Vir Chakra Awardee List for the 23 Sqn


A total of 4 Awards are listed.
Vir Chakra : 4 |
Vir Chakra
Sqn Ldr Trevor Joseph Keelor 4818 GD(P)Unit : No.23 Squadron  Award Date 03 Sep 65 Announced 05 Sep 65
Details :

At about 0700 hours on the 3rd September, 1965, on receipt of a report that a formation of Pakistani fighters was circling over our army position in the Chhamb sector of Jammu & Kashmir, a formation of Gnat aircraft was ordered to intercept the intruders.

Approaching the area, Squadron Leader Trevor Keelor, who was a section leader in the Gnat formation, sighted enemy F-86 Sabre jets and engaged them in air battle. When the combat was in progress, F-104 Star fighters of the Pakistani Air Force also joined in. Unmindful of the numerical superiority of the enemy, Squadron Leader Keelor chased a Sabre Jet and pressed home his attack until the enemy aircraft caught fire and disintegrated in the air. This was the first victory of our Air Force in the air battles against the Pakistani Air Force.

In this operation, Squadron Leader Trevor Keelor displayed courage and leadership of a high order in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India , 1st January 1966 - No.130 - Pres/65 dated 5th September 1965 

Vir Chakra
Flt Lt Virendra Singh Pathania 5198 GD(P)Unit : No.23 Squadron  Award Date 04 Sep 65 Announced 06 Sep 65
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Virender Singh Pathania was one of the Gnat pilots who were sent to Pathankot to establish our air superiority in that region during the recent operations against Pakistan. He flew repeated missions seeking out Pakistani aircraft and engaging them. On the 4th September, 1965, during one such mission he came up against a formation of enemy Sabre Jets and immediately engaged them in battle. With great confidence and courage, he out-maneuvered the enemy all the time, got behind one of the enemy Sabres and shot it down.

In this encounter, Flight Lieutenant Virender Singh Pathania displayed cool courage and firm determination in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India , 1st January 1966 - No.130 - Pres/65 dated 5th September 1965 

Vir Chakra
Sqn Ldr Amar Jit Singh Sandhu 4705 GD(P)Unit : No.23 Squadron  Award Date 17 Sep 65 Announced 22 Sep 65
Details :

Squadron Leader Amarjit Singh Sandhu was the Flight Commander of an Operational Squadron, which was assigned the task of establishing our air superiority over the Pathankot region during the recent operations against Pakistan. He flew repeated missions in the Chhamb sector and over the Pasrur and Lahore areas, all the time seeking out enemy aircraft and engaging them. On the 18th September 1965, in a thrilling encounter against enemy aircraft, he was able to outmanoeuvre the enemy with admirable skill, courage and judgment and shot down a Sabre jet.

The courage and devotion to duty displayed by Squadron Leader Amarjit Singh Sandhu were in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India , 1st January 1966 - No.133 - Pres/65 dated 22nd September 1965 

Vir Chakra
Sqn Ldr Johney William Greene 4093 GD(P)Unit : No.23 Squadron  Award Date 03 Sep 65 Announced 01 Jan 66
Details :

In the initial stages of the operations against Pakistan in the Chhamb Sector, a detachment of Gnat was sent to give cover to our ground attack aircraft and establish our superiority. Squadron Leader Johnny William Greene led missions repeatedly into this sector where the enemy was using missile equipped F-86 Sabre and F-104 Star fighters. He worked out tactics to combat them and, by his personal example and determination, infused confidence in the members of his formation.

On 3rd and 4th September 1965, the formations led by him were in the first air combats with the enemy air force. Unmindful of the enemy’s numerical superiority and radar advantage, he controlled and maneuvered his formations with such skill that they succeeded in shooting down two enemy aircraft - the first in these operations. Subsequently, he led a number of formations giving air cover to Mystere and Canberra aircraft in attacks on ground targets. The success of these attacks was largely due to his bravery and leadership.

Reference: Gazette of India , 12th February 1966 - No.15 - Pres/66 dated 1st January 1966 

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.