Awards for 44 Sqn


A total of 56 Awards are listed.
Maha Vir Chakra : 1 | Vir Chakra : 4 | Shaurya Chakra : 1 | Yudh Seva Medal : 1 | Vayu Sena Medal : 45 | Vishist Seva Medal : 4 |
Maha Vir Chakra
Wg Cdr Vidya Bhushan Vasisht 4584 F(P)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date 03 Dec 71 Announced 18 Dec 71
Details : Wing Commander Vasisht, the Commanding Officer of an operational squadron [No.44 Squadron, Antonov An-12] , led a group of heavy bombers of his squadron to attack an important enemy fuel and ammunition dump at Changa Manga forest on the night of December 3. 1971. In spite of very heavy enemy ground fire. the pressed home the attack, and caused severe damage to the target. Again, on the next night, he led another raid to the same target and succeeded in causing further heavy damage in the face of intense enemy ground fire. On the night of December 5, 1971, he led a formation of his bombers, this time to attack enemy positions in the Haji Pir Pass in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The difficulties and dangers of this operation were due as much to the great volume of ground fire in the target area, as to the hazards of flying his large aircraft and leading his formation at low level through mountainous terrain. In spite of these hazards. Wing Commander Vasisht pressed home tha attack and achieved marked success in hitting the enemy's positions. In addition to these, he had led many other missions deep into enemy territory where opposition could be expected from fighter aircraft and anti-aircraft fire. In all these raids Wing Commander Vasisht completed the tasks to him without any loss to our aircraft. He has displayed inspired leadership, exceptional devotion to duly, and conspicuous bravery in repeatedly leading attacks against heavily defended enemy targets, night after night.
Reference: Gazette of India , 12th February 1972 - No.20 - Pres/72 dated 20th January 1972 

Vir Chakra
Wg Cdr Tom Lionel Anderson 3126 GD(P)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date 20 Oct 62 Announced 26 Jan 63
Details :

On 20th October, 1962, after the Chinese had invaded our borders it became evident that Chushul airfield in Ladakh would be one of their main objectives. The garrison at Chushul depended mainly on air supply. In order t prevent our aircraft from supplying the garrison, the Chinese had established a number of MMG posts near the airfield circuit. Although each sortie to Chushul was fraught with grave danger from concentrated enemy fire, wing Commander Anderson, was in command of one of our Transport Squadrons, flew nearly 70 operational hours during the critical days, delivering vital supplies to the garrison. It was due to his courage and perseverance that the tank lift to Chushul was made possible. His ceaseless efforts inspired the officers and men of his squadron to work round the clock to maintain the supplies required for the survival of the garrison.

In these operations, Wing Commander Anderson displayed commendable courage and unflinching devotion to duty

Reference: Gazette of India , 16th February 1963 - No. 18-Pres/63., dated 26th January, 1963 

Vir Chakra
Sqn Ldr Chandan Singh 3460 GD(P)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date 20 Oct 62 Announced 26 Jan 63
Details : On 20th October 1962, Squadron Leader Chandan Singh was detailed to carry out supply dropping in the Chip Chap area in Ladakh. On reaching the dropping zone, he noticed that the outposts were under heavy fire from the Chinese forces. He successfully dropped vital supplies to our garrison although his aircraft was hit 19 times by enemy ground fire, Squadron Leader Chandan Singh displayed courage and devotion to duty in carrying out the task in complete disregard of his personal safety.
Reference: Gazette of India , 16th February 1963 - No. 18-Pres/63., dated 26th January, 1963 

Vir Chakra
Sqn Ldr Gursaran Singh Ahluwalia 4912 F(P)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date 06 Dec 71 Announced 26 Jan 72
Details :

During the operations against Pakistan in December, 1971, Squadron Leader Gursaran Singh Ahluwalia was the Senior Flight Commander of a Bomber Squadron. He was largely responsible for the initial planning, tactics, weapon delivery system and overall supervision in the conduct of bomber operations of the unit. His planning and execution, which included his leading seven missions into enemy territory with courage and successfully completing them in spite of his aircraft being damaged on three missions due to heavy flak acted as a source of inspiration to the air and ground crew.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Gursaran Singh Ahluwalia 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 Prem Bhushan Kalra 8466 F(N)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 72
Details :

During the operations against Pakistan in December, 1971, Flight Lieutenant Prem Bhushan Kalra took part in six bombing missions. On every mission, he has been instrumental in spotting the source of ground fire and in taking effective counter measures. Though his aircraft was hit on three occasions, he continued with the mission. On the 15th December, 1971, he undertook a mission deep into the enemy territory. The fading light and poor visibility made navigated extremely difficult. He reached his target with pinpoint accuracy and bombed it devastatingly.

Throughout, Flight Lieutenant Prem Bhushan Kalra 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 

Shaurya Chakra
Gp Capt Tom Lionel Anderson 3126 GD(P)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date 19 Oct 56 Announced 15 Sep 58
Details :

During the operations in the Naga Hills in October, 1956, the I. A. F. was assigned the task of dropping supplies in the two zones of Zekwera and Dzulake which were not only extremely small but difficult to approach since flying in the area was full of hazards due to the treacherous air currents at the dropping zones. As the operations could not be put off, Sqn. Ldr. Anderson volunteered to carry out the task. He flew four sorties between 19th and 25th October, 1956 and dropped the necessary supplies. The hazardous task was a trial of both courage and skill. The fact that the dropping zone had to be subsequently abandoned as being too dangerous for airdrops goes to show the extent risk that the officer had accepted and the determination that he displayed.

The gallant act of Sqn. Ldr. Anderson is in keeping with the highest traditions of the Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India , 15th September 1958 - No.25 - Pres/58 dated 20th September 1958 

Yudh Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Ramamoorthy Vijay Kumar 10918 F(P)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date 26 Jan 90 Announced 26 Jan 90
Details :

Wing Commander Ramamoorthy Vijay Kumar was attached to Air Force Element of the IPKF since Oct 87.

