIP commitments to the complete satisfaction of all concerned. He has also led the formation of Mi-8s for Republic Day celebrations and IX Asiad. He was the leader of the Mi-8 detachment during CHOGM. Wg Cdr Chahal has brought up the fully operational state of the aircrew to 99.9%. During his command, all the three units have maintained a unique record of accidentfree flying. Wg Cdr Chahal's performance has been consistently excellent and his contribution to the safe conduct of flying has been exemplary.

For his dedication to duty, professional efficiency, and an exceptional record of flight safety, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Wing Commander Narinder Singh Chahal.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 6th April 1985 - No.29-Pres/85 dated 26th January 1985 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Mahabir Prasad Premi 8378 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 85
Details :

Wing Commander Mahabir Prasad Premi, VrC has been commanding one of the helicopter units since 02 Nov 81.

Throughout his present tenure as Commanding Officer, Wg Cdr Premi has displayed leadership of a high order, organizing ability, dedication and devotion to duty. Under his able leadership and guidance, the unit has won many laurels. Under his command, the unit has accomplished more than 8300 hours of accident-free flying in the face of severe weather conditions. During the very first year of his command, the unit won the Best Performance Helicopter Unit Trophy instituted by HAL to commemorate the IAF Golden Jubilee year. With his guidance once again in 1983-84, the unit won the prestigious and coveted IAF Flight Safety Trophy for the Best Helicopter Unit of the year and the Best Categorized Helicopter Unit of the IAF. These achievements were based on the ingenuity, hard work and exemplary leadership of Wg Cdr Premi.

Wg Cdr Premi has to his credit 4769 hrs of accident/incident-free flying including 770 hrs during the present tenure.

For the outstanding leadership, diligence, devotion to duty and professional skill, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Wing Commander Mahabir Prasad Premi, VrC.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 6th April 1985 - No.29-Pres/85 dated 26th January 1985 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Raj Pal Singh Garcha 8413 F(P)Unit : AirHQ Communications Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 85
Details :

Wing Commander Raj Pal Singh Garcha was posted to Air Headquarters Communication Squadron for the third tenure on 03 Mar 80. A highly experienced transport pilot, he has 6058 command hours to his credit. He has a total of 2340 hours in the VVIP, VIP role on HS-748, TU-124 and Boeing-737 aircraft and has a Category A/MG on the C119 G/L, TU124, HS-748 and B-737 aircraft. In addition, he is an A-2 QFI.

During his service, he has held appointments of Flight Commander at Elementary Flying School, Bidar and Transport Training Wing. In addition, he has had a tenure at the Aircrew Examination Board. Presently, he holds the appointment of Flight Commander, Boeing Flight and is the command and type examiner on HS-748 and B-737 aircraft respectively.

As part of his duties, Wg Cdr Garcha was entrusted with the in­unit conversion to B-737 of the second batch comprising four pilots in June, 1981. He undertook the challenging task with characteristic zeal and dedication to duty. The result of his untiring effort was the categorization of all the four pilots in 1981, of which one was A/MG, two were awarded B/MG and one awarded B/ Green categories respectively. In addition he undertook the task of training and preparation of newly inducted HS-748 pilots for the Categorization Board.

His qualities of cool courage in the face of danger, professionalism and selfless devotion to duty were displayed on 13 May 83 when he carried out a precautionary landing at Hyderabad after a suspected tyre failure with no less an eminent personage than the Vice President of India on board.

For his outstanding qualities of courage in the face of danger, professionalism and self devotion to duty, the President id pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wing Commander Raj Pal Singh Garcha.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 6th April 1985 - No.29-Pres/85 dated 26th January 1985 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Hardish Singh Sodhi 9000 F(P)Unit : Paratrooper Training School  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 85
Details :

Wing Commander Hardish Singh Sodhi has been posted strength of Paratrooper Training School since Jul 83 and he has been working as Flight Commander ever since. The officer has flown over 4600 accident-free hours on various types of aircraft. He holds the highest professional qualification and is an examiner on Packet aircraft. Being a qualified flying instructor with A-2 instructional category, he has also been responsible for conducting the operational training of his pilots. He has devoted himself wholeheartedly to bringing up and maintaining the unit at a very high state of operational readiness. He has ensured a high standard of performance by the flight in all flying tasks assigned to it.

