Awards for 108 Sqn


A total of 11 Awards are listed.
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Vir Chakra
Fg Offr Utpal Barbara 7229 GD(P)Unit : 108 Sqn  Award Date 26 Apr 65 Announced 29 Jun 65
Details :

On 26th April, 1965, Flying Officer Barbara undertook a photo-reconnaissance sortie in the Biar Bet area in which the Pakistani Army had mounted an attack against one of xx Company positions. His task was to collect evidence of the presence of Pakitani armour in this area and use of foreign tanks by Pakistani forces. Such evidence was of vital importance since Pakistan had denied use of foreign tanks in the battle. The battle area was being constantly patrolled by the Pakistani forces with fighter aircraft whos performance was much superior to that of the aircraft flown by flying Officer Barbara. In addition to the danger of being intercepted by the enemy aircraft there was the danger of being caught in the cross0f9ire of the Artillery duel between the Pakistani forces and our troops. Fully aware of these risks, Flying Officer Barbara decided to fly as low as 50 feet above ground level below the trajectory of the shells. With consummate skill, he navigated t o an area which is noted for the absence of prominent land marks and having spotted 15 tanks which he recognized as M-48 “Patton”, he took photographs of the tanks as well a s of their tracks. The photographs taken by him confirmed that Pakistan had used foreign tanks in Indian territory.

In this operation, Flying Officer Utpal Barbara displayed courage, determination and professional skill of a high order in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India , 21st August 1965 - No.64 - Pres/65 dated 8th July 1965 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Vishwanatha Krishnamurthy 4022 GD(P)Unit : 108 Sqn  Award Date Announced 01 Jan 67
Details :

Sqn. Ldr. Vishwanathan Krishnamurthy was in command of a Reconnaissance Squadron in the eastern sector from October 1962 to April 1965. During this period in all difficult and hazardous missions, Sqn. Ldr. Krishnamurthy guided his men and proved himself to be a source of inspiration. During the trouble in Kutch, he volunteered for operations and carried out successfully all tasks assigned to him.

Throughout, Sqn. Ldr. Krishnamurthy displayed courage and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 7th January, 1967- No.102 - Pres/66 dated 31st December 1966 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Eric Lionel Allen 4582 GD(P)Unit : 108 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 68
Details :

When both the Squadron Leader and the Flight Commander of a Squadron were killed in a fatal flying accident in July 1965, Squadron Leader Eric Lionel Allen took over the command of the Squadron. By working from dawn to dusk and at times even during the night, he successfully completed the task of operational training of the pilots in the Squadron, within a very short time. During the conflict with Pakistan in 1965, he undertook several difficult missions. In addition to the duties of Squadron Commander, he performed the duties of Officer-in-Charge of Flying at an airfield for a period of 15 months.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Eric Lionel Allen displayed courage and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 8th June 1968 - No.35 - Pres/68 dated 26th January 1968 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Manek Bomanshaw Madon 7681 F(P)Unit : 108 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 72
Details :

During the operations against Pakistan in December, 1971, Flight Lieutenant Maneck Bomanshaw Madon, as a senior pilot of a Fighter Bomber Squadron, carried out several operational missions against enemy gun positions and troop concentrations in the Khem Karan Sector. On the 10th December, 1971, he was detailed to carry out Rocket Pod and Front Gun Missions along the Ichogil Canal. He located the well dug­in defensive positions of the enemy and carried out four attacks on them despite heavy ground fire. During these attacks, though his aircraft was hit on the wing resulting in fuel leakage and he faced control difficulty, he brought the damaged aircraft to the base.

Throughout, Flight Lieutenant Maneck Bomanshaw Madon displayed courage, professional skill and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 7th October 1972 - No.108 - Pres/72 dated 23rd September 1972 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Balchandra Shankar Deshmukh 4489 F(P)Unit : 108 Sqn  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)
Sqn Ldr Om Prakash Sharma 5104 F(P)Unit : 108 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 74
Details :