Wg Cdr Kumar has been actively involved in flying duties in connection with the Indian Forces in Srilanka (OP PAWAN). He and his crew were involved in the initial buildup of forces in Jaffna in early Oct 87. They operated for eight consecutive days without adequate rest, airlifting artillery and tanks to Jaffna and Trincomalee. It was due to his personal rapport with the local Army and airport authorities that the aircrew could be provided with some sort of administrative support at the airfields. During Oct 87, Wg Cdr Kumar flew a total of 73 hours on Gajraj aircraft in connection with various aspects of the operations.

For his devotion to duty, excellent professionalism and ability to inspire his colleagues in adverse conditions, the President is pleased to award Yuddh Seva Medal to Wg Cdr RV Kumar

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1990 Number: 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Flt Lt Dinendra Mohan Chakraverty 4438 GD(P)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 63
Details : Flight Lieutenant Dinendra Mohan Chakraverty has been employed as a transport pilot on air support operations in NEFA and NHTA since 1954. He ahs displayed commendable professional skill keenness and devotion to duty in supply dropping missions. He has flown more than 1500 hours of operational sorties in difficult and dangerous areas.
Reference: Gazette of India 26th January 1963 - No. 10-Pres/63 dated 26th January, 1963 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Bernard Fernandez 3467 GD(N)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 64
Details :

Squadron Leader Bernard Fernandes has been functioning as a Navigation Leader in one of our transport squadrons in J & K area since 1st April 1961. He was responsible for bringing up to operational standards all the junior navigators of the squadron. He did this in record time and it paid rich dividends in the operations in Ladakh in October November 1962.

During the period of actual hostilities he personally led many sorties to reconnoiter new advanced landing grounds and dropping zones as well as to obtain information relating to the invading Chinese forces. On one occasion after one of his own sorties for airlifting AMX tanks Squadron Leader Fernandes, guided another aircraft ot execute a safe landing on the unprepared surface of Chushul aerodrome whose runway had been damaged..

Throughout, Squadron Leader Fernandes displayed initiative, courage and professional skill in the best traditions of the Air Force.

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

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Madan Mohan Dutt 4010 GD(N)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 64
Details :

Squadron Leader Madan Mohan Dutt has been operating with a transport squadron in J & K Area since May, 1961. In October 1962, when the Chinese forces surrounded our forward post at Galwan in Ladakh, the only means of transport of supplies to tis post was by air. Squadron Leader Dutt, with his vast experience of this terrain, volunteered to navigate the first air-drop sortie. The dropping zone was in a very narrow and dangerous area. In spite of this and unfavourable weather conditions, he located the dropping zone and skillfully carried out cent percent successful drops. He undertook many such sorties and set a fine example to his aircrew.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Dutt has displayed courage, professional skill 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
Sqn Ldr Arjan Dev Ralli 4027 GD(P)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 64
Details :

Squadron Leader Arjan Dev Ralli has been engaged in transport support operations in J & K area since October 1961. During his operational tours he has executed nearly 950 landings at forward airfields and advanced landing grounds.

He has utilized his experience in formulating data for the safe operation of different types of aircraft and has impaired flying instruction to innumerable pilots on these machines. This has supplemented considerably the operational aircrew strength of the Air Force and contributed in large measure ot the capacity of the transport squadrons.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Ralli has displayed courage determination 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)
Sqn Ldr Dalip Wikram Chauhan 4031 GD(P)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 64
Details :

Squadron Leader Dalip Wikram Chauhan has been engaged in air-transport operations in J & K area since 13th May 1961. During the Chinese aggression on our northern borders, he displayed great courage and devotion to duty in carrying out reconnaissance missions of areas held by the enemy. Squadron leader Chauhan was also assigned the task of airlifting AMX tanks to Chushul. The first 400 yards of the runway at Chushul had been rendered unserviceable and he would have been well justified in returning to the base. Realizing the importance of his mission, he took a calculated risk and decided to land his aircraft thus setting a fine example to other aircrews.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Chauhan has displayed courage, determination 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)
Sqn Ldr Rishi Prakash Vashist 4347 GD(P)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date 14 Mar 63 Announced 26 Jan 64
Details :

Squadron Leader Rishi Prakash Vasisht was in NEFA and J & K areas for a period of seven years. On 14th March, 1963, he was detailed for a supply dropping mission in an An-12 transport aircraft in Ladakh area. While flying, he experienced tremendous strain on the flying controls, owing, as was discovered later, to the snapping of the elevator train cable. The aircraft nosed up violently and started to climb with a dangerous drop in airspeed. At this moment, Squadron Leader Vasisht displayed a commendable sense of airmanship and presence of mind in assessing the cause accurately and taking necessary corrective measures, saving the aircraft and bringing its crew to safety.