Under his leadership and guidance, the performance of his unit, especially in inter-services exercises has been constantly commendable with all the pilots categorized and the unit winning the coveted Best Categorization Trophy of Central Air Command.

During the recent "Operation Meghdoot", the officer bore the heavy responsibility for the functional support to the detachment. At the same time, the success of the mission was due in large measures to his foresight and organizing ability. In addition, he personally undertook most of the trial flights over most difficult terrain of the exercise area. He also compiled the operating procedures which made subsequent operations in the area both productive and safe. He was also instrumental in training and clearing the pilots for dropping missions over mountain ranges which are amongst the highest in the world.

For the outstanding professional acumen, leadership, devotion to duty and organizing capability in keeping with the highest traditions of the Indian Air Force, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wing Commander Hardish Singh Sodhi.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 6th April 1985 - No.29-Pres/85 dated 26th January 1985 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Man Mohan Kapoor 9522 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 85
Details :

Wing Commander Man Mohan Kapur has been commanding one of frontline fighter squadrons since 2 May 83.

When he took over the command of the Squadron, it had only three fully operational pilots. Inspite of this limitation, he succeeded in bringing the squadron to fully operational status in short span of six months. At present, all pilots are fully operational with instrument rating commensurate with their experience.

Wg Cdr MM Kapur is a competent and professional with 3000 hrs of accident-free flying on various types of aircraft to his credit. He has utilized his experience to its limits in bringing up the Squadron. His unit was given the task of operating for the first time a detachment of six Vijay aircraft from a forward air base. Wg Cdr MM Kapur, with the determination and zeal characteristic of him, achieved this task to the full satisfaction of the superiors and at the same time won the confidence and admiration of his colleagues and subordinates.

Wg Cdr MM Kapur's farsighted planning, sound professional skill and practical approach have enabled the Squadron to maintain a very high standard of Flight Safety. His personal drive, encouragement and correct guidance have helped the unit to maintain a high standard of operational efficiency.

For his qualities of leadership, devotion to duty, resourcefulness, determination to accept and accomplish challenging tasks and a very high standard of professional skill, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Wing Commander Man Mohan Kapur.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 6th April 1985 - No.29-Pres/85 dated 26th January 1985 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Paramjit Singh Sood 9719 F(P)Unit : No.142 SSS Flight  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 85
Details :

Wing Commander Paramjit Singh Sood has been commanding a Sea Search and Surveillance Flight since 17 Jan 83. He is an experienced helicopter pilot and under his command, the Flight has accomplished a high state of operational effectiveness. Substantial improvement in aircraft serviceability, accidentfree extensive flying and other operational achievements of the Flight are entirely due to his leadership, dedication to duty, determination and ability to achieve results.

In Feb 84, the unit operated a three-Chetak detachment as part of operational activation in a major exercise. During this period, the flight flew over 250 hours and maintained a 100% serviceability state. The Flight accomplished all the assigned tasks successfully. A handful of pilots and technicians made this remarkable achievement under his leadership. The task entailed flying throughout the day from different helipads over unfamiliar terrain.

For his leadership, devotion to duty, organizing ability, resourcefulness, untiring efforts and ability to produce results in the highest traditions of the Indian Air Force, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Wing Commander Paramjit Singh Sood.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 6th April 1985 - No.29-Pres/85 dated 26th January 1985 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Jois Nagaraj 10451 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 85
Details :

Squadron Leader Jois Nagaraj has been on the posted strength of a transport squadron since 23 Oct 78. Throughout his transport flying experience over 2700 hours, he has had an accident­free record. He is a dependable flier always willing to accept and accomplish with dedication and professional skill any difficult task allotted to him.

On 14 Dec 83, he was detailed as captain of an aircraft for a cross country flight from Allahabad to Delhi. When he was approximately 155 miles from Delhi, the port rudder of his aircraft malfunctioned, resulting in severe engine and Airframe vibrations. Feathering of the port engine reduced the intensity of vibrations marginally. There was limited directional control and gyro instruments had toppled. Severe vibrations made it difficult to read other instruments accurately. In spite of such a dangerous situation, he resisted the temptation of crash­landing the aircraft and continued flying the aircraft for 37 minutes and landed safely at Agra.

