Awards for 15 Sqn


A total of 10 Awards are listed.
Vir Chakra : 1 | Shaurya Chakra : 1 | Vayu Sena Medal : 6 | Vishist Seva Medal : 2 |
Vir Chakra
Wg Cdr Manmohan Singh 4023 F(P)Unit : No.15 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Wing Commander (now Group Captain) Man Mohan Singh was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in January 1951. During the India-Pakistan conflict of December, 1971, he was in command of an Operational Fighter Squadron in the Eastern Sector. His squadron flew 110 sorties in Bangladesh in close support and anti-shipping roles and met all its operational commitments without damage to any of its aircraft. He personally led 19 sorties and successfully engaged enemy defence positions, gun boats and ships despite heavy ground fire. When the heliborne operations across the Maghana river commenced, his squadron provided very effective air cover for the successful completion of the task. In addition, the squadron provided valuable support to the Army in Agartala Sector inspite of the fact that the aircraft had to operate from a short runway at Agartala.

Throughout the operations, he displayed courage and devotion to duty of a high order.

Reference: Gazette of India , 16th June 1973 - No.37 - Pres/73 dated 26th January 1973 

Shaurya Chakra
Sgt Mahender Singh 683508 ORUnit : No.15 Squadron  Award Date 26 Jan 01 Announced 15 Aug 01
Details :

Sergeant Mahender Singh Radio Fitter is on the posted strength of a Squadron located at Bhuj, Gujarat since 24 June 1998.

A devastating earthquake struck Bhuj on 26 Jan 2001. Immediately after the earthquake Sgt M Singh rushed to Shivnagar of Bhuj where a number of Air Force personnel were staying in multistoried buildings. Risking his own life several times at different occasions, even when the after shocks were continuing, he went underneath the crumpled buildings, broken water tanks and falling structures to rescue the lives of wife and daughter of late Sgt Awasthi, wife of Sgt Rajput, wife of Cpl DP Singh and others trapped inside at different places. While saving lives of eight Air force personnel and their family members, he not only displayed unmatched courage and valour but also sharp presence of mind and intelligence. Efforts required to clear off the debris and take out people alive from inside were trying and stressful in the absence of proper tools and implements. However, he used innovative methods and preserved in rescue work to save human lives from debris. Without losing heart and hope, he worked continuously day and night for five days with little rest and care for him. His timely efforts, selfless attitude and zealous approach motivated others to contribute in the rescue operations thus saving more lives.

Sergeant Mahender Singh displayed exemplary bravery, courage and selfless devotion in saving human lives.

Reference: Notification No. 130-Pres/2001 dated 15th August, 2001 published in Part 1, Section 1, Gazette of India dated 9th February, 2002. 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Balakrishna Menon 11307 F(P)Unit : No.15 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

Wing Commander Balakrishna Menon has been in command of a frontline fighter Squadron since 08 July 85. He has been an A-2 Qualified Flying Instructor for the last 10 years and he has over 2700 hours of accident free flying experience of which nearly 1300 ours are on jet fighters. During his tenure as Squadron Commander, his Squadron has flown over 4600 hours amounting to approximately 7100 sorties on both fighter and trainer aircraft. This gigantic task was achieved without a single accident. In the same period, as many as 16 young fledgling pilots were brought to fully operational status on the MiG-21 aircraft.

Accident free flying and a high rate of training achieved under his command have distinguished his Squadron in the Air Force. This was achieved manly due to his dynamic leadership and total dedication to the task entrusted to him. His deep involvement in every activity of his Squadron and his methodical approach have contributed a great deal towards this achievement. His ability to analysis critically and his probing mind have ensured a high degree of professionalism amongst both the aircrew and the ground crew of his Squadron. His personal example and outstanding leadership have been a source of inspiration to those placed below him.

For his exceptional devotion to duty, leadership of a very high order and professional skill, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wing Commander Balakrishna Menon.

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

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Vivek 16560 F(P)Unit : No.15 Squadron  Award Date 26 Mar 87 Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

On 26 Mar 87, Flight Lieutenant Vivek, flying a fighter aircraft, was carrying out a low level bombing attack over the Sarmat air to ground weapons range. During the attack at a high speed and very low height a large bird struck the front of the aircraft causing extensive damage to the air intake. The bird and aircraft debris entered the engine, damaging it severely and leading to an engine flameout. The aircraft was at a very low level, approaching the sea at this time.

Displaying exemplary presence of mind and courage of the highest order in the face of a very critical emergency, the pilot maintained control of the aircraft, turned it away from the sea and subsequently cleared it off the installations on the ground. He carried out all actions flawlessly and in the shortest possible time and informed the range safety officer and the airfield of his flight condition. He then restarted the engine ensuring that his flight path would keep him clear of the built up areas and vital installations near the airfield. Thereafter he carried out a flawless emergency landing at the airfield without any delay or damage to the aircraft.