Squadron Leader Vasisht 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
Sqn Ldr Gurdip Singh 3944 GD(P)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date 21 Oct 62 Announced 01 Jan 65
Details : Sqn Ldr Gurdip Singh is the Filght Commander of a Transport Unit in Ladakh. After the declaration of emergency, in addition to his administrative responsibilties, he undertook a large number of hazardous sorties personally, before entrusting them to the pilots under his command. So far he has done over 4000 hours of lfying, of which 1200 hours were flown in forward areas. He has also carried out several supplly missions on advance landing grounds. Sqn Ldr Gurdip Singh was among the experienced pilots who airlifted tanks to Chushul and Leh in 1962-63. Recemtly , when an aircraft was held up at Leh due to engine trouble, he retrieved it from that area. He also acted as the Training Officer of his squadron and achieved remarkable success. Throughout, Sqn Ldr Gurdip Singh displayed a high standard of professional skill and devotion to duty in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force
Reference: Gazette of India 13th March 1965 - No.20 - Pres/65 dated 1st January 1965. 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Rathinder Kumar Basu 3968 GD(P)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 01 Jan 65
Details : Squadron Leader Basu has been a Flight Commander of a Heavy Transport Squadron in the Jammu and Kashmir area since April 1961. He has carried out a total of about 4,900 hours of flying, of which over 1400 hours have been on operational flights. He has also carried out more than 300 operational supply missions and has to his credit 200 landings on advance landing grounds like Leh and Chushul. Squadron Leader Basu was entrusted with the task of training and familiarising the new pilots of his unit with operations in the forward areas, and with perseverance and high professional skill successfully completed it. He is always eager to lead id the most difficult and vital missions, and thus sets a fine example to his subordinates. Squadron Leader Rathindra Kumar Basu displayed courage, leadership and devotion to duty of a high order.
Reference: Gazette of India 13th March 1965 - No.20 - Pres/65 dated 1st January 1965. 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Krishnaswamy Subramaniam 4213 GD(N)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 01 Jan 65
Details : Squadron Leader KRISHNASWAMY SUBRAMANIAN is a Navigation leader of a Heavy Transport Squadron. He has a total of 4650 hours of flying, of which about 1143 hours have been on operational flights during the emergency. He trained junior navigators and volunteered for most of the hazardous sorties. On 2nd June, 1962, while Squadron Leader Subramanian was on a supply-dropping mission, a parachute developed inside the aircraft and it became difficult to maintain height. Coolly, he operated the transporters on emergency, and the whole load was ejected without any loss of time. The aircraft was then able to climb normally. In October 1962, his aircraft came under heavy ground fire from the Chinese. Undaunted he maintained his position and kept on relaying vital information to higher authorities, which a proved to be of great value to the Commanders. Throughout, Squadron Leader Krishnaswamy Subramanian displayed great devotion to duty, courage and professional skill which are in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force.
Reference: Gazette of India 13th March 1965 - No.20 - Pres/65 dated 1st January 1965. 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
MWO Sig Puthyadth Nanu 14491 ORUnit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 01 Jan 65
Details : Master Warrant Officer Puthyadth Nanu [Signaller (Air).] has been serving as Deputy Signals Leader with a Heavy Transport Squadron in Jammu and Kashmir area since 1961. Earlier, he did two tours in Jammu and Kashmir and four tours with the Squadron operating in NEFA and Naga Hills. After the declaration of emergency, he volunteered for most of the difficult sorties. He has flown a total of nearly 6400 hours including about 26OOO on operations. By virtue of his operational experience and intimate knowledge of the terrain, he contributed a great deal in fulfilling the tasks allotted to his unit. In addition to assisting the Signals Leader in training junior signallers) he often rendered valuable advice to the Squadron Commander in planning and executing the operations. His personal example was a source of inspiration to other Signallers. Master Warrant Officer Puthyadth Nanu has displayed courage, devotion to duty and a high standard of professional skill in keeping with the best traditions of the Indian Force.
Reference: Gazette of India 13th March 1965 - No.20 - Pres/65 dated 1st January 1965. 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
WT Sig Krishnagiri Venugopal Kanan 47007 ORUnit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date 04 Mar 63 Announced 01 Jan 65
Details : Warrant Signaller Kannan [Signaller (Air).] has been working with a HeavyTransport Squadron operating in Jammu and Kashmir area since 1961. He has done a total of over 3000 hours of flying, nearly half of it in forward areas. On 11th September 1961, landing at Chushul, the nose wheel of his aircraft sheared off. With commendable presence of mind he switched off the generators, alternators and the master battery switch in order to prevent electrical fire. He jumped out of the aircraft with a fire extinguisher and looked round for any hot point caused by friction. He stood by till the entire crew got out of the aircraft, and thft ground crew took over charge. On 4th March 1963, while on a supply-dropping mission in Ladakh one of the elevator cables snapped. Only part of the total could be dropped : the remainder was stuck on the transporter and this prevented the cargo doors from closing. Warrant Signaller Kannan immediately went to (lie rear of the aircraft to supervise in the discharge of the cargo by the ejection crew. Since two of them were affected by lack of oxygen and had become unconscious, he himself got down to eject the load and close the cargo doors. Although exhausted, he carried the election crew to the pressurised cabin where oxygen was administered to them. Throughout, warrant Signaller Krishnagiri Venugopal Kannan displayed courage and devotion to duty of a high order.
Reference: Gazette of India 13th March 1965 - No.20 - Pres/65 dated 1st January 1965. 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
WO Chacko Joseph 47055 ORUnit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date 20 Oct 62 Announced 01 Jan 65
Details : Warrant Officer Joseph [Flight Gunner] has been serving with a Heavy Transport Squadron in Jammu and Kashmir area since 1961. So far he has flown a total of 3500 hours including nearly 1600 hours on operations in Ladakh area. In addition to bis duties as a Gunnery leader, he successfully trained junior gunners and familiarised them with the operational role of the unit. On 20th October, 1962, while operating on the northern borders, Warrant Officer Joseph's aircraft came under heavy ground fire from the Chinese. With cool courage and professional skill, he located the gun position on the ground and warned not only his Captain, but also other aircraft operating in the area at that time. This information was relayed to the authorities at base. His prompt action saved the other aircraft from possible damage. Warrant Officer Chacko Joseph displayed a high degree of professional skill and devotion to duty in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force.
Reference: Gazette of India 13th March 1965 - No.20 - Pres/65 dated 1st January 1965. 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Pradyot Kumar Dutta 4754 GD(P)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 67
Details :

Squadron Leader Pradyot Kumar Dutta has been, serving with an operational transport squadron since 1963. He has flown a total of 4720 hours of which 2099 hours have been flown in operational areas in NEFA and Jammu and Kashmir in early 1963, when, after a supply dropping mission, he was approaching an airfield to land, a bird entered one of the outer engines rendering it inoperative. Undaunted, he skillfully handled his aircraft and ensured a safe landing.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Pradyot Kumar Dutta displayed courage and professional skill.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 1st April, 1967 - No.24-Pres/67 dated 26th January 1967  

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Hari Mohan Tandon 5211 GD(N)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 67
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Hari Mohan Tandon has been serving with an operational transport squadron since September 1961. During the operations against the Chinese in 1962, sometimes he used to fly as many as 8 hours a day on sorties to forward areas and flew a total of 91 hours. He has carried out a total of 3870 flying hours of which 1750 hours have been in operational areas. In October 1962, during an ammunition dropping mission to our troops, when one of the ejection crew suffered from lack of oxygen and the gunner, who went to his aid, also suffered the effects of anoxia. Flight Lieutenant Tandon went to the cargo compartment, pulled the unconscious men into the pressurised cabin and administered oxygen to them. He helped the other member of ejection crew to release the lashings of the cargo and then completed the supply drop accurately on the dropping zones by using the emergency operating switch.

