Awards for 43 Sqn


A total of 28 Awards are listed.
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Kirti Chakra
Flt Lt Bal Krishan Desoares 4502 GD(P)Unit : 43 Sqn  Award Date 01 May 61 Announced 15 Aug 62
Details :

On 1st May 1961 Flt. Lt. Desoares was engaged in a sortie to drop food supplies to an Army detachment on the northeastern border. While nearing the dropping zone, he noticed that his Dakota was losing height very rapidly due to a down draught. Despite all the corrective actions taken, the aircraft-continued to go out of control. Flt. Lt. Desoares, with great presence of mind, skillfully directed the aircraft out of the wooded area and landed it on the snowcovered portion of the hill. On impact, a fuel tank of the aircraft caught fire and a portion of the aircraft disintegrated. Flt. Lt. Desoares though injured managed to extricate himself from the crashed aircraft and pulled his copilot out. He then rushed to the rear of the burning aircraft, in utter disregard of his personal safety, to rescue other personnel who might be injured or trapped.

Flt. Lt. Desoares continued to help his comrades and managed to rescue two of the Army ejection personnel. Thereafter he proceeded to recover the bodies of other crew members from the burning aircraft again disregarding his own personal safety.

Due to the psychological state of the survivors and the extent of their injuries, Flt. Lt. Desoares decided to keep his party near the aircraft for the next two days. With hardly any food, water, or warm clothing, he, by his personal example, infused confidence and courage in the survivors which helped them to pass two nights in a blizzard.

On the third day Flt. Lt. Desoares decided to leave the place of the accident and skillfully led the survivors through treacherous moun tainous terrain and forests with thick undergrowth to safety.

Throughout the operation, Flt. Lt. Desoares displayed the highest form of leadership and devotion to duty, in keeping with the best traditions of the Air Force. His exemplary action will be a source of inspiration to other pilots engaged in similar missions over difficult terrain.

Reference: Notification No. 10-Pres/62 dated 26th January,1962 published in Part 1, Section 1, Gazette of India dated 26th January, 1950.  

Vir Chakra
Sqn Ldr Sanjay Kumar Choudhury 5863 F(P)Unit : 43 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 72
Details :

During the operations against Pakistan in December, 1971, Squadron Leader Sanjay Kumar Choudhury served in the Eastern Sector. On the night of the 7th/8th December 1971, a special heliborne operation was undertaken for landing a battalion at Sylhet, which was at that time under enemy occupation. Squadron Leader Choudhury volunteered and landed with a first wave of troops to personally hold up and supervise the lighting of flares. During the process the helicopter landing area came under heavy enemy gunfire. Regardless of his safety, he with the help of one jawan made effort to light up the landing zone. Shortly thereafter, the jawan was killed by enemy fire. Undeterred Squadron Leader Choudhury single-handed lit the flares and kept them lit the whole night. This enabled the heli-borne operation to continue the whole night and its successful completion.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Sanjay Kumar Choudhury 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 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Fg Offr Sunil Kumar Chopra 5124 GD(P)Unit : 43 Sqn  Award Date 29 Oct 59 Announced 15 Aug 60
Details :

On the 29th October 1959, Flying Officer Chopra displayed great presence of mind in skillfully maneuvering a Dakota aircraft of which one engine had to be feathered when in flight over most difficult mountain terrain. Although the aircraft was continuously losing height he managed to land it safely and thus saved the crew and the aircraft from certain disaster. His courage and skill when faced with a dangerous situation were in the best traditions of the Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 20th August 1960 - No.47-Pres/60 dated 15th August 1960 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Sqn Ldr Madhukar Dashrath Mendhekar 3494 GD(N)Unit : 43 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 62
Details :

During his operational tour in NEFA area as Navigator and later as Navigational Leader, Sqn Ldr M D Mendhekar has flown a thousand operational hours, which is very creditable indeed. He has also been serving in the J and K area where he has completed an additional 650 hours of operational flying. As a Navigator, he has set a very high examples to his juniors by his devotion to duty and superior skill in navigation. He has built up the morale of the Squadron in general and of the junior navigators in particular.