Squadron Leader Om Prakash Sharma is one of the pioneers of supersonic Squadrons of the Indian Air Force. He has done over 1200 accident free sorties on supersonic aircraft. He has been the Flight Commander of four supersonic fighter Squadrons and has been largely responsible in bringing them to their high operational capability in a short time after their conversion to the new type of aircraft. During his tenure as the Senior Operations Officer of a Signal Unit, he was commended by the Air Officer Commanding in-Chief, Western Air Command, for his organisational capability and hard work. He has greatly helped in developing new operational tactics. During the 1971 operations, he undertook twelve operational missions, including deep penetration, night bombing of enemy airfields, escort and offensive sweep missions. During his present tenure as the flight commander of a newly converted supersonic squadron, he has succeeded in training young pilots to 'Fully Operational' status at the same time fulfilling all tasks allotted to the Squadron. His professional ability in combat flying has been a source of inspiration to all air and ground crew who have served under him.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Om Prakash Sharma has displayed courage, leadership and exceptional devotion to duty in the highest traditions of the Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 6th July 1974 - No.85 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1974 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr James Arun Benjamin 11296 F(P)Unit : 108 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

Wing Commander James Arun Benjamin sustained serious burn injuries on this back, neck and face in 1971 in a Gnat flying accident. Undeterred by this and other serious emergencies that he encountered, he continued his flying career with courage, determination and thorough professionalism. He has flown 700 hrs on the Gnat and has to his credit 500 hrs of instructional flying as a Qualified Flying Instructor. He completed a successful tenure as a senior Flt Cdr in a MiG-21 Squadron before being chosen to command a prestigious fighter Squadron on 25 Feb 85.

With the distinction of being a Qualified Flying Instructor, Fighter Combat Leader and Defence Services Staff College graduate, he applied his full professional knowledge and ability to hone the Squadron to fine operational pitch during his tenure of two years and two months. The squadron carried out 5838 sorties in 3850 hrs of accident-free flying during this period.

His meticulous planning and guidance to his Flt Cdr assured a high Fully Operational, Instrument Flying rating status throughout, including rights strikes capability.

As a Commanding officer, he was quick on the uptake, totally reliable, positive minded, and a sound leader both in the air and on the ground. His reputation in the Squadron was of an exceptionally high order as was his standing with his peers and superiors. His ability in flying is evident from his flying qualifications, types of aircraft flown and apportionments held. On the present type MiG-21 variants, he has 1200 hours of accident free flying.

For his dedication to service beyond the call of duty, exceptional ability as a fighter pilot and supervisor, and man management, operational planning and training of a high order, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wing Commander James Arun Benjamin.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 2nd April 1988 - No.24-Pres/88 dated 26th January 1988 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Vishwas Gaur 17361 F(P)Unit : 108 Sqn  Award Date Announced 15 Aug 99
Details :

Squadron Leader Vishwas Gaur (17361-N) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Fighter Squadron of the Air Force since 03 May 98.

He is a dedicated and hard working officer with sound professional knowledge. During 'Operation Safed Sagar', as Fighter Strike Leader, he was instrumental in the Squadron achieving high operational standards. It was because of his hard work and precise calculations for High Altitude Release (HAR) mode; the Squadron was able to engage all targets successfully keeping the aircraft outside enemy missile ranges. In the absence of tables for HAR mode and varying target height, this was of utmost importance to avoid fratricide. He also understood the difficulties faced by Air Force and Army planners to locate and photograph the enemy targets in rugged mountainous terrain. It was his knowledge of the aircraft systems and innovative suggestion of using Laser Designator Pod for filming the targets that made the operations simpler for the planners. Thereafter, there was no looking back in locating and destroying the enemy targets, making 'Operation Safed Sagar', a complete success. As a Flight Commander he ensured that the Squadron achieved hundred percent success rate in launching the tasked 152 sorties towards 'Operation Safed Sagar'. As professional pilot till date he has flown 26 day and night missions. He showed exceptional courage in face of strong enemy opposition and caused destruction of several important targets. His exemplary courage and devotion to duty has been a source of inspiration and motivations to others.

For his innovativeness, professionalism, exceptional courage and devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Squadron Leader Vishwas Gaur.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th March 2000 - No.27-Pres/2000 dated 15th August 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Amanjeet Singh Heer 19521 F(P)Unit : 108 Sqn  Award Date Announced 15 Aug 99
Details :

Squadron Leader Amanjit Singh Heer (19521-F) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Fighter Squadron since 08 Oct 96.