Throughout, Flight Lieutenant Hari Mohan Tandon displayed courage, professional skill and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 1st April, 1967 - No.24-Pres/67 dated 26th January 1967  

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
MWO Apurba Kumar Banerjee 201414 ORUnit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 67
Details :

Warrant Flight Engineer Apurba Kumar Banerjee has been serving with an operational transport squadron since March 1961. During this period, he has flown a total of 2027 hours of which 1540 hours have been on operational sorties.

During the operations against the Chinese, he flew a total of 85 hours on supply dropping and landing missions in Ladakh. He also flew a number of sorties airlifting material and personnel to the Assam Valley. In 1961, he spent two weeks, during winter in Chushul to help retrieve a stranded aircraft. He has also been responsible for the operational training of a large number of flight engineers.

Throughout Warrant Flight Engineer Apurba Kumar Banerjee displayed courage, professional skill and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 1st April, 1967 - No.24-Pres/67 dated 26th January 1967  

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
WO Samirendra Nath Bhattacharya 202041 ORUnit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 67
Details :

Warrant Officer Samirendra Nath Bhattacharya has been serving with an operational transport squadron since October 1961. Out of a total of 3404 flying hours, he has flown 1660 hours on operational duties. He was instrumental in fabricating special tools required for loading and unloading heavy equipment and his squadron was able to supply large quantity of stores to forward airfields due largely to the initiative and professional skill shown by him.

During the operations against the Chinese in 1962, he always volunteered for any sortie during the day or night and carried out successfully a number of supply dropping and other missions.

Throughout, Warrant Officer Samirendra Nath Bhattacharya displayed professional skill and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 1st April, 1967 - No.24-Pres/67 dated 26th January 1967  

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Narinder Singh Arora 4983 GD(P)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 68
Details :

Squadron Leader Narinder Singh Arora has been on the strength of a transport squadron since October 1966. He has flown a total of 4600 hours including 2200 hours over Jammu and Kashmir and NEFA areas. He has always volunteered for any new tasks that were assigned to the squadron and accomplished them. On the 30th April 1960, when his aircraft had an engine failure during a sortie in the Ladakh area, he took proper collective action immediately and brought the aircraft safely to base without any damage to Service property or injury to the crew.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Narinder Singh Arora displayed professional skill and exceptional devotion to duty.

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

Vayu Sena Medal
MWO Sadhashiv Panduran Thatte 20087 ORUnit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 68
Details :

Master Signaller Sadashiv Pandurang Thatte has been working with a Transport Squadron since January 1964. He has flown a total of more than 6000 hours out of which about 2400 hours have been in Jammu and Kashmir and NEFA areas. As a Flight Signaller, he has made a considerable contribution towards the achievements of the Squadron.

Throughout, Master Signaller Sadashiv Pandurang Thatte displayed professional skill and exceptional devotion to duty.

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

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
WO Rangappa Rangaswamy 400372 ORUnit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 68
Details :

Warrant Officer Rangappa Rangaswamy has been serving with a Transport Squadron since 1961. He has flown a total of about 4000 hours out of which about 2100 hours were in Jammu and Kashmir and NEFA. He was one of the pioneers who were detailed to airlift cargo to Chushul during the Chinese aggression. He has subsequently been employed on many occasions to airlift cargo to forward areas. On the 3rd June 1962, while on a supply dropping mission the transporters got stuck and rendered the supply drop impossible. The cargo which was hanging precariously from the aircraft prevented closing of the rear cargo doors. Realising the situation, he operated the transporter motor manually and ejected the whole load.

Throughout, Warrant Officer Rangappa Rangaswamy displayed professional skill, 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)
Warrant Signall Babaji Shripatrao More 48040 ORUnit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 69
Details :

Warrant Signaller Babaji Shripatrao More has been serving with Heavy Transport Squadron in Jammu and Kashmir since April 1963. He has volunteered for most of the difficult sorties and has flown a total of nearly 6,350 hours including about 2.660 hours on operations. During the India-Pakistan conflict in 1965, he had flown more than 102 hours. He has also carried out more than 1,060 sorties on supply dropping and landings at Advance Landing Grounds. By his experience and intimate knowledge of the terrain, he has helped a great deal in fulfilling the task allotted to his unit.

Throughout, Warrant Signaller Babaji Shripatrao More displayed courage and devotion to duty in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 12th April 1969 : No.18 - Pres/69 dated 26th January 1969 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Warrant Signall Jagdish Singh Gill 202348 ORUnit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date 25 Nov 66 Announced 26 Jan 69
Details :

Warrant Signaller Jagdish Singh Gill has been serving with a Heavy Transport Squadron since May 1961. He has flown total of 6,800 hours out of which 3,000 hours have been on operational sorties. His vast experience has always been of great help in the planning and execution of his Section's task. He has been responsible for training and conversion of many signallers, in spite of the heavy Squadron commitments. On 25th November 1966, when on a cross country flight No. 2 engine of the aircraft caught fire. Warrant Signaller Gill displayed cool courage and great presence of mind by helping the crew in bringing the situation under control. Not only was two way communication maintained throughout the flight, but also diversionary airfield was alerted to meet the emergency.