Flt Lt Vivek displayed courage and presence of mind of a very high standard in handling this grave emergency. He not only saved a valuable aircraft, but also prevented damage to vital installations and injuries to civil and service personnel on the ground. His handling of the emergency was in keeping with the highest traditions of the service and is all the more remarkable in that he had returned to active flying after a relatively long break just a few days prior to this accident.

For courage and presence of mind of the highest order in the face of a very grave emergency, the president is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Flt Lt Vivek.

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

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Yeshwant Rao Rane 12210 F(P)Unit : No.15 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 90
Details :

Wing Commander Yeshwant Rao Rane took over command of a fighter Squadron on 06 Jun 87. During his tenure as Commanding Officer, his squadron has flown 4900 hrs amounting to 8800 sorties on both fighter and trainer aircraft. This stupendous task of accident-free flying was carried out after meeting all the operational commitments allotted to the Squadron. The high state of serviceability maintained by the Squadron, the accident-free flying effort and excellent training status of its pilots won the Squadron the trophy of 'Best Supersonic Squadron of the IAF' for the year 1987-88 and the best assessment for any fighter Squadron inspected by DASI during 1988.

For his exceptional devotion to duty, leadership of a very high order and professional skill, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Wg Cdr Yeshwant Rao Rane.

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

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Jasbir Singh Panesar 13370 F(P)Unit : No.15 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 95
Details :

Wing Commander JS Panesar was commissioned as a pilot in the fighter stream in Jun 1973. He was one of the few officers who were selected to go to France to convert on to Mirage 2000 aircraft. He is a Fighter Combat Leader, a graduate of Defence Services Staff College and an expert on electronic warfare in which he has made significant contributions. He has over 3200 hours of accident free flying to his credit.

Wg Cdr Panesar has successfully completed two years in Command of a MiG-21 Bis Squadron. The Sqn operated safely and efficiently on detachment from Naliya when the parent Base was closed for seven months for runway resurfacing. This was possible due to Wg Cdr Panesar's ability to motivate the aircrew and technical staff and to mould them into an effective team. The Sqn was able to improve aircraft serviceability during his tenure.

Wg Cdr Panesar has also been a Fighter Combat Leader for the last 11 years. He took keen interest and played an active role in the training of young pilots and for inculcating in them the finer ingredients of combat flying. With ceaseless efforts and with his exemplary leadership, he brought about significant elevation of the operational (Op) capabilities of the Sqn by upgrading the Op status of many pilots. His Sqn won the team bombing trophy in the Inter Squadron Weapons Meet 1993. For exceptional devotion to duty the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wg Cdr Jasbir Singh Panesar.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th March 1995 - No.99-Pres/94 dated 26th January 1995 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Ichettira Iyappa Kuttappa 20758 F(P)Unit : No.15 Squadron  Award Date 21 Apr 01 Announced 26 Jan 02
Details : Squadron Leader Ichettira lyappa Kuttappa (20758) F (P) is on the posted strength of a MlG-21 Bis Squadron, since 24 Jul 2000. On 26 Jan 01, Bhuj was engulfed by a devastating earthquake. Sqn Ldr Kuttappa quickly set about collecting implements to initiate rescue work and commenced the task of breaking into the debris along with some other officers and airmen. Unmindful of his own safety and despite an injury, Sqn Ldr Kuttappa continued to work towards rescue even as mild tremors continued. On 21 Apr 2001, he was authorised to lead a two aircraft strike mission, While at low level, he experienced a bird hit on the starboard wing leading edge. The control rod for that aileron broke and the aircraft rolled viciously to the right. As he countered the roll with opposite aileron, the aircraft pitched up sharply. He brought the aircraft under control with the stick deflected almost fully to the left and forward. Despite taking all laid down actions, the aircraft could be controlled only down to a speed of 450 km/h, still well above the maximum speed permitted for landing. Flying the aircraft under these conditions was itself extremely difficult and landing It was impossible. Sqn Ldr Kuttappa, however, did not give up. He decided to jettison the external fuel tanks and armament pods and carried out a low speed check: He could maintain control down to a speed of 380 km/h In the landing configuration, albeit with maximum stick deflection and leaving no safety margin. In this situation Sqn Ldr Kuttappa would have been fully justified In ejecting from his stricken aircraft yet, displaying exceptional courage and presence of mind and at great risk to his own life, he recovered the aircraft safely. For this act of gallantry, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Squadron Leader Ichettira lyappa Kuttappa.
Reference: Gazette of India dated 29th June 2002 - No.118-Pres/2002 dated 26th January 2002 & AFD 2002 Investiture Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Fg Offr Sachin Mehta 25658 F(P)Unit : No.15 Squadron  Award Date 26 Jan 01 Announced 26 Jan 02
Details : Flying (Pilot) Flying Officer Sachin Mehta (25658) F (P), is on the posted strength of a MiG 21 Squadron from 01 Jul 2000. .On 26 Jan 01, an earthquake at Bhuj razed many buildings to the ground. Fg Offr Mehta volunteered to carry out rescue work In an area outside the AF Station. Using only the most basic rescue equipment and displaying immense courage and presence of mind, he worked day and night for the first 72 hours to rescue no less than six survivors. Using the implements available Ingeniously and with imagination, he was able to reach some survivors even deep inside the rubble. With his 'never say die' attitude, he motivated other officers and airmen working with him into putting in their best even at great personal risk. Even as chances of finding people alive receded after the fourth day, Fg Offr Mehta continued to work zealously towards extrication of dead, their identification and performance of last rites. For demonstrating superlative courage in the face of a natural disaster and for his untiring rescue efforts, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Flying Officer Sachin Mehta.
Reference: Gazette of India dated 29th June 2002 - No.118-Pres/2002 dated 26th January 2002 & AFD 2002 Investiture Booklet 

