Awards for 121 HF


A total of 7 Awards are listed.
Shaurya Chakra : 3 | Vayu Sena Medal : 3 | Vishist Seva Medal : 1 |
Shaurya Chakra
Wg Cdr Vimankumar Arora 12954 F(P)Unit : No.121 Helicopter Flight  Award Date 11 Nov 92 Announced 26 Jan 94
Details :

On 11th November, 1992, Wing Commander Viman Kumar Arora, the Commanding Officer (CO), Squadron Leader Anil Kumar Gupta and Sergeant Ramesh Chand, Flight Gunner were on a helicopter flight entrusted with the task of providing logistics support to ONGC at Bombay High.

On the return flight, due to a serious emergency while the helicopter was still over the sea, Wing Commander Arora decided to land the helicopter in the nearest available platform. Suddenly the helicopter experienced a total loss of power and it crashed into the sea. The cockpit was immediately flooded. Wing Commander Arora managed to make good his escape from the rapid sinking helicopter. He was soon followed by Squadron Leader Gupta. In the mean while Sergeant Ramesh Chand had prepared the passengers for a quick exit on impact. He threw out the dingy as soon as the helicopter hit the water but it was pushed back. Sergeant Ramesh Chand, with total disregard to personal safety, assisted seven to eight passengers in getting out the sinking helicopter.

In the meanwhile, Wg Cdr Arora, saw a passenger struggling for his life. He swam across to help him. In the state of panic, the passenger struggled and tried to push Wing Commander Arora, in the process causing injuries to him. Despite this, Wing Commander Arora persisted with his efforts and was able to save the passenger from drowning. Thereafter he saw another passenger struggling for survival. He swam to the passenger and helped the passenger to hold on to him till the help arrived.

On emerging from the cockpit, Squadron Leader Gupta had noticed a passenger shouting for help. He swam across and provided the needed help, thus ensuring the passenger's survival. He then observed the Flight Engineer, the fourth crew member, was injured and in danger. Unmindful of his own safety, Squadron leader Gupta swam across to the Flight Engineer and assisted him to stay afloat.

Wing Commander Viman Kumar Arora, the Commanding Officer (CO), Squadron Leader Anil Kumar Gupta and Sergeant Ramesh Chand, thus, displayed exemplary courage and presence of mind, in saving valuable lives.

Reference: Gazette of India , 9th April 1994 - No.25 - Pres/94 dated 26th January 1994 

Shaurya Chakra
Sqn Ldr Anil Kumar Gupta 17007 F(P)Unit : No.121 Helicopter Flight  Award Date 11 Nov 92 Announced 26 Jan 94
Details :

On 11th November, 1992, Wing Commander Viman Kumar Arora, the Commanding Officer (CO), Squadron Leader Anil Kumar Gupta and Sergeant Ramesh Chand, Flight Gunner were on a helicopter flight entrusted with the task of providing logistics support to ONGC at Bombay High.

On the return flight, due to a serious emergency while the helicopter was still over the sea, Wing Commander Arora decided to land the helicopter in the nearest available platform. Suddenly the helicopter experienced a total loss of power and it crashed into the sea. The cockpit was immediately flooded. Wing Commander Arora managed to make good his escape from the rapid sinking helicopter. He was soon followed by Squadron Leader Gupta. In the mean while Sergeant Ramesh Chand had prepared the passengers for a quick exit on impact. He threw out the dingy as soon as the helicopter hit the water but it was pushed back. Sergeant Ramesh Chand, with total disregard to personal safety, assisted seven to eight passengers in getting out the sinking helicopter.

In the meanwhile, Wg Cdr Arora, saw a passenger struggling for his life. He swam across to help him. In the state of panic, the passenger struggled and tried to push Wing Commander Arora, in the process causing injuries to him. Despite this, Wing Commander Arora persisted with his efforts and was able to save the passenger from drowning. Thereafter he saw another passenger struggling for survival. He swam to the passenger and helped the passenger to hold on to him till the help arrived.

On emerging from the cockpit, Squadron Leader Gupta had noticed a passenger shouting for help. He swam across and provided the needed help, thus ensuring the passenger's survival. He then observed the Flight Engineer, the fourth crew member, was injured and in danger. Unmindful of his own safety, Squadron leader Gupta swam across to the Flight Engineer and assisted him to stay afloat.