Throughout, Warrant Signaller Jagdish Singh Gill displayed courage and devotion to duty in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 12th April 1969 : No.18 - Pres/69 dated 26th January 1969 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Vijay Chand Mankotia 4041 GD(P)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 70
Details :

Wing Commander Vijay Chand Mankotia has been a transport pilot since January 1951. In June 1967, he assumed command of a Transport Squadron. He worked out a detailed training and operational programme with the aim of achieving the maximum operational status in the shortest possible time. His greatest contribution in building up the operational status was the personal lead he took in all matters connected with the various operational tasks allotted to the squadron. He is an able and experienced flier with a total of 4550 hours of which 1280 hours are operational hours; he is personally capable of undertaking any flying task. Throughout, Wing Commander Vijay Chand Mankotia displayed courage and determination.

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

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Dalip Singh Sabherwal 4756 GD(P)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 70
Details :

Squadron Leader Dalip Singh Sabherwal has been engaged in airlift operations for nearly six years. He has flown over 6,700 hours, of which 1,670 hours were on operational missions. In December 1967, he was detailed to study the feasibility of heavy transport aircraft operation in one of the border sectors. He personally undertook most of the trial flights in the difficult terrain of the area and finally helped in compiling the operating procedures which made subsequent operations in the area both productive and safe. When he was a Detachment Commander in one of the operational areas in March 1969, he accomplished a record airlift of over 1,000 tonnes in a month with only a few aircraft.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Dalip Singh Sabherwal 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 (Gallantry)
MWO Maleitra Ponappa Achappa 22860 ORUnit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

22860 Warrant Officer Maletira Achappa Ponappa has been serving in a Transport Squadron since 1961. He has flown a total of 5,320 hours of which 2,190 hours are on operational flying in the Ladakh and NEFA Sectors. During the Chinese aggression in October 1962, he was load master of an aircraft which carried vital Army equipment to a high altitude forward landing ground. He exhibited much skill in speedy and safe unloading, using an unorthodox method with improvised equipment. He has carried out more than 530 sorties and over 510 supply dropping missions in Ladakh and NEFA areas. On 14th March, 1963, while on a supply mission in Ladakh, his aircraft suffered a technical failure in which one of the elevator control cables snapped. Only a part of the load could be dropped, the remainder which was stuck, on the transporters prevented the cargo doors from closing. He took prompt action and manually ejected the load single handed, as the ejection crew had collapsed due to lack of oxygen. Although himself exhausted, he closed the cargo doors and then carried the unconscious members of the ejection crew to the crew cabin and administered oxygen to revive them. Immediately thereafter he was called upon by the Captain to assist with the controls. With his timely help, it was possible for the aircraft to be brought back to base.

Throughout Warrant Officer Maletira Achappa Ponnappa displayed professional skill and devotion to duty.

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

Bar to Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Narinder Singh Arora 4983 F(P)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

On 9th September 1969, Squadron Leader Narinder Singh Arora was conducting an aircrew categorisation test in a transport aircraft. During the flight, the aircraft suddenly skidded to the left. He and the second pilot, who was undergoing the test, struggled with the controls in an effort to keep the aircraft on an even keel. Having ensured that all the engines were functioning normally, he tried to trim the rudder with his trimming control but there was no response. Due to mechanical defect, the rudder trimmer had moved to fhe fully left position and was not responding to corrections. In spite of the efforts of both the pilots, the aircraft continued to lose direction and height. The incident occurred at a height of 2.3 KM and 15 miles west of the airfield. Eventually, Squadron Leader Arora fertrhered No. 4 engine and increased power of No. 1 aind this combination gave him just enough directional control to bring the aircraft down to a safe landing.

In this action, Squadron Leader Arora displayed cool courage and high professional still and thus saved a valuable aircraft and the lives of its crew.

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

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Vijay Arora 7934 SIGUnit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 72
Details :

During the operations against Pakistan in December, 1971, Flight Lieutenant Vijay Arora was serving with an operational Squadron in the Western Sector. He was a member of the crew who undertook two bombing missions to Changa Manga on the 3rd and 4th December, 1971, and one mission to Haji Pir Pass on the 5th December, 1971. On the mission to Haji Pir Pass, he rectified a serious defect to release system in utter disregard to his personal safety by opening the cargo door of the aircraft without a monkey belt.

In these actions, Flight Lieutenant Vijay Arora 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)
Flt Lt Subbiah Balasundaram 8274 AE(M)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 72
Details : During the operations against Pakistan in December, 1971, Flight Lieutenant Subbiah Balasundaram flew a number of bombing missions in the Western Sector. On the 4th December, 1971, while on a low level bombing mission over Changa Manga, the last lashing of the bomb conveyers failed to open up. He opened up the jack holding the last lashing single handed and dropped the bombs on the target. On the 14th December, 1971 while on a bombing mission over Rohri Marshalling yard, at the moment of drop the release units failed to function electrically and manually. While his aircraft was being subjected to heavy ground fire, he opened up the jacks of the release mechanism and enabled the load to be dropped over the target. On the 17th December, 1971, while on a bombing mission at a higher altitude over an airfield while unlashing the bombs one of the cables malfunctioned. Though the portable oxygen bottle he carried was exhausted, he managed to unlash the bombs making use of the emergency axe.

Throughout, Flight Lieutenant Subbiah Balasundaram 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)
WO Rangappa Rangaswamy 140037 ORUnit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 72
Details :

During the operations against Pakistan in December, 1971, Warrant Officer Rangappa Rangaswamy was serving as a Flight Gunner with a Transport Squadron. He undertook a number of bombing missions. During a night bombing mission on the 3rd December, 1971, his aircraft encountered intense and heavy ground fire. The aircraft sustained a number of direct hits and bullets passed through the gunner's cabin. He, however, effectively suppressed the ground fire, by engaging with his guns and inflicting casualties on the enemy. Unmindful of his personal safety, he performed his duties on all missions with a high sense of devotion to duty and courage.