He thus displayed thorough professionalism and courage of a high order in the face of a highly grave situation and in doing so he saved the lives of all the crew and a valuable aircraft.

His courageous act has been a source of inspiration and an example to all other aircrew in the unit.

For his display of exemplary courage, devotion to duty and flying skill of a high order, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Squadron Leader Jois Nagaraj.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 6th April 1985 - No.29-Pres/85 dated 26th January 1985 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Anand Jaivanth Rao 10512 F(P)Unit : No.114 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 85
Details :

Squadron Leader Anand Jaivanth Rao was one of the senior pilots of the Cheetah task force responsible for the initial induction of troops into Siachen Glacier during an operational exercise. He was one of the first aircraft to carry out initial reconnaissance of glacier, prior to the induction of the task force. On 13 Apr 84, he carried out induction of troops at an unprepared, unmarked and snowbound helipad, located at an elevation of about 17,000 ft. Thereafter, he continued to carry out similar operational sorties for 20 days at a stretch and inducted troops. He was the first pilot to explore and land at the site of the planned Assault Camp. With great tenacity for hard work, judgment and a very high sense of responsibility, he carried out a number of missions in the glacier area under most difficult and treacherous flying environment where minor errors could lead to disaster.

Sqn Ldr Rao was also detailed as the leader of the task force to undertake the salvage operations of two Cheetah Helicopters from a crash site to the Assault Camp. It was an exacting operation involving underslung flying, which he conducted with utmost speed and safety. He completed the retrieval of all aircraft parts well ahead of the planned schedule and undertook 43 sorties for the purpose. Flying for this task was invariably at the limits of performance of the aircraft.

During the exercise "Meghdoot" he flew over a hundred missions in the Siachen glacier under all types of weather conditions.

For his remarkable grit, determination and professional competence of an exceptional order displayed by him during this operational exercise and also in earlier similar missions in his flying career, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Squadron Leader Anand Jaivanth Rao.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 6th April 1985 - No.29-Pres/85 dated 26th January 1985 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Gurmohinder Singh Bajwa 10514 F(P)Unit : No.114 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 85
Details :

Squadron Leader Gurmohinder Singh Bajwa was one of the pilots of the task force of Cheetah Helicopters. He was assigned the task of induction of troops during the Operational Exercise "Meghdoot".

During the exercise, he carried out a number of sorties in the Saichen glacier, under one of the most hostile environments for flying, with no references for navigation and landing. With snow getting churned up due to rotor wash at the time of landing, during every sortie, Sqn Ldr Bajwa flew his helicopter with great skill and grit to achieve all the missions assigned to him.

He displayed commendable endurance, outstanding capacity for hard work and was always ready volunteer to undertake additional flying commitments, notwithstanding his awareness of the hazardous flying conditions prevalent over the glacier. He carried out more than ninety missions, lifting armament and troops to various locations on the glacier and continued to operate in the area over extended period at a stretch with a very high sense of duty.

For his dedicated hard work and great professional skill in flying under difficult and hazardous conditions with utter disregard to personal comforts to achieve the allotted task, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Squadron Leader Gurmohinder Singh Bajwa.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 6th April 1985 - No.29-Pres/85 dated 26th January 1985 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Surinder Singh Bains 11288 F(P)Unit : No.114 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 85
Details :

Squadron Leader Surinder Singh Bains was one of the senior pilots on task force of Cheetah helicopters, which were deployed for the induction of troops during Operation "Meghdoot".

Sqn Ldr Bains carried out forty sorties involving 42 hours of flying under the most hazardous flying environments. Flying over uncharted expanse of the Siachen glacier, the world's largest glacier, located in the midst of towering mountains, Sqn Ldr Bains was in the first helicopter to select the landing sites at the strategic passes. These sites were located at heights above 17000 feet and at untried places.

It was a display of rare skill and courage of the highest order by Sqn Ldr Bains, considering that the area of operation was devoid of any sort of reference points and completely covered with ice and snow only. To make these sorties an exacting trial of his flying skill, there was the uncertainty about the firmness of touch-down spot blurred by the churning-up of snow caused by the down wash during landing. Besides, the ambient and in-flight temperature ranged between -20°C and -30°C most of the time.