Wing Commander Viman Kumar Arora, the Commanding Officer (CO), Squadron Leader Anil Kumar Gupta and Sergeant Ramesh Chand, thus, displayed exemplary courage and presence of mind, in saving valuable lives.

Reference: Gazette of India , 9th April 1994 - No.25 - Pres/94 dated 26th January 1994 

Shaurya Chakra
Sgt Ramesh Chand 661178 ORUnit : No.121 Helicopter Flight  Award Date 11 Nov 92 Announced 26 Jan 94
Details :

On 11th November, 1992, Wing Commander Viman Kumar Arora, the Commanding Officer (CO), Squadron Leader Anil Kumar Gupta and Sergeant Ramesh Chand, Flight Gunner were on a helicopter flight entrusted with the task of providing logistics support to ONGC at Bombay High.

On the return flight, due to a serious emergency while the helicopter was still over the sea, Wing Commander Arora decided to land the helicopter in the nearest available platform. Suddenly the helicopter experienced a total loss of power and it crashed into the sea. The cockpit was immediately flooded. Wing Commander Arora managed to make good his escape from the rapid sinking helicopter. He was soon followed by Squadron Leader Gupta. In the mean while Sergeant Ramesh Chand had prepared the passengers for a quick exit on impact. He threw out the dingy as soon as the helicopter hit the water but it was pushed back. Sergeant Ramesh Chand, with total disregard to personal safety, assisted seven to eight passengers in getting out the sinking helicopter.

In the meanwhile, Wg Cdr Arora, saw a passenger struggling for his life. He swam across to help him. In the state of panic, the passenger struggled and tried to push Wing Commander Arora, in the process causing injuries to him. Despite this, Wing Commander Arora persisted with his efforts and was able to save the passenger from drowning. Thereafter he saw another passenger struggling for survival. He swam to the passenger and helped the passenger to hold on to him till the help arrived.

On emerging from the cockpit, Squadron Leader Gupta had noticed a passenger shouting for help. He swam across and provided the needed help, thus ensuring the passenger's survival. He then observed the Flight Engineer, the fourth crew member, was injured and in danger. Unmindful of his own safety, Squadron leader Gupta swam across to the Flight Engineer and assisted him to stay afloat.

Wing Commander Viman Kumar Arora, the Commanding Officer (CO), Squadron Leader Anil Kumar Gupta and Sergeant Ramesh Chand, thus, displayed exemplary courage and presence of mind, in saving valuable lives.

Reference: Gazette of India , 9th April 1994 - No.25 - Pres/94 dated 26th January 1994 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Rajinder Pal Singh Dhillon 7741 F(P)Unit : No.121 Helicopter Flight  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 78
Details :

Squadron Leader Rajinder Pal Singh Dhillon has been commanding a Helicopter Flight since 5th December, 1975. During his tenure, the unit has undertaken ever-increasing commitments in connection with the Oil and Natural Gas Commission's off-shore tasks, the successful completion of which have brought laurels to the Air Force. Undeterred by the shortage of pilots, Squadron Leader Dhillon himself took the heavy flying commitments and carried out 600 hours of flying on support mission in connection with the drilling operations of the Oil and Natural Gas Commission.

As Unit Commander, Squadron Leader Dhillon ensured all personnel under him worked as a team and completed all tasks assigned to them to the complete satisfaction of the higher authorities. He has flown over 150 sorties on duties connected with the transportation of dignitaries in far-flung areas of the country as well as abroad. He has to his credit a total of 5,200 hours of flying on jets and helicopters.

Squadron Leader Rajinder Pal Singh Dhillon thus displayed professional competence, leadership and devotion to duty of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd December 1979 - No.67- Pres/79 dated 26th January 1978 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Ajit Singh Slaich 13812 F(P)Unit : No.121 Helicopter Flight  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 90
Details :

Squadron Leader Ajit Singh Slaich was commissioned in the Air Force in Jun 74.

In Feb 89, the unit was called upon to take over the tasks of Pawan Hans Ltd. in Bombay High. In a short period of four months, Sqn Ldr Ajit Singh undertook 365 offshore sorties and airlifted 5620 passengers and 26408 Kgs of load to Bombay High installations.