Throughout, Warrant Officer Rangappa Rangaswamv 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 (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Ashwini Kumar Bhide 5674 F(P)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Squadron Leader Ashwini Kumar Bhide was the Flight Commander of a transport squadron in the Western Sector during the operations in December, 1971. He undertook five low level missions over strategic targets, without fighter escort, deep into the enemy territory, which involved flying at low level and low speed over target areas. He successfully completed all his missions inspite of heavy ground fire over target, area and his aircraft being hit on more than one occasions. The cool courage displayed by him in the face of heavy enemy opposition was an inspiration not only to his own crew members, but also to all the other crews of his squadron.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Ashwini Kumar Bhide displayed courage, professional skill and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
MWO Cherukat Venu Gopal Kurup 24197 ORUnit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 74
Details :

Master Warrant Officer Cherukat Venu Gopal Kurup has been operating as a Flight Gunner with a transport squadron in J&K area since 1963. He has flown 3675 hours inclusive of 1280 hours of operational flying on supply dropping and transport operations. He is a keen airman whose exemplary conduct and high professional competence have been a source of inspiration to his colleagues. During the operations in December, 1971, despite a critical shortage of Gunners, Master Warrant Officer Kurup supervised the preparation of the aircraft for the bombing missions himself and then readily volunteered for operational missions.

Throughout, Master Warrant Officer Cherukat Venu Gopal Kurup displayed professional skill 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 

Bar to Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Verinder Puri 5199 F(P)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 75
Details :

Squadron Leader Verinder Puri was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in August, 1956. After graduating as a Flying Instructor, he carried out instructional duties in various capacities and has a very impressive accidentfree 7,500 total hours of flying, out of which 3,500 are instructional. He achieved a proud record of three of his pupils winning the coveted Flying Trophy. He served with Aircrew Examining Board and held the highest category on three different types of aircraft and for three years he was testing pilots on the three types. He carried out his duties with great dedication and exceptional devotion to duty and was responsible to a large extent in maintaining the operational preparedness of the Transport Squadrons in the Indian Air Force. While serving at the Flying Instructors' School, Squadron Leader Puri was given the additional task of training some junior pilots on a new aircraft. He prepared all the Standard Operational Procedures and evolved the syllabus and procedures for converting these pilots. He inspired his colleagues and the airmen to a high pitch, completed the task well in time without any untoward incident.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Verinder Puri displayed courage, professional skill and exceptional devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 21st February 1975 - No.16 - Pres/75 dated 26th January 1975 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Vidya Bhushan Vashist 4584 F(P)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 75
Details :

Wing Commander Vidya Bhushan Vasisht was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in October, 1953. He has been serving as the Commanding Officer of a Squadron since August, 1971. He was awarded Maha Vir Chakra for his acts of gallantry during IndoPak Conflict in 1971. During the year, 1973, the Squadron had shown outstanding improvement in all-round efficiency. Not only had the Squadron completed its monthly Air maintenance tasks but had also accomplished all the transport support missions and addi ­tional commitments given to his Squadron efficiently in spite of handicaps. Simultaneously, aircrew training was vigorously progressed and a high percentage of aircrew was brought to fully operational state. In addition to the Command of his own Squadron, Wing Commander Vasisht was also responsible for the co­ordination and planning of all air maintenance tasks allotted to his Wing. He was also primarily responsible for rewriting the complete standard operating procedure for air maintenance in his area and also the procedures for paratrooping in unfamiliar areas. Wing Commander Vasisht has brought the Squadron to its present state of efficiency by sheer hard work, perseverance and determination.

Throughout Wing Commander Vidya Bhushan Vasisht displayed courage, professional skill and exceptional devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 21st February 1975 - No.16 - Pres/75 dated 26th January 1975 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Sadhu Singh Gill    6770 F(P)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 81
Details :

Squadron Leader Sadhu Singh Gill, a pilot with many accomplishments, has to his credit over 9000 accident free hours. He was commissioned in 1962 and was one of the few young pilots in 1963 to be selected for conversion training in a foreign country. He attained the status of a fully operational pilot with a 'B' 'Green' category with a year. He consolidated his flying experience and flew over 2000 hours as Captain mostly in the operational areas of J & K. This valuable experience gained by him helped in formulating the Standard Operating Procedures which are at present in use for safe flying in these areas.

In 1967, Squadron Leader Gill became a qualified flying instructor. During this tenure he flew a total of 3000 instructional hours. During Indo-Pak Conflict, 1971, he participated in several bombing missions on the front. Due to shortage of Qualified Flying Instructors in the Squaron, he was entrusted with additional tas of training new pilots, which he carried out competently.

Squadron Leader Sadhu Singh Gill has thus displayed professional competence and devotion to duty of a high order.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 20th March 1982 - No.15- Pres/82 dated 26th January 1981 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Abhaya Singh    8424 F(P)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 84
Details :

Wing Commander Abhay Singh was the leader of the First Air Force contingent to participate in tare first Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica 1982-83.

His team was tasked to prepare a landing strip at "Dakshin Gangotri" the Indian base at Antarctica. Despite the most inhospitable weather, difficult working conditions and heavy odds, Wd Cdr Abhay Singh took up this challenge willingly. Undaunted by the limited resources of material and manpower, he displayed remarkable initiative and courage, in surveying the hitherto unmapped area, selecting a suitable site and preparing a skiway. An effective air drop of essential goods was carried out at Dakshin Gangotri which was possible due to the efforts put in by Wg Cdr Abhay Singh in preparing a DZ, marking it prominently and guiding the aircraft to the DZ.