Reference: Gazette of India 3rd February 1962 - No.24 - Pres/62 dated 26th January 1962 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Flt Lt Balkrishna Desoares 4502 GD(P)Unit : 43 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 62
Details : Since 1954, Flt Lt Balkrishan Desoares (4502) has served 27 months in an operational area in eight active tours. During these tours, he has carried out over a thousand hours of operational flying under very difficult conditions. On one occasion, when he was dropping food supplies over a zone located at 14, 500 feet and his aircraft was only 700 feet above the mountainous terrain, the parachutes attached to the food packages opened and streamed out of the ejection door having been inflated by the slip stream of the aircraft. This sudden drag on the aircraft resulted in the aircraft entering a steep dive. With great presence of mind, he faced the emergency calmly and took necessary remedial measures to correct the attitude of the aircraft thereby saving his crew and himself from certain death. Throughout his tour in the operational area he has always volunteered to fly supply dropping sorties over difficult terrain and has shown great devotion to duty.
Reference: Gazette of India 3rd February 1962 - No.24 - Pres/62 dated 26th January 1962 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
WO Samuel Miller 43039 ORUnit : 43 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 62
Details : WO Samuel Miller has been serving in the J & K area since February 1960. In 1960, he did over 400 hours of operational flying. Continuous flying as signaler in these areas in extremely restricted space in the cockpit produces very great mental and physical strain. In spite of this, W O Miller has always been the first to volunteer for operational flying. His keen ness and devotion to duty has been a fine example to others and enabled his squadron to fly to its maximum capacity even though there was a shortage of Signallers (Air) available for flying duties. Such keenness and leadership are commendable.
Reference: Gazette of India 3rd February 1962 - No.24 - Pres/62 dated 26th January 1962 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr John Francis Lazaro 2944 GD(P)Unit : 43 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 63
Details :

In March 1960, when airlift requirements to our northern frontiers increased considerably, a transport squadron under Wing Commander Lazaro was detailed to meet the commitment. It became necessary for Dakotas to fly beyond Leh to Chushul at greater frequency and also to newly selected dropping zones in treacherous mountain terrain. In order to ensure safety of aircrew and aircraft, new routers and t4echniques had to be devised. Wing Commander Lazaro undertook several trial flights in this area and worked out new and safe routes for his squadron to follow. Her organized and operated his squadron in a very efficient manner. Many a month, his unit flew more than 1200 operation hours.

In , 1961, as Officer in Charge Flying, Srinagar, he planned and coordinated the airlift for the entire Jammu and Kashmir area and succeeded in achieving all the tasks efficiently with limited staff.

Wing Commander Lazaro displayed leadership, professional skill and devotion to duty of a high order.

Reference: Gazette of India 26th January 1963 - No. 10-Pres/63 dated 26th January, 1963 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Austin Lester Mendanha 4710 GD(P)Unit : 43 Sqn  Award Date 28 Oct 62 Announced 26 Jan 64
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Austin Lester Mendanha has been operating with a transport squadron in Jammu & Kashmir area since July 1959. He has carried out about 1400 hours of operational flying on supply-dropping and transport operations. He has also carried out proving flights to our most difficult and advance landing grounds in this area.

On the 28th October, 1962, when the weather was very bad and it was snowing all around Saserbarangazer area, Flt Lt Mendanha in complete disregard of his personal safety, successfully carried out airdrops of vital supplies to our forward posts. Flying as many as 100 hours in a month.,

Throughout, Flight Lieutenant Mendanha has displayed courage, devotion to duty and professional skill of a high order.

Reference: Gazette of India 1st February 1964 - No.20 - Pres/64 dated 26th January 1964. 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Priya Dev Khaura 5014 GD(P)Unit : 43 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 64
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Priya Dev Kaura was on his second operational tour in Ladakh are,a after having completed the first one in NEFA. Out of a total of about 1400 hours on air transport operations, he had flown about 1200 hours in Ladakh area. In spite of the hazards of flying over difficult and mountainous terrain, and the fact that the aircraft were being operated to the maximum limits, he always volunteered for these difficult operational missions allotted to his Squadron. During the recent Chinese attack on our northern borders, he flew more than 110 hours in one month.

