Awards for 49 Sqn


A total of 18 Awards are listed.
Vir Chakra : 2 | Shaurya Chakra : 1 | Vayu Sena Medal : 15 |
Vir Chakra
Flt Lt Winston Rabinder Sanjeeva Rao 10191 F(P)Unit : No.49 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 72
Details :

During the operations against Pakistan in December, 1971, Flight Lieutenant Winston Rabinder Sanjeeva Rao (10191) was attached to a Brigade in the Rajasthan area for duties as a forward Air Controller in the Air Contact Team of the Brigade. The duty of an Air Contact Team requires its members to position themselves at vantage points in the battle zones, from where they can see enemy targets, and to guide the pilots of attacking aircraft on to the desired targets by radio. On the 5th December, 1971, a platoon patrol of the Army came under heavy enemy artillery, mortar and machine gun fire. A company of troops was rushed to help the patrol, and Flight Lieutenant Rao was detailed to accompany them. He rushed to the area on a camel and took up a position on a dominating sand dune, exposed to enemy fire, from where he could direct our aircraft on to the enemy positions. Again on the 7th December, 1971, a company of the Army was under heavy enemy fire at Saidan and asked for an air strike to take place at 1715 hours. Flight Lieutenant Rao volunteered to proceed to the spot to carry out FAC duties, although he knew that Saidan was 52 kilometers away across the desert, including 12 kilