Awards for 26 Sqn


A total of 14 Awards are listed.
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Vir Chakra
Sqn Ldr Jiwa Singh 4893 F(P)Unit : 26 Sqn  Award Date 07 Dec 71 Announced 26 Jan 72
Details :

At the outbreak of hostilities with Pakistan in December, 1971, Squadron Leader Jiwa Singh was on the strength of a front line Fighter Squadron. During the operations Squadron Leader Jiwa Singh led a formation to search and strike enemy tanks and troops which were engaging our ground forces. He successfully located the hidden tank positions and pressed home his attack even though his section was encircled on airfield by 4 enemy aircraft. He engaged an enemy F-104 in aerial combat in order to give his number two a chance to get away safely. In the combat his aircraft was shot at low level as a result which he was killed.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Jiwa Singh displayed gallantry and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India , 17th June 1972 - No.79 - Pres/72 dated 1st June 1972  

Vir Chakra
Flt Lt Surinder Singh Malhotra 8449 F(P)Unit : 26 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 72
Details :

During the operations against Pakistan in December, 1971, Flight Lieutenant Surinder Singh Malhotra was serving with a FighterBomber Squadron. On the 12th December, 1971 when he was detailed to carry out a photo reconnaissance mission over Risalwala airfield deep in enemy territory, he was required to take the photographs from a height of 4 kilometers in order to cover the entire airfield. The moment he pulled up to the required height he noticed two enemy MiG-19 aircraft flying over the airfield. One of these aircraft was ahead and to his right turning towards him. He skillfully maneuvered his aircraft and positioned himself behind the MiG-19. As soon as the enemy aircraft came within firing range, he opened fire and saw enemy aircraft emitting smoke and going down. After this engagement, he brought his aircraft back to base safely. On earlier occasions he had photographed the same airfield and had brought back excellent photographs, which were of immense value to our operations and planning. In addition, he also carried out a number of close air support and interdiction missions despite heavy ground opposition.

Throughout, Flight Lieutenant Surinder Singh Malhotra displayed gallantry, professional skill and devotion to duty of a high order.

Reference: Gazette of India , 29th July 1972 - No.92 - Pres/72 dated 18th July 1972 

Vir Chakra
Flt Lt Jagdamba Prasad Saklani 9554 F(P)Unit : 26 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 72
Details :

During the operations against Pakistan in December, 1971, Flight Lieutenant Jagdamba Prasad Saklani, as a pilot of a Fighter-Bomber Squadron, flew thirteen operational missions in support of our ground forces. In addition to the destruction of four tanks and one jeep, he successfully attacked Chander airfield, bombed enemy concentration of troops and tanks and also bombed Zaffarwal, inflicting heavy damage to the enemy.

Throughout, Flight Lieutenant Jagdamba Prasad Saklani displayed gallantry, professional skill and devotion to duty of a high order.

Reference: Gazette of India , 29th July 1972 - No.92 - Pres/72 dated 18th July 1972 

Vir Chakra
Flt Lt Rajendra Singh Wahi 9830 F(P)Unit : 26 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 72
Details : During the operation against Pakistan in December, 1971, Flight Lieutenant Rajendra Singh Wahi as a pilot of a Fighter-Bomber Squadron flew thirteen operational missions in support of our ground forces and destroyed three tanks, four vehicles, one fuel dump and one gun position. In addition, he successfully bombed Chander airfield, Zafarwal, a bridge over Dera Baba Nanak as well as enemy concentration of troops in village Dharman. He carried out these missions despite heavy ground fire and air opposition.

Throughout, Flight Lieutenant Rajendra Singh Wahi Gupta displayed gallantry, professional skill and devotion to duty of a high order.

Reference: Gazette of India , 29th July 1972 - No.92 - Pres/72 dated 18th July 1972 

Vir Chakra
Sqn Ldr Dhirendra Singh Jafa 4819 F(P)Unit : 26 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

During the operations against Pakistan in December, 1971, Squadron Leader Dhirendra Singh Jafa served with a FighterBomber Squadron in the Western Sector. On 4th December, 1971, when the enemy had encircled a Battalion of our troops in a small enclave in the Hussainiwala area and was pressing hard with tanks, he led a two aircraft formation in this area. He carried out over 12 attacks and personally destroyed or damaged seven enemy tanks and a jeep. This action blunted the enemy assault and enabled our encircled troops to extricate themselves with minimum casualties. On 5th December, 1971, he was detailed as the Sub-Section Leader of a four aircraft strike mission over the enemy gun positions which were constantly shelling our positions in an area in the west of Amritsar. Despite the heavy ground fire from the enemy guns, he carried out successful attacks until in his sixth attack his aircraft was hit by ground fire and he had to eject at a very low altitude.

In this action, Squadron Leader Dhirendra Singh Jafa displayed gallantry and leadership of a high order.