Throughout, Flight Lieutenant Kaura set a fine example of courage, professional skill and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India 1st February 1964 - No.20 - Pres/64 dated 26th January 1964. 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Verinder Puri 5199 GD(P)Unit : 43 Sqn  Award Date 20 Oct 62 Announced 26 Jan 64
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Verinder Puri has been serving in Jammu and Kashmir area since March, 1960, and has so far carried out more than 1000 hours of operational flying in Ladakh including more than 100 hours of operational flying in one month. On 20th October 1962, in the face of extremely bad and turbulent weather conditions near Saserbarangazer, he successfully airdropped essential stores over one of the most difficult dropping zones in this area.

Flight Lieutenant Puri has displayed determination, courage and professional skill of a high order.

Reference: Gazette of India 1st February 1964 - No.20 - Pres/64 dated 26th January 1964. 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Harpal Singh Bedi 5595 GD(P)Unit : 43 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 64
Details :

Flying Officer Harpal Singh Bedi has been operating with a transport Squadron in Jammu and Kashmir area since 1959. Though relatively junior in service, he has to his credit about 1100 hours of operational flying. During the operations occasioned by the recent Chinese aggression on our northern borders, he flew as many as 100 hours in one month on air transport operations.

Flying Officer Bedi carried out all tasks assigned to him efficiently and displayed professional skill, courage and devotion to duty of a high order.

Reference: Gazette of India 1st February 1964 - No.20 - Pres/64 dated 26th January 1964. 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Kizhanatham Ramabadran Rajagopalan 4875 GD(P)Unit : 43 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 66
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Kizhanatham Ramabadran Rajagopalan has been serving with a Transport Squadron operating in Jammu and Kashmir since 1961. He had earlier been on operational tour of the Naga Hills and NEFA area. During his short service career, Flight Lieutenant Rajagopalan has completed a total of about 4000 hours of flying including 1300 hours in operational areas. His operational experience has been a great asset to the Squadron and on many occasions, when weather conditions were most unfavourable, he voluntarily undertook hazardous supply dropping missions to the most isolated and remote forward posts in Ladakh. In his flights in operational areas he has shown commendable professional skill and his performance has been a source of inspiration to other members of the Squadron in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 12th February 1966 - No.14-Pres/66 dated 1st January 1966 

Vayu Sena Medal
Fg Offr Narinder Singh Sawhney 6492 GD(P)Unit : 43 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 66
Details :

Flying Officer Narinder Singh Sawhney has been operating as a Navigator with a Transport Squadron in Jammu and Kashmir since October 1962. At such an early stage of his career, through sheer zeal and enthusiasm, this officer has done 1100 hours operational flying in carrying out vital missions over some of the most isolated posts in forward areas in Ladakh. He always rose to the occasion and cheerfully volunteered to participate in difficult missions, the success of which was largely due to his intimate knowledge of the area. Despite unpredictable weather and difficult flying conditions, he regularly undertook operational sorties in utter disregard of his personal safety, which has been a source of inspiration to his colleagues.

Flying Officer Narinder Singh Sawhney has displayed professional skill and devotion to duty of a high order in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 12th February 1966 - No.14-Pres/66 dated 1st January 1966 

Vayu Sena Medal
MWO Sri Ram Vohra 48217 ORUnit : 43 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 66
Details :

Master Signaller Sri Ram Vohra has been operating as senior Air Signaller with a Transport Squadron engaged in operational tasks in Jammu and Kashmir. This is his second operational assignment; he had earlier operated in this area as well as in NEFA. During one of his earlier tours, he met with a serious flying accident in Jammu and Kashmir. Undeterred by the effects of that accident, Master Signaller Vohra cheerfully volunteered for all difficult missions assigned to his Squadron, which involved hazardous flying over treacherous terrain and in adverse weather conditions. Within a period of 22 months, he had flown about 1000 operational hours. Master Signaller Vohra volunteered for flying whenever other signallers were not available and by his own example inspired confidence in his colleagues.