During the Kargil operations, his Squadron, flying MiG-21 aircraft, was tasked to locate and destroy enemy targets in the hostile glaciated mountainous terrain at an average height of 15000 feet. His innovation of filming the target area with his personal video camera, to detect and subsequently attack enemy targets has been highly successful. He filmed enemy targets after putting in attack regardless of the added danger to his own self. As a result of his ingenuity, courage and innovativeness, the strike Squadron's improved acquisition and accuracy. His films also helped the Indian Army plan their ground operations. This inspired the Air Force to extend his idea to obtain imagery by use of Laser Designator Pods. His courageous and innovative filming optimised air strikes in the operations. As a Strike pilot he flew 19 missions. He has performed the duties of a Flight Commander, Squadron Pilot Attack Instructor and all other tasks assigned to him with complete dedication. With his selfless devotion to duty and hard work, he has been a source of inspiration and motivation for others. He is an asset to the Air Force and a role model to his juniors.

For his professionalism, innovativeness, sincerity, exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Squadron Leader Amanjit Singh Heer.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th March 2000 - No.27-Pres/2000 dated 15th August 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Sanjeev Narayan Deshpande 16559 F(P)Unit : 108 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 03
Details :

Wing Commander Sanjeev Narayan Deshpande (16559) was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the IAF on 11 Dec 1981. He has been the commanding officer of a fighter squadron, AF since 10 Jan 2000. Prior to taking over command of the Sqn, he has been the Chief Operations Officer of a frontline fighter base. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor. While he was the Flight Commander, his Sqn had the distinction of being adjudged the best fighter Sqn in WAC, IAF.

Wg Cdr Deshpande has been one of the first in his batch to command a fighter squadron. When he took over the command of the squadron there were 11 U/T ops and or U/T con pilots. Without complaining, he undertook the challenge of upgrading the squadron operational state. With his exemplary leadership, exceptional initiative and dedication in a short span of one and half years, the squadron achieved 100% ops status and ratings in May 2001. With is untiring efforts the squadron had the distinction of making 27 pilots operational by day of which 16 have become operational by night too.

While being the last to rest on his laurels he took upon himself to bring up the ops status of the Sqn in the ops role of valley attacks and high altitude weapon delivery. With his methodical approach, planning, professionalism and perseverance 27 pilots have become qualified in valley attacks and high altitude weapon delivery, which has been appreciated by the AOC-in-C, WAC and CAS. His extraordinary efforts and commendable enthusiasm was evident from the fact that he always led from the front and flew close to 90 sorties in the last two years. These results are noteworthy for they have been achieved without a single pilot error accident and the Sqn averaging over 300 sorites/180 hours per month inspite of poor serviceability before the R-11 engines were replaced by R-13 engines on the aircraft.

Although the effort was on bringing the ops status of the squadron, other fields were not left unattended and the Sqn under his able leadership also won the inter unit sports championship for the year 2000-01.

For his distinguished service and exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Sanjeev Narayan Deshpande.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd March 2003 - No.43-Pres/2003 dated 26th January 2003 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Balkrishnan Balachandran 18561 F(P)Unit : 108 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

Wing Commander Balakrishnan Balachandran (18561) F (P) was commissioned on 06 Dec 86 in the Flying branch of the Indian Air Force. In 19 years of distinguished service, he has held several important appointments which include Flight Commander fighter Squadron, Chief Operations Officer (COO) AF Stn Suratgarh and Commanding Officer (CO) fighter Squadron. A Staff College Graduate, Qualified Flying Instructor, Fighter Combat Leader, Instrument Rating Instructor and Examiner, he is a highly experienced fighter pilot with more than 3000 hours of accident/incident free flying which includes 1100 hours of instructional experience. He was commended by the Chief of the Air Staff, Indian Air Force, in 2001.

As CO of a Fighter Squadron the officer ensured high quality not only in the conduct of MiG Operational Flying Training (MOFT) in the Squadron, but also in Annual Squadron Training flying, averaging 215 hours of flying per month. During the visit by the Directorate of Air Staff Inspection in February 2005, apart from displaying exceptional performance in the mission led by him, the Squadron was assessed 'Average Plus' overall. The Commanding Officer single handedly progressed all the staff pilots of the Squadron in night strike syllabus which is nearing completion. He has also improved the Squadron Instrument Rating status of all eight eligible staff pilots. He ensured timely completion of MOFT of 170, 171, 172 and 173 Pilots Courses.

The officer has built an effective team with all the Squadron personnel, and with his personal involvement, maintained a high morale and motivation amongst them. He has also vastly improved the ambience of his unit's surroundings and the quality of working conditions.

For exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Balakrishnan Balachandran.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 17th March 2007. No.90-Pres/2007 dated 26th January 2007 

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