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

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Mohinder Singh Bawa 4494 GD(P)Unit : 26 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 70
Details :

Wing Commander Mohinder Singh Bawa took over command of a fighter squadron in 1968. The Squadron was just then being raised and equipped with the latest aircraft. With limited resources, he had to create a base from which the subsequent squadrons of the Indian Air Force could be formed. Apart from training of personnel on a highly sophisticated aircraft, the squadron was faced with many difficulties in the induction of this equipment. During the short period of one year, the squadron reached a fully operational status; the officer set a personal example by attaining the highest instrument rating on supersonic aircraft.

Throughout, Wing Commander Mohinder Singh Bawa displayed courage and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 25th April 1970 - No.16 - Pres/70 dated 26th January 1970 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Dhirendra Singh Jafa 4819 F(P)Unit : 26 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

Squadron Leader Dhirendra Singh Jafa work ed as Senior Flight Commander in an operational Squadron from February 1968 to July 1969. This Squadron was the first to be equipped with a new type of supersonic aircraft. Through his tireless efforts, zeal and dedication to duty, he ensured that the Squadron was fully operational in the shortest possible time.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Dhirendra Singh Jafa displayed professional skill, leadership and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 4th September 1971 - No.53 - Pres/71 dated 26th January 1971 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Trevor Joseph Fernandes 5287 F(P)Unit : 26 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

Squadron Leader Trevor Joseph Fernandez has been associated with Gnat aircraft since September 1962. He has over 1,900 hours of accident-free flying experience, including more than 700 hours on the Gnat. During the IndiaPakistan conflict of 1965, he flew a number of operational sorties. He is an experienced Pilot Attack Instructor and has had great success in training pilots of his unit in gunnery. As a result of the excellent training imparted by him the aircrew trained by him secured high places in the Command Gunnery Meets.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Trevor Joseph Fernandez displayed professional skill, leadership and devotion to duty,

Reference: Gazette of India dated 4th September 1971 - No.53 - Pres/71 dated 26th January 1971 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Jagjit Singh Ghuman 10123 F(P)Unit : 26 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 72
Details :

During the operations against Pakistan in December, 1971, Flight Lieutenant Jagjit Singh Ghuman as a pilot of a Fighter Bomber Squadron, flew fourteen missions in support of our ground forces and destroyed two tanks, three vehicles and one enemy gun position. He also successfully attacked Sulemanki Head Works which was heavily defended. The destruction of this target was of paramount importance to halt the enemy Armour. He also bombed enemy concentration of troops over Dharwal Village, Norowal Railway Yard and enemy troops and tank concentration in village Mehlwanni Zaffarwal area.

Throughout, Flight Lieutenant Jagjit Singh Ghuman displayed courage, professional skill and devotion to duty.

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

Bar to Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Trevor Joseph Fernandes 5287 F(P)Unit : 26 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 72
Details :

During the operations against Pakistan in December, 1971, Squadron Leader Trevor Joseph Fernandez was the Flight Commander of a Fighter Bomber Squadron. He flew fourteen operations missions in support of our ground forces and was responsible for the destruction of one tank, four vehicles and one enemy gun position He successfully attacked the Sulemanki Head Works scoring direct bomb hits which contributed significantly in halting the enemy Armour. In addition, he also successfully bombed Zaffarwal and Norowal Railway yards and attacked the Radar Unit at Walton.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Trevor Joseph Fernandez displayed courage, professional skill and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 7th October, 1972 - No.09 - Pres/72 dated 23rd September 1972 

Vayu Sena Medal
Cpl Khan S A 269320 ORUnit : 26 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 74
Details :

On the 22nd October, 1972, an aircraft of an operational Squadron was arranged for a bombing sortie in the Western Command Armament Meet. At the takeoff point, while checking the aircraft he discovered a slight defect in the rudder control cable in the nose under carriage bay. His high degree of technical knowledge of the aircraft and its controls led him to conclude that, since there was no tension in the cable, the cable might have snapped somewhere. Immediately, he realised the gravity of the situation and took the decision not to allow the aircraft to continue with the sortie and sent it back for investigation. Subsequent inspection of the aircraft revealed that the rudder control cable had snapped and had rendered the rudder inoperative. Since differential braking is available without this cable, the pilot would not have realised the rudder failure till the aircraft attained flying speed. The timely action taken by Corporal Sayeed Ahmad Khan prevented a possible major aircraft accident.

By this outstanding act, he has displayed exceptional professional skill and devotion to duty to the best traditions of the Air Force.

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

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Mukesh Bhandari 13380 F(P)Unit : 26 Sqn  Award Date Announced 15 Aug 94
Details :

Wg Cdr M Bhandari has been the Commanding Officer (CO) of a MiG-21 Bis fighter squadron (Sqn) since 26 Oct 92.