Master Signaller Sri Ram Vohra has displayed devotion to duty and professional skill of a very high order in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 12th February 1966 - No.14-Pres/66 dated 1st January 1966 

Vayu Sena Medal
Flt Sgt Ved Kumar Sharma 210384 ORUnit : 43 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 66
Details :

Signaller Ved Kumar Sharma has been serving with a Transport Squadron in Jammu and Kashmir since July 1961, and has to his credit a total of 2500 hours of flying, of which over 1800 hours are on operations. Disregarding his personal safety, Signaller Sharma has volunteered for almost every difficult and hazardous supply dropping mission in remote and isolated posts in Ladakh. He flew as many as 10 hours a day and always appeared cheerful and thus inspired confidence in his colleagues.

Signaler Ved Kumar Sharma has displayed commendable devotion to duty and professional skill in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 12th February 1966 - No.14-Pres/66 dated 1st January 1966 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Shrinivas Prahlad Desai 5005 GD(P)Unit : 43 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 68
Details :

Squadron Leader Shrinivas Prahlad Desai was posted to a squadron in June 1967, which was called upon to undertake the difficult task of air maintenance for the North East Frontier Agency. He, along with a handful of his colleagues, carried out the pioneering work of classifying all the dropping zones despite adverse weather conditions. He flew 104 hours on operational tasks of air maintenance and also trained many pilots in supply dropping techniques. On the 27th July 1967, Squadron Leader Desai was called upon to undertake a supply dropping mission to an isolated post located in an extremely difficult mountainous region at a height of 10,700 feet. He undertook this sortie with full knowledge of the difficulties involved. After carrying out a most accurate pin-point drop in the first run, over the tiny dropping zone, he made another circuit for subsequent drop when the port engine of the aircraft suddenly failed and the aircraft started losing height rapidly. Faced with great danger, he had to crash land the aircraft in the mountainous terrain and in doing so lost his life along with three other aircrew.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Shrinivas Prahlad Desai 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
Wg Cdr Kapil Dev Chadha 3845 GD(P)Unit : 43 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 70
Details :

Wing Commander Kapil Dev Chadha took over as Commanding Officer of a Transport Squadron in 1967. During the period of his command, the squadron has accomplished the air maintenance task of 12,000 tonnes in one year, flying over 12,000 accident free hours. This has been an all­time record in the squadron history. During the last 15 years, the officer has flown over 4,500 hours as Captain without any accident and has held the highest professional qualification.

Throughout, Wing Commander Kapil Dev Chadha displayed courage, leadership 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 Mangatil Karakad Chandrasekhar 4720 GD(P)Unit : 43 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 70
Details :

Squadron Leader Mangatil Karakad Chandrasekhar joined a transport squadron about a year ago. During this period, he has carried out over 800 hours of operational flying, totally unmindful of operational fatigue. He has also contributed substantially to the buildup of operational pilots in the Squadron and the training of the newly posted officers. He holds the highest instrument rating and is an A-2 instructor. In all his assignments, he has always displayed initiative of the highest order.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Mangatil Karakad Chandrasekhar displayed courage, initiative and professional skill.

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

Vayu Sena Medal
Flt Lt Tarlochan Singh 9491 F(P)Unit : 43 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 72
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Tarlochan Singh was commissioned in the Air Force in May, 1965. He has since then served with an operational transport squadron. Unmindful of his personal comfort and safety, he has always volunteered himself for arduous tasks. He is a source of inspiration to all his fellow aircrew. He is a Navigator of exceptional professional skill. It is an outstanding achievement that in the short space of one year Flight Lieutenant Singh has flown over 1,200 hours, of which over 1,000 hours were on operational missions.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 12th May 1973 - No.28 - Pres/73 dated 26th January 1972 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sgt Hira Singh Saini 215700 ORUnit : 43 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 72
Details :