In addition to his primary task as the leader of the Air Force element, he carried out many arduous tasks as a member of the second Indian Expedition Team. He was selected to be in the advance party of seven members, which first went on the shelf at "Dakshin Gangotri". Being the senior most member of the party, he along with the other members organised the advance camp and achieved the herculean task of offloading and arranging more than 40 tons of equipment and working continuously for more than 24 hours at a stretch. Undaunted by hostile environment, he carried out several reconnaissance missions on open snow scooter and on foot, in inhospitable terrain full of hidden dangers, displaying bravery and courage of an exceptional order.

For his conspicuous bravery, personal courage and selfless devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wing Commander Abhay Singh.

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

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Mohinderjit Singh Singha 9711 F(P)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 87
Details :

Wing Commander Mohinderjit Singh Singha was commissioned in the flying branch in Oct 65. An officer with exceptional professional competence, he has been 'A-2' flying instructor since Oct 75. He has 5800 hours of accident-free flying to his credit.

Wing Commander Singha has always displayed exceptional leadership, organsiational ability, ingenuity, dedication and devotion to duty. As a Flight Commander at a Training Air Base and later as Flight Commander and Command Examiner at Paratroopers' Training School, he made significant contributions to the improvement of professional standards. His cheerful acceptance of responsibilities, willingness to work long hours and ability to train and motivate his subordinates, coupled with professional acumen, have been a source of inspiration for every one.

As a Flight Commander of the newly inducted Gajraj Squadron, he took upon himself the arduous task of standardizing the operating procedures of the aircraft in the new environment and varied roles in which very little practical experience was available. His diligence and intimate personal involvement have made subsequent operations both productive and safe.

For his outstanding professionalism, leadership, devotion to duty and dedication, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Wing Commander Mohinderjit Singh Singha.

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

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Ashok Kumar Goel 8151 F(P)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

Group Captain Ashok Kumar Goel was commissioned in the flying Branch in Dec 1963. An officer with exceptional professional competence, he has 6700 hrs of accident free flying, mainly on operational tasks both in the Western and Eastern Sectors.

Group Captain Goel has always displayed a very high order of leadership, organizing ability, ingenuity and dedication under the most strenuous and trying conditions whether at home or abroad. Under his dynamic leadership, able guidance and close monitoring and supervision the entire team of aircrew achieved excellent grading while under going training on IL-76 aircraft in the Soviet Military Academy. Back home as the first commanding officer of the IL-76 Squadron, he accomplished the stupendous tasks involving the simultaneous equipment and change of location of the Squadron through his meticulous planning administrative acumen and astute management. Undeterred by the multiplicity and the complexities of the myriad problems in the fields of operation, maintenance and administration, Group Captain Goel, with his singular drive, extraordinary capacity for hard work and outstanding ability to train and motivate his subordinates, forged ahead to establish the Mighty Jet Squadron in a remarkably short period since its induction, as the most reliable and dependable workhorse in the country air transport operations. His cheerful acceptance of responsibilities, exceptional initiative and extraordinary diligence have been source of inspiration of everyone.

For his outstanding professionalism, selfless devotion, exemplary dedication to duty and leadership qualities of an exceptional order, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Group Captain Ashok Kumar Goel.

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

Vayu Sena Medal
WO Himmat Singh  Kundal 258738 ORUnit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

285738 Warrant Officer Himmat Singh Kundal Flight Gunner, is on the posted strength of a helicopter unit, AF since 01 Dec 85. He has an excellent record as a flight gunner and has flown over 2500 hrs in various roles like logistic support, heliborne operation, armament and VVIP commitments. He had also been commended by Chief of the Air Staff in Jan 84 for the professional competence and devotion to duty.

WO Himmat Singh was selected as a flight gunner with the Air Force team for the 6th Antarctica expedition. During the expedition, as a senior flight gunner, he was responsible for the entire loading operations of the helicopters. Undeterred by the inclement weather he worked untiringly for long hours and helped the expedition scientists in transporting their loads from ship to various sites which often called working beyond the normal call of duty.

Out of 140 hours flown by Pratap helicopter at Antarctica, WO Himmat Singh flew 130 hours. Due to his personal example, capacity for sustained hard work and methodical approach, he established harmonious and affective support among the team members, which had direct bearing on the output of the AF team.

For exceptional flying skill, devotion to duty and dedication to service, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Warrant Officer Himmat Singh.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd April 1988 - No.39-Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Gp Capt Anant Gopal Bewoor 9718 F(P)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 90
Details :

Group Captain Anant Gopal Bewoor was commissioned in Oct 65. An officer with exceptional professional competence and vast instructional experience, he has to his credit 4680 hrs of accident-free flying on mainly heavy transport and trainer aircraft.

On assuming command of the Gajraj Squadron on 01 Oct 87, he so streamlined all the squadron operations through suitable delegation of authority that within weeks of his taking charge, it was transformed into an extremely potent force. The squadron's contributions in the massive airlift of men and material of the Indian Peace Keeping Force to Sri Lanka, rescue mission in air of the besieged President of Maldives and an emergency relief mission to Armenia in Nov/ Dec 88 are vivid testimony to his leadership and organizational competence.

For his outstanding leadership and professionalism, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Gp Capt Anant Gopal Bewoor.

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

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Amandeep Singh Gill 12944 F(P)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 90
Details :

Wing Commander Amardeep Singh Gill was commissioned in the flying branch in January 1972. He has 7300 hrs of accidentfree flying to his credit with the distinction of being the first Gajraj pilot to achieve 1000 hrs in this mighty jet. He flew over 900 hrs during his tenure of Aircrew Examining Board.

While undergoing IL-76 conversion abroad, Wg Cdr Gill put in dedicated effort in formulating the checklists and Standard Operating Procedures for operations of Gajraj aircraft in the new environment. His diligence beyond the call of duty made subsequent operations and training of pilots on IL-76 aircraft in India both productive and safe.

For his outstanding professionalism, dedication and selfless devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Wg Cdr Amardeep Singh Gill.

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

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Mukul Goyal 15404 F(P)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 90
Details :

Squadron Leader Mukul Goyal was commissioned in the IAF on 07 Jul 78 and has a record of 6,000 hrs of accident-free flying.