He was the first pilot to land the troops on two different helipads on 13 Apr 84, during these missions, in the face of hostile activity.

Sqn Ldr Bains not only operated his helicopter with skill and confidence, but also trained other junior pilots in such exacting operations, and thus ensured that the maximum load was lifted in each sortie.

For his courage, professional competence and pioneering spirit combined with indomitable will displayed by him during this operation, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Squadron Leader Surinder Singh Bains.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 6th April 1985 - No.29-Pres/85 dated 26th January 1985 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Rohit Rai 13160 F(P)Unit : No.114 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 85
Details :

Squadron Leader Rohit Rai of a Helicopter Unit was among the few pilots who actively participated in the troop induction stage of an operational exercise. This phase of the operation was a race against time, as hostile elements were also in the process of building up and moving into the Siachen glacier in Ladakh. In order induct our troops well in time, the helicopters had to fly virtually from dawn to dusk, over extremely inhospitable terrain. This called for endurance, determination, professionalism and a fine sense of judgment to exploit every opportunity provided by unpredictable weather.

Sqn Ldr Rohit Rai displayed these qualities in an abundant measure. He was always cheerful and enthusiastic and seized every available opportunity to undertake operational sorties. His determination to achieve the task was a source of inspiration to the junior pilots and the ground crew. He displayed considerable reserves of stamina and endurance in flying throughout the day, day after day, in an area where intense concentration was required in view of the extremely difficult terrain.

For his devotion to duty, determination and significant contribution to the timely induction of troops in the Siachen glacier, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Squadron Leader Rohit Rai.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 6th April 1985 - No.29-Pres/85 dated 26th January 1985 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Nadhuhitalu Mohan Rai 13841 F(P)Unit : Indian Scientific Expedit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 85
Details :

Flt Lt NM Rai was a flight engineer and the Senior Technical Officer in the AF team for the Third Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica. The success of the expedition, to a large extent, depended upon the logistic support provided by the Mi-8 helicopter. After the loss of one of the Mi-8 helicopters in the very early stages of the air operations, everything depended upon the availability of the lone Mi-8 to meet the heavy lift task which involved airlift of building foundation equipment and helicopter under­slung operations as well.

Under the able leadership of Flt Lt NM Rai, the Air Force technicians worked ceaselessly, round the clock, to carry out the necessary servicing, rectification and the maintenance operations successfully. Flt Lt NM Rai not only supervised, assisted and guided the technicians in carrying out the various servicing operation but also flew 32 hours in 112 sorties.

On 29 Dec 83 the Mi-8 in which Flt Lt Rai was flying as a Flight Engineer met with an accident due to sudden engine failure at a very low altitude and crashed into cold Antarctic waters. The entire crew of the helicopter, including Flt Lt Rai, were trapped inside the helicopter, which was sinking rather fast in the icy Antarctica waters. Faced with a catastrophic situation, Flt Lt Rai displayed great presence of mind and courage and managed, with the help of Sgt Gupta, to break open a passage through the cockpit wall of the helicopter and helped his fellow crew members in getting out of the fast sinking helicopter.

For his commendable presence of mind, initiative and courage in the face of a grave situation threatening the very survival of his colleagues, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Flight Lieutenant Naduhitalu Mohan Rai.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 6th April 1985 - No.29-Pres/85 dated 26th January 1985 

Vayu Sena Medal
MWO Gopi Ram Punia 218480 ORUnit : No.109 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 85
Details :

Master Warrant Officer Gopi Ram Punia, Flight Engineer, has been on the posted strength of a helicopter unit in the Air Force since Feb 1981. He has over 6000 hours to his credit.

His performance during his long and distinguished career has been marked by competence, diligence and determination in the face of difficulties to achieve the tasks assigned.

On 06 Jun 83, MWO Punia rendered invaluable assistance to his crew, engaged in the hazardous task of evacuating people from a burning skyscraper in Delhi.

On 10 Apr 84, MWO Punia was detailed as the Flight Engineer on a Mi-8 helicopter at a short notice for an operational exercise in Ladakh. While operating in the Ladakh sector, he applied himself with professional zeal to ensuring that the helicopter was always ready for its designated missions. The flying commitments undertaken by him, entailed flying over snow covered hostile terrain at altitude.