Sergeant Hira Singh Saini has been serving with an operational Squadron as a Signaller (Air) for three years. During this period, he has flown a total of 2260 hours, out of which 1655 hours were on operational missions. Unmindful of his personal comfort he has always volunteered for hazardous missions and extra commitments. His devotion to duty at all times, and particularly under stress, has been an inspiration to his colleagues. He has carried out his duties with zeal, perseverance and efficiency, setting an example worthy of emulation.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 12th May 1973 - No.28 - Pres/73 dated 26th January 1972 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Tejinder Singh 9535 F(P)Unit : 43 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 74
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Tejinder Singh has been serving with a Helicopter Unit since 29th September, 1969. Out of a total of 2375 flying hours, he has flown 1500 operational hours. In August 1967, while landing at a forward helipad in Mizoram, one of the rotor blades of his aircraft flew off, cutting the tail rotor in the process. In this accident he was injured and placed in a lower medical category. Undaunted by this accident, one year later when he became medically fit, he resumed flying with full vigour and always set a good personal example. During Indo-Pak Conflict 1971, he flew a number of operational sorties by day and night in the Western Sector, and later his unit was engaged in the Air Maintenance task for forward troops. Flight Lieutenant Tejinder Singh was the detachment Commander. By his personal hard work and example the detachment succeeded in airlifting maximum tonnage in the available time before bad weather set in. On the 21st February, 1973, there was an emergency message in the afternoon for the evacuation of a very serious casualty from a forward base. The timing was such that dark night flying had to he carried out to save the casualty. For this task, Flight Lieutenant Tejinder Singh was detailed. He successfully carried out the evacuation and saved a precious life.

Throughout, Flight Lieutenant Tejinder Singh has displayed courage determination, professional skill and leadership 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 (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Prakash Balwantrao Jadhav 10149 F(P)Unit : 43 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 74
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Prakash Balwantrao Jadhav has been serving with an Operational Squadron for the last seven years. So early in his career, he has amassed over 3900 hours of flying, out of which over 2600 hours have been flown on operational sorties in the Eastern and Western Sectors. He has flown 1174 dropping sorties and 106 landing sorties at advanced landing grounds. His accident free operational flying is a proud record – both in hours and number of sorties. He also took part in paratrooping in the Eastern Sector during the operations in December 1971.

Throughout, Flight Lieutenant Prakash Balwantrao Jadhav displayed professional skill, leadership and devotion to duty in 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)
Flt Lt Noel Thomas Lobo 10574 F(P)Unit : 43 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 74
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Noel Thomas Lobo has been serving with an operational Squadron since June, 1970. During the period of three years, he has flown a total of 2167 hours, out of which 1325 hours have been flown on Operational missions. He has also carried out 100 landings at advanced landing grounds. On the 13th March, 1973, he was on an air dropping mission deep inside the hills. Over the dropping Zone, while he was on his second circuit, the starboard engine of his aircraft started surging. He abandoned further drops and started climbing to clear the hills to come out safely. On reaching height of 6000 ft, the engine started emitting smoke and heavy oil leak was observed. He immediately feathered the affected engine. On opening power, the port engine also started vibrating, and the aircraft started losing height. Faced with a critical emergency, he ordered the ejection of part of the load and brought the crippled aircraft safely to base executing a single engine landing. He handled the emergency with commendable skill and his timely action saved the precious lives of crew members the aircraft from further damage and other Government property.

Flight Lieutenant Noel Thomas Lobo thus displayed courage, professional skill and devotion lo duty in the best tradition of the Air Force.

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

Bar to Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Inder Puri 6499 F(P)Unit : 43 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 80
Details :

Wing Commander Inder Puri was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in May, 1962. Right from his initiation in service, his immaculate performance as a transport pilot became evident and it was recognised by the award of Vayu Sena Medal during the Kutch operation in 1965. Upto 1966, he had logged over a thousand operational hours to his credit.

He successfully completed the flying Instructor's course in 1967 and did valuable instructional tenures at Elementary Flying School, Air Force Flying College and Transport Training Wing, logging over a thousand instructional hours till 1971. For his outstanding contribution in training, he was awarded the commendation by the Air Officer Commanding­in­Chief, Training Com mand, in August, 1971.