On 27 Dec 93, Wg Cdr Bhandari was authorised to fly a dual check sortie by night with a trainee pilot in a MiG-21 trainer aircraft (ac). The sortie involved practice circuits, approaches and overshoots from round off height. Round off height for MiG-21 ac is about one meter, at which the pilot reduces the approach angle so as to fly the ac parallel to the runway just before landing. In the third approach, the trainee pilot was asked to fly away after round off for practicing another circuit and approach. As the engine accelerated to 100% revolutions per minute (rpm) a shallow climb was initiated by the trainee pilot. However, after climbing to about 15 meter height, the engine flamed out. Wg Cdr Bhandari immediately took over the controls and handled the situation in a most professional, courageous and cool manner and landed the ac safely on the runway. Considering that it was night and at a height of 15 meters the runway lights are not visible thus denying any visual reference most essentially required for landing the ac, his handling of this grave emergency is laudatory. By his sheer courage and professionalism he was able to avert a catastrophe, which could have been fatal to the occupants and also resulted in the loss of an ac costing approximately three and a half crores. He not only managed to land the ac without any damage but also exercised proper control thereafter and cleared the ac off the runway in order to facilitate recovery of other ac airborne at that time. In keeping with the highest traditions of the Indian Air Force, Wg Cdr Bhandari displayed exceptional courage and airmanship in averting an almost certain fatal disaster.

For this exceptional courage the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wg Cdr Mukesh Bhandari.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 17th Sept 1994 - No.146-Pres/94 dated 15th August 1994 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Amit Aneja 14668 F(P)Unit : 26 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 99
Details :

Wing Commander Amit Aneja (14668) Flying (Pilot) has been the Commanding Officer of a frontline fighter Squadron since 22 October 96.

His Career has been marked by total and unconditional involvement, devotion to duty, leadership qualities and the highest norms of interpersonal relations which have ushered in unprecedented degree of improvement in administration and operational preparedness. This is borne out by the fact that during his tenure as Squadron Commander, the Squadron received the bombing trophy for Exercise Eklavya '97 and the unit was declared best in Western Air Command for operational turn around of aircraft, with unprecedented 97% marks. His introduction of a novel concept of Morale, Welfare and Recreation Cell in the Squadron has led to an environment wherein the minor offences in his unit have steadily reduced to the lowest figure of last eight years. The concept has not only been adopted by Air Force Station where his Squadron is based but has been well appreciated by Headquarters Western Air Command.

For his consistent performance of a very high order, he has been commended by Air Officer Commanding in Chief of two Commands and his accident free flying record has earned him Flight Safety Three Stars. For his good performance the officer was selected to attend the Staff College Course in USA.

For his devotion to duty, sustained professional acumen and outstanding leadership qualities, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Amit Aneja.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 29th May 1999 - No.91-Pres/99 dated 26th January 1999 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Makarand Ranade 18586 F(P)Unit : 26 Sqn  Award Date 06 Apr 05 Announced 26 Jan 06
Details : Wing Commander Makarand Ranade (18586) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a MiG-21 Squadron since 10 Jul 2001 as the Commanding Officer. On 06 Apr 2005, he was authorised to fly a Practice Interception mission by Dark Night. He got airborne in a Mig-21 Bis aircraft. After take off, at 1. 8 km height, during the right turn towards the exercise area, he experienced booster hydraulic system failure with the pressure rapidly dropping to zero. This resulted in aircraft controls becoming hard and ineffective, making maneuvering of the aircraft difficult. Realising the gravity of the situation, he took prompt actions and decided to execute an immediate overweight landing at base. An overweight, flapless approach and landing in dark night conditions in a MiG 21 aircraft with restricted aircraft control calls not only for precision, skill but also for courage and determination. On approach, the very high nose up altitude completely obscures runway view. The approach is low with less separation from ground and there is no visual contact with ground due to dark night conditions. All these factors combine to make approach and landing a high risk manoeuvre with negligible margin of error. However, Wg Cdr Ranade continued with recovery undeterred and unfazed by the challenge of the situation. Wg Cdr Ranade has handled the emergency in a very competent and commendable manner. He has stayed calm and yet quickly grasped the emergency indications and the need to land without delay. By his sheer presence of mind, prompt actions and commendable flying skill, he has managed to recover the aircraft safely. Post flight inspection revealed that a portion of the rear fuselage had got burnt in flight due in the fire caused by burning of the hydraulic fluid around the heat shield. Any more delay in recovery would have inevitably caused the main hydraulic system to fail, thereby forcing the pilot to eject and consequently resulting in loss of a costly aircraft, For this act of gallantry during an emergency by dark night, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Wing Commander Makarand Ranade.
Reference: Gazette of India dated 18th March 2006 - No.30-Pres/2006 dated 26th January 2006 & AFD2006 Investiture  

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