MWO Punia flew 61 sorties in a short span of 14 days, at times being on duty for over 12 hours a day. He displayed flawless professional competence, determination and untiring dedication in achieving the operational task assigned to him.

For his exemplary professionalism, determination and devotion to duty in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to MWO Master Gopi Ram Punia.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 6th April 1985 - No.29-Pres/85 dated 26th January 1985 

Vayu Sena Medal
WO Gandhuri Kasi Viswanadha 271455 ORUnit : No.109 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 85
Details :

Warrant Officer Ganduri Kasi Viswanadham, Flight Gunner has been on the posted strength of a helicopter unit in the Air Force since 10 May 82.

During his present tenure in the unit, he has flown over 800 hours, and has logged a total of almost 1800 hours of accident/incident free flying to his credit. This includes VVIP/ VIP commitments, flood relief and rescue operations and high altitude air maintenance missions. He holds 'A' Category on the Mi-8 helicopters and has been the Command Examiner for Flight Gunners.

WO Ganduri with his total involvement and hard work has a special gift of imparting training and professional knowledge to his colleagues and subordinates. Through sound professional knowledge, systematic planning and methodical organizational ability, he has been instrumental in improving the professional standards and the general performance level of the Flight Gunners in his unit.

Disregarding his personal comforts and domestic problems, he makes himself available for any task, at any hour of the day or night. That he is thoroughly dependable has been shown by him time and again. During a recent operational exercise, he carried out the task working without rest or respite for long hours in the face of adverse flying conditions. He set a laudable example by flying 101 hours involving 144 sorties over the Siachen glacier during the exercise.

For his professional competence, determination, dedication and devotion to duty in keeping with the highest traditions of the Air Force, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Warrant Officer Ganduri Kasi Viswanadham.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 6th April 1985 - No.29-Pres/85 dated 26th January 1985 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Cpl Hari Ram Joshi 613557 ORUnit : 25 Equipment Depot  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 85
Details :

On the night of 23/24 Jan 84, Corporal Hari Ram Joshi, Equipment Assistant, was on guard duty at one of the equipment depots. At about 0030 hrs he sensed some movement in the darkness near the salvage area. Without regard to his personal safety, he proceeded to the spot and found five individuals within salvage yard. He immediately sounded an alert and challenged the intruders to stop. Out of the five intruders who had entered the salvage yard to steal valuable and attractive items, three fled. Single-handed, Cpl Joshi pinned down two intruders making a bid to escape by trying to scale the compound wall. Simultaneously, he shouted for assistance from other guards in the area. It was later discovered that the intruders were hardcore criminals with a long police record.

At a considerable personal risk, Cpl Joshi displayed remarkable presence of mind and outstanding courage in challenging and preventing two hardened criminals from escaping. Till help arrived, Cpl Joshi was not unnerved by the fact that he was alone and in total darkness.

For his steadfast devotion to duty, courage and deep sense of responsibility, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Corporal Hari Ram Joshi.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 6th April 1985 - No.29-Pres/85 dated 26th January 1985 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Cpl Kamdev Prasad Singh 616762 ORUnit : 7 Base Repair Depot  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 85
Details :

Corporal Kamdev Prasad Singh, IAF Police, while serving at a Base Repair Depot in 1981, displayed exemplary courage and extra-ordinary vigilance in safeguarding the men and material of his unit.

On 19 Sep 81, Cpl Singh was on patrol duty along with JWO Vallabhan, IAF Police, and others. During their patrol duty, they observed some unusual movements near the perimeter fencing. These two airmen tried to chase the trespassers. In turn the criminals who were in a group attacked them. Consequently, JWO Vallabhan received severe injuries. The criminals were about to kill JWO Vallabhan when Cpl Singh rose to the occasion. He saved the valuable life of his colleague by opening fire at the criminals, displaying great courage and devotion to duty.

For his courageous, brave and timely action in the face of a group of criminals, to save the lives of his colleagues, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Corporal Kamdev Prasad Singh.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 6th April 1985 - No.29-Pres/85 dated 26th January 1985 

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.