As Officer Commanding of the Air Delivery Flight during Indo-Pak conflict, 1971, he maintained a continuous life line for logistic and maintenance support to the front line Squadrons in the Eastern and the Western Sectors. For this act of outstanding devotion to duty, the officer was mentioned in 'Despatches'. In 1972, he was specially selected as a Captain and deputed to Air Wing of the Border Security Force. He was instrumental in organising the Air Wing of the Para-Military force and carried out difficult and, at times, onerous assignments satisfactorily. In recognition of his meritorious services, the Border security Force granted him an unpaid rank of Commandant during his tenure.

In 1975 Wing Commander Puri graduated from Staff College. In January, 1977, while at Headquarters Central Air Command, he was awarded n commendation by Air Officer Commanding­in­Chief for his outstanding performance and professional ability for over 1800 hours of accident free flying since 1970. During the unprecedented floods in river Indus in August, 1978, by meticulous planning and, by inspiring his men in-spite of the vagaries of nature, difficult terrain and bad weather, he organised 270 relief sorties in one fortnight. He not only won the platitude of over 100 people evacuated from the jaws of death but of service. This performance proved that Leh was no longer a dreaded Station.

Wing Commander Inder Puri's contribution towards sports has also been outstanding. He captained the National Defence Academy Team (1960), represented Air Force for nearly a decade and represented service in the Ranji Trophy.

Wing Commander Inder Puri has thus displayed exceptional professional skill and ability, undaunted determination and devotion to duty of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 13th June 1981 - No.34-Pres/81 dated 26th January 1981 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Kenneth Oswell John 8422 F(P)Unit : 43 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 80
Details :

Squadron Leader Kenneth Oswell John, who was on the posted strength of an Air Force Squadron from February, 1976, to November, 1978, was employed on operational flying duties in Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland areas. He was a keen flier and undertook arduous flying commitments at odd hours even at the cost of his personal comforts. He had flown 1,060 hours during such a short tenure in the unit. This is an achievement of this competence as a Flying (Pilot). He has to his credit a total of 3917 hours of flying, out of which 1340 hours were flown in operational areas. His zeal, hard work and high sense of devotion to duty, which had attained for him an above average professional standard, had been a source of inspiration for others.

He was assigned the responsibilities of Flight Commander, Squadron Detachment Com mander and Training Officer with a view to utilising his high flying abilities and experience. As Flight Commander, he introduced systematic working in the Flight Office which increased the efficiency of the aircrew and reduced their fatigue. As detachment Commander, he ably tackled all administrative and welfare problems of his men and prompted them by his personal example, to achieve high competence in flying. As Training officer, he raised the professional status of his pilots by his able guidance and intensive training schedule which improved the overall operational status of the unit.

Besides his contribution towards raising the flying standard, Squadron Leader Oswell John was also closely associated with the extra curricular activities of his Squadron. A keen sportsman himself, he always took active part in the sports activities and, consequently, his Squadron earned good name on the Station. His strong attachment to sports is evident from the fact that the officer collapsed on the field during the annual sports events from which he could not recover.

Squadron Lender Kenneth Oswell John thus displayed high professional still, leadership and devotion to duty of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 13th June 1981 - No.34-Pres/81 dated 26th January 1981 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Arun Kumar Isser 10431 F(P)Unit : 43 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 84
Details :

Squadron Leader Arun Kumar Issar was commissioned in Indian Air Force on 29 Oct 66. On successful completion of Command conversion course in Jun 69, he was posted to a Transport Squadron for two years where he logged 1000 hours of flying in NEFA sector. After a ground tenure in Operations Rooms of Central Air Command, he was deputed to the Ministry of Agriculture. He served them with distinction in the best traditions of IAF and logged 1800 hours of agricultural flying. He was posted back to the same Squadron in July 80.