On the afternoon of 16 Mar 89, Sqn Ldr Ajit Singh was detailed to evacuate a casualty having a skull fracture, from Amla to Nagpur. Driven by rare missionary zeal and relying on the confidence acquired over the years, he made a concerted effort and evacuated the casualty to Nagpur.

For his high sense of dedication to duty and exemplary effort, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Sqn Ldr Ajit Singh Slaich.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 12th May 1990 - No.38-Pres/90 dated 26th January 1990 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Sqn Ldr Gopinath Girish Kumar 20179 F(P)Unit : No.121 Helicopter Flight  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 04
Details :

Squadron Leader Gopinath Girish Kumar (20179) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the IAF on 14 Jun 1989. He has flown 3600 hrs of accident/incident free flying as captain in varied roles. Presently he is on the posted strength of a Helicopter Unit since 06 Sep 1999.

Ever since his arrival in the unit, Sqn Ldr Kumar has been a pillar of strength and an epitome of selfless service in all the facets of the unit functioning. Till date, he has undertaken nine life saving missions from snow bound locations of Himachal hills located above 13500 feet. These include rescue of a Swedish and an Austrian national from Kurgiakh Village on two different occasions and rescue of a Spanish national from Mayar Glacier. In another six mercy missions, Sqn Ldr Kumar saved seven lives. It included rescue and evacuation of two trekkers stranded by an avalanche in adverse weather conditions from Gangotri Glacier, an NCC girl cadet forming part of an expedition to Rudgaira peak and a critically ill lady with post delivery complications from snow bound Hanse village. In all these life saving missions the landings involved were over loose, unprepared, fresh snow bound terrain infested with huge boulders located in narrow valleys. Due to the absence of any clear landing area at these locations, the helicopter had to be maintained in low hover over one spot with one skid touching the slopes and the rotors running to pull in the causalities. The high altitude, inhospitable terrain, lack of ground reference due to white out conditions and limited reserve of power made the task even more daunting, demanding a composed mind, immense mental courage, high degree of concentration and scant regard to personal safety.

With his excellent organizing ability and exemplary discipline Sqn Ldr Kumar not only inspires respect and confidence in the team but also ensures work output of a very high standard. As an effective supervisor in the unit he has been deeply involved in the formulation and execution of Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) role, including various trials on the CSAR under slung net. He has been the pioneer in the planning and successful conduct of the hill training camp undertaken by the unit. Five such camps have been conducted under his supervision in last three years. His methodical approach, excellent practical knowledge and thorough analysis of situations inspire others to follow.

For his consistent exemplary performance and exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Squadron Leader Gopinath Girish Kumar.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th April 2004 - No.32-Pres/2004 dated 26th January 2004 

Vishist Seva Medal
Sqn Ldr Ramakrishna Somnath 10780 AE(L)Unit : No.121 Helicopter Flight  Award Date 26 Jan 83 Announced 26 Jan 83
Details :

Squadron Leader Ramakrishna Somnath was commissioned in the IAF in Oct 67 and was associated with the maintenance of Mi-8 helicopters since their inception and had served with distinction. He was responsible for setting up Mobile Conversion Flight training facilities as also servicing facilities in all the bases. These facilities are, even now, being extensively used for meeting the additional servicing requirements.

During the year 1976, Sqn Ldr R Somnath was entrusted with the task of maintenance of two types of helicopters employed to support Oil & Natural Gas Commission Bombay High off-shore operations. Immediately on his arrival at Bombay, Sqn Ldr R Somnath carried out an accurate assessment of facilities available at Bombay and nearby bases and geared up the unit with complete range of servicing facilities within a short time. As a result of this achievement, infructuous ferry of helicopters to a distant base could be stopped which has saved exchequer lakhs of rupees.

In the recent past there were many instances where fire extinguisher bottles in Mi-8 helicopters fired inadvertently during the starting cycle. Sqn Ldr R Somnath carried out extensive tests, conferred with specialists and took remedial measures that obviated the problem completely. He rendered invaluable guidance in modifying the aircraft for various roles.

For his professional skill, devotion to duty and having rendered distinguished service of a high order, the President is pleased to award VISHISHT SEVA MEDAL to Squadron Leader Ramakrishna Somnath.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1983 Number: 

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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