Sqn Ldr Goyal joined an AN-32 Sqn in Jan 85 and after conversion commenced regular flying in Jun 85. On 11 Nov 88, there was an urgent requirement to airlift troops from Agartala to Guwahati for onward dispatch to Srilanaka. The task had to be completed at night ex-Agartala where the night landing facilities were totally inadequate. Sqn Ldr showing great initiative and skill was the first to land at this airfield and then guided the others to follow him, thus being instrumental in the success of the mission.

For his high sense of dedication to duty, exemplary flying effort and thorough professionalism, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Sqn Ldr Mukul Goyal.

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

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Vinod Kumar Singh 15192 F(P)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 92
Details :

Sqn Ldr Vinod Kumar Singh is on the posted strength of one of Air Force Squadron since 03 Apr 89. The officer has flown 4300 hrs including 850 hrs on IL-76. He has logged 600 hrs as Captain on IL-76 and he is holding a MG category.

On 01 Apr 91, Sqn Ldr Singh was detailed for an air maintenance sortie to convey 225 passengers to a high altitude. The weather was cloudy with low and medium clouds. About 150 km short of Leh while flying at FL 290 over mountainous terrain with peaks protruding above 21000 feet, a loud bang was heard with severe vibrations and fire warning on No. 1 engine. The engine had burst and its parts had hit the wing undersurface and APU bay. The engine had tilted upwards by a few degrees, the port side slat was damaged. The reverse thrust buckets of the failed engine had deployed and the ac was facing serious aerodynamic problems.

Showing exemplary cool, presence of mind and professional competence of the highest order Sqn Ldr Singh correctly analysed the situation and initiated prompt action without hesitation and with full confidence saved the ac from disaster.

After completing initial actions and initiat ing diversion to base, Sqn Ldr Singh displayed exceptional qualities of leadership to exhort all his crew members to take prompt and correct actions. Ably assisted by co-pilot with mere 75 hrs of experience on type, he monitored the subsequent crew actions. By his calm disposition, efficient handling of situation and dialogue, he inspired a very high degree of confidence amongst crew members and thus enabled the emergency to be handled in a competent manner enabling a safe landing at the base.

For his commendable calm, enviable self confidence, maturity and display of exceptional skill in flying a battered ac to save the lives of 230 personnel, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Sqn Ldr VK Singh.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th April 1992 - No.29-Pres/92 dated 26th January 1992 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt James Sebastian 13385 F(P)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Group Captain James Sebastian (13385) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned on 02 Jun 73 in the Flying Branch of the IAF. He is a qualified Flying Instructor and has more than 6000 hrs of accident free flying to his credit. His past assignments include Flight Commander and Commanding Officer of a Transport Squadron.

Gp Capt. Sebastian took over command of a Transport Squadron on 18 Oct 95. He was not type-qualified at that time. The Officer realised that sustained excellence could materilise, only through a total cultural reorientation of his manpower. He also realised that personal example and self-esteem would be an important catalyst in the change. With this objective, through a series of sustained individual and collective interactions, he infused a sense of belonging and cohesion in his personnel and instilled a sense of pride in them. Simultaneously, through meticulous planning, he ensured that the support environment matched and complimented the ethos of excellence he set for his Sqn. Intense efforts toward both, accelerated categorisation and operational role clearances of aircrew, on the job training and classes for ground crew, concerted efforts in maintenance and the dedicated thrust towards works services were all elements of this focus.

Leading by example, Gp Capt Sebastian completed his conversion and categorisation and commenced his operational role qualifications within six months of assuming command of his Sqn. He qualified himself in formation-role and led the Sqn in all major Air Force exercises. He also formulated the operating procedures and necessary training schedules and made his Sqn operational in bombing, a new role assigned to the unit. As a result of his sustained and dedicated efforts, his Sqn was adjudged 'Best Transport Squadron' in EAC for two years consecutively and was declared 'Best Transport Squadron' in the IAF in 1998. The culture of excellence also reflected itself in prompt task completion and exceptional Flight Safety record.

For his exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Group Captain James Sebastian.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 1st July 2000 - No.85-Pres/2000 dated 26th January 2000 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Trikandiyur Kollath Venugopal 13598 F(P)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Group Captain Trikandiyur Kollath Venugopal (13598) Flying (Pilot) was Commissioned on 22 Dec 73, in the Flying Branch of the IAF. He has held the appointments of Flight Commander of two Squadrons, Chief Instructor at Air Force Station Yelahanka and Commanding Officer of a Transport Squadron. He is a graduate of the College of Defence Management.

In Dec 96, during the Aero India Show at Air Force Station Yelahanka, as the Chief Instructor and Co-ordinator of the event, he with his meticulousness, eye for detail and an uncanny ability to optimally utilise the limited human and material resources, worked intensely long hours to make the show a grand success in every sense.

In his present capacity as the Commanding Officer he has taken keen interest in ensuring and achieving an exceptionally high categorisation and Ops Status of the unit. This materialised in an outstandingly successful Battalion Group Drop with exceptional accuracy. He was further instrumental in successfully completing the conversion of six newly posted pilots, two navigators, seven flight signallers and three flight engineers in a record span of seven months against the targeted eighteen months.

On 26 May 1999, when alert was declared, he rose to his full measure. The unit maintained a very high serviceability state throughout the operations. Every single aircraft was launched on time, often at very short notice and at odd hours and every commitment met with the highest professionalism.

When given a window of opportunity during the two transport seminars held in his tenure, he has shown vision, far-sightedness and brilliance in presenting outstanding papers on Transport Tactical Training and Development Establishment, Airborne Assault Operations and Route Transport Operations. These valuable contributions of his did not go unnoticed and were commended at the highest levels and have already seen the light of day.

For exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Gp Capt TK Venugopal.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 1st July 2000 - No.85-Pres/2000 dated 26th January 2000 

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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