Vishist Seva Medal
Sqn Ldr Venkataraman Arunchala Eshwar 8246 AE(M)Unit : No.15 Squadron  Award Date 26 Jan 82 Announced 26 Jan 82
Details :

Squadron Leader Venkataraman Arunchala Eshwar (8246) AE (M) has been on the posted strength of one of the operational fighter Squadrons of the Air Force as Senior Technical Officer since 10 Jan 78.

He has been the STO of the Squadron from its conversion onto MiG Bis aircraft. Sqn Ldr Eshwar has put in long hours of work well beyond the call of duty and has shown total dedication to his job which is indeed worthy of emulation. He has been responsible for maintaining an extremely high serviceability rate of over 80% for the last 3 years continuously. It is because of his guidance and leadership in the field of maintenance that the Squadron has been able to fly 7500 sorties/5500 hours of accident-free flying.

Sqn Ldr Eshwar apart from setting up the Squadron has been guiding spirit behind the spare maintenance facilities set up in the Central Repair and Servicing Section during his tenure as Senior Engineer (Bis). The maintenance scheduling and management of resources have been of such a high order that the section set up by him has become a shining example for all Air Force Station. It is this ability to manage resources and his dedicated hard work which has kept the whole wing serviceability of aircraft above 80%.

Despite all these achievements Sqn Ldr Eshwar has found time for deeper thought and has been able to produce a FLAP trolley (Flying Lances All Purpose) which has been accepted as standard Air Force equipment for all Fighter Squadrons. This trolley has been made possible much greater accountability of tools, nearly 40% savings in time and obviously an ultimate gain in operational availability of the aircraft permitting for more sorties per aircraft.

In the Central Repair and Servicing Section he has been instrumental in setting up a fully automated Maintenance Control Centre where constant upto date information on all maintenance activities can be monitored thereby saving man hours and making servicing allotment far easier.

Sqn Ldr Eshwar is an exceptional officer who has proven his ability, dedication and qualities of leadership without a doubt. He has worked far beyond the call of duty and to the great benefit of the service. For his significant contribution to the servicing, the President is pleased to award Vishisht Seva Medal to Squadron Leader Venkataraman Arunchala Eshwar.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1982 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Rajiv Dayal Mathur 16772 F(P)Unit : No.15 Squadron  Award Date 26 Jan 03 Announced 26 Jan 03
Details :

Wing Commander Rajiv Dayal Mathur (16772) F (P) was commissioned on 04 Jun 1982 as a fighter pilot in the Flying Branch of the Indian Air Force. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and has held several important command and staff appointments including Commanding Officer of a MiG-21 Bis Squadron. He is a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College.

Wg Cdr Mathur assumed command of a fighter squadron on 10 Jun 2000. Under his command the squadron has had an unblemished record, having so far flown over 4500 hours and trained 18 young pilots without any loss of precious aircrew or aircraft. During the Command level Air-to-Ground Armament meet "Ekalavya 2001", Wg Cdr Mathur displayed very high professionalism by himself leading three missions. His squadron won four out of the seven coveted trophies. The squadron was also adjudged the Best Fighter Squadron in South Western Air Command.

Following the earthquake, which rocked the region of Kutch on 26 Jan 2001, Wg Cdr Mathur was tasked with rescue operations outside the Air Force camp. Even as the aftershocks continued to occur, he and his squadron personnel worked round the clock for over three days and in the process rescued 53 people trapped in the debris. Barely ten days later, his squadron was required to recommence operations from another base. Despite the upheaval caused by the eart hquake and the consequent hardships. Wg Cdr Mathur succeeded in motivating his squadron personnel to remain focused on organisational goals. Leading by personal example, he was able to provide renewed purpose and direction to the personnel of the squadron, who rose to the occasion by achieving the allotted tasks even under such difficult conditions.

For his distinguished service of high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Wing Commander Rajiv Dayal Mathur.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2003 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.
Pages 1