Squadron Leader Issar was declared fully operational in April, 1981. Since than he has flown over 1000 hours, out of which 850 hours have been on air maintenance in NEFA. While carrying out this arduous task by Dakota he encountered numerous emergencies. With his professional acumen he has been averting many a dangerous situations. At least on five occasions the technical malfunction failures were of such serious nature that he had to shut down the engine and carry out single engine landings. With his deep knowledge of aircraft, its systems and airmanship he has been coming out of difficult situations. His enthusiasm to undertake difficult missions against heavy odds has helped him log a total of 4900 hours of flying.

For his exceptional devotion to duty, courage, professional skill and competence, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Squadron Leader Arun Kumar Issar.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 2nd February 1985 - No.5-Pres/85 dated 26th January 1983 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Puzhankara Ambalavattam Harimohan 9723 F(P)Unit : 43 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 87
Details :

Wing Commander Puzhandara Ambalavattam Hari Mohan was commissioned in the Indian Air Force on 16 Oct 65 and has been on the posted strength of a heavy transport squadron since Oct 84. He has distinguished himself with 5700 hours of accident-free flying on Packet, Chitra and Sutluj aircraft with an 'A' category on Chitra.

In Jan 83, Wg Cdr Hari Mohan was selected to undergo a conversion course on Sutluj aircraft in the USSR and formed the nucleus of Sutluj expertise in the IAF. He was subsequently posted to a transport squadron in the Eastern region, the first to be equipped with Sutluj aircraft. His laudable contribution and exceptional level of flying skill and competence earned him 'Check Pilot' status in Feb 85. Thereafter, he was asked to train other pilots of the unit both in basic and operational roles, especially in the new-profile Transport Support Role involving supply dropping/ landing at the Dropping Zones/Advanced Landing Grounds by the Sutluj in the Eastern Sector and formation of a new Standard Operating Procedure to cater for the characteristics of the newly inducted Sutluj. Though he had no previous experience in the area, which is notorious for its flying hazards. Wg Cdr Harimohan adopted himself very quickly and achieved the goals for him a very short time, through personal example, total dedication to duty, selfless and his ability to put in long hours of work by day and night over a sustained period. During his tenure, the squadron has achieved fully operational status in all roles.

For his exceptional flying capabilities, superb organizational skill and outstanding contribution to his squadron, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Wing Commander Puzhandara Ambalavattam Harimohan.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 25th April 1987 - No.37-Pres/87 dated 26th January 1987 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Nagarajan Venkatramanan 16999 F(P)Unit : 43 Sqn  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 02
Details : Wing Commander Nagarajan Venkataramanan (16999) F (P) was commissioned In the IAF as a transport pilot In the flying branch on 29 Dee 82. His experience as transport pilot spans over 6674 h of accident free flying hours, which includes 3600 h as captain. He operated initially on HS-748 aircraft wherein he held a Category/Instrument Rating of A Master Green, and Right Hand Seat Captain Pilot on type. This Included a tenure in Air HQ Communication Squadron, wherein he had extensively flown VIPs including visiting dignitaries with a thorough professional touch. Sincere, polite, correct in attitude towards seniors, colleagues and juniors he has a pleasing personality and interacts very well with all personnel. Wg Cdr Venkataramanan was posted to an AN-32 Squadron on 21 Feb 2000 on completion of Air Staff Course at Defence Services Staff College. Within a short time he completed the conversion on type AN-32 Aircraft. He applied himself with his usual thoroughness, dedication and sense of commitment, which enabled him to become competent professionally and functional as Flight Commander. He is an asset to the squadron, in that he has been able to plan both squadron task and training of pilots, by instructing them himself with great patience and care. The Categorisation State of the squadron and role accomplishment has improved appreciably. During the recent earthquake Incident In the state of Gujarat, Wg Cdr Venkatramanan took active part. He ceaselessly flew over 45 hours during day and night and under trying conditions. He motivated his crew and performed as a team, in varying conditions of environment and difficult operational situations. He displayed high standards of professionalism with dedication and without compromising Flight Safety at any stage. Thus he has been able to set exemplary standards for juniors to emulate. For exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wing Commander Nagarajan Venkataramanan.
Reference: Gazette of India dated 29th June 2002 - No.118-Pres/2002 dated 26th January 2002 & AFD 2002 Investiture Booklet 

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