Vir Chakra Awardee List for the 8 Sqn


A total of 8 Awards are listed.
Vir Chakra : 8 |
Vir Chakra
Sqn Ldr Kenneth Merals David 1863 GD(P)Unit : No.8 Squadron  Award Date 18 Sep 48 Announced 26 Jan 50
Details :

Squadron Leader Kenneth Merals David (1836) GD(P) flew well over 100 hours in the Jammu and Kashmir Operations and throughout displayed supreme courage by attacking enemy targets with utter disregard for his personal safety. He carried out may attacks over Kishenganga Bridge which was heavily guarded by the enemy. By his good flying and precision bombing he damaged the bridge more than once, thus temporarily paralyzing the enemy supply lines.He led his Squadron at every possible opportunity and set a good example to the Pilots of his Squadron.

For the valuable services rendered by him during the Jammu and Kashmir Operations, he was awarded the Vir Chakra.

Reference: Gazette of India , Extraordinary, No. 2-Pres., dated 26th January, 1950 

Vir Chakra
Flt Lt Michael Patrick Owen Blake 2630 GD(P)Unit : No.8 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 50
Details :

Flight Lieutenant (Now Wing Commander) Michael Patrick Owen Blake (2630) set a high standard of flying in Jammu and Kashmir Operations as a Flight Commander. Being the first to volunteer for operations in Kashmir, he led the first attack in SKARDU area, flying over difficult and dangerous country.

The officer rendered valuable service in the defence of Poonch. He during critical days in Poonch, gave support to our besieged garrison there and was often responsible for neutralizing enemy strongholds in that vicinity. In almost all of these attacks, he achieved results by pressing home the attacks on the enemy at great personal risks. By his fine example he inspired confidence in other pilots of the Squadron.

For his outstanding leadership as a Flight Commander in Jammu and Kashmir Operations, he has been awarded the Vir Chakra.

Reference: Gazette of India , Extraordinary, No. 2-Pres., dated 26th January, 1950 

Vir Chakra
Flt Lt Aloysius William Barrette 3172 GD(P)Unit : No.8 Squadron  Award Date 20 Sep 48 Announced 26 Jan 50
Details :

The late Flight Lieutenant ALOYSIUS WILLIAM BARRETTE (3172) flew 80 Operational hours with in a short period of two months during the JAMMU and KASHMIR Operations. Tlthough he was hurt on several occasions he carred on cheerfully and showed exceptional courage and high sense of duty. Whilst attacking enemy positions near Poonch, he was injured but immediately after recovery he resumed operational flying.

Again over the MENDAR Valley, he was hit in th face by a shrapnel from the enemy Anti-Aircraft Fire while going into attack. Although he was bleeding profusely, he pressed home the attack with determination and destroyed the enemy post. His love for Operational flying was a source of inspiration ot the other pilots of his Squadron.

For the distinguished service rendered by him during the JAMMU and KASHMIR Operations, he has been awarded the Vir Chakra.

Reference: Gazette of India , Extraordinary, No. 2-Pres., dated 26th January, 1950 

Vir Chakra
Fg Offr Gerald Bertram Cabral 3308 GD(P)Unit : No.8 Squadron  Award Date 19 Jan 49 Announced 20 Nov 50
Details :

During his operational tour, this officer was shot down twice. On the first occasion, he successfully forced landed in Pooch.

He came back to the Squadron and carried on undaunted. He was again shot down over Tithwal and by his cool courage and resource walked out of “NO MAN’S LAND” after being heavily shelled. He continued to carry out his normal flying duties, undeterred by previous mishaps, thereby setting an outstanding example in high morale to the rest of the unit.

This officer has shown commendable devotion to duty. This determination and courage in carrying on with operational flying after being shot down twice and walking back to our lines on one of these occasions under enemy shell fire set a fine example to all others to follow.

Reference: Gazette of India , 20th November 1950 - No.13 - Pres dated 15th November 1950 

Vir Chakra
Sqn Ldr Madhukar Shantaram Jatar 4793 GD(P)Unit : No.8 Squadron  Award Date 07 Sep 65 Announced 10 Sep 65
Details :

During the recent operations against Pakistan, Squadron Leader Madhukar Shantaram Jatar was the Flight Commander in an operational Squadron which carried out 14 operational sorties. On the 7th September 1965, he led a formation of eight Mysteres on a ground strike mission on Bhagranwala airfield. The raid had to be carried out at a low altitude when visibility was poor. Squadron Leader Jatar inspired is men with courage and tenacity of purpose and the attack on the airfield was pressed home resolutely. As a result one enemy Sabre Jet was destroyed and another damaged. After carrying out the mission successfully, Squadron Leader Jatar brought his formation of eight aircraft safely back to the base.

In this operation, Squadron Leader Madhukar Shantaram Jatar displayed leadership, devotion to duty and professional skill of a high order in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India , 1st January 1966 - No.131 - Pres/65 dated 10th September 1965 

Vir Chakra
Sqn Ldr Pramod Chandra Chopra 5194 GD(P)Unit : No.8 Squadron  Award Date 11 Sep 65 Announced 01 Jan 66
Details :

During the recent operations against Pakistan, Flight Lieutenant Pramod Chandra Chopra carried out 14 operational missions and displayed commendable enthusiasm in hunting for the enemy in the sky.

On 11th September, 1965, Flight Lieutenant Chopra flew as No. 3 in a four aircraft formation of Mystere on a ground attack strike mission. The formation encountered heavy and concentrated enemy ground fire. Defying the barrage of antiaircraft fire, Flight Lieutenant Pramod Chandra Chopra pressed home his attack and destroyed two enemy tanks in addition to several gun emplacements and vehicles.

His courage and determination, which inspired other pilots, were in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force.

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

Vir Chakra
Flt Lt Vinod Patney 6125 GD(P)Unit : No.8 Squadron  Award Date 13 Sep 65 Announced 01 Jan 66
Details :

During the operations against Pakistan, Flight Lieutenant Vinod Patney was serving in an Operational Squadron in a forward area. He flew 16 operational sorties within the short period.

On 13th September, 1965, he took part in a ground attack mission in the Kasur-Khem Karan Sector and flew as No. 3 in a four aircraft formation. During the attack, the formation met with heavy and determined ground fire from the enemy guns. One of our aircraft was shot down. Undeterred and undaunted by this, Flight Lieutenant Patney pressed home five effective attacks on different enemy targets and destroying 3 Patton tanks. The courage and initiative displayed by Flight Lieutenant Vinod Patney were in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force.

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

Vir Chakra
Flt Lt Vinod Kumar Bhatia 6497 GD(P)Unit : No.8 Squadron  Award Date 08 Sep 65 Announced 01 Jan 66
Details :

During the operations against Pakistan, Flight Lieutenant Vinod Kumar Bhatia was serving in an Operational Squadron in the Lahore Sector. He flew 18 operational sorties in that Sector. On 8th September, 1965, Flight Lieutenant Bhatia flew as No. 2 in a formation of four Mystere aircraft on a ground attack strike mission. In the face of very heavy and concentrated enemy fire, Flight Lieutenant Bhatia, totally unmindful of the danger, to which he was exposed, pressed home repeated attacks on the enemy tanks and gun positions and destroyed two tanks.

The courage and determination displayed by Flight Lieutenant Vinod Kumar Bhatia were in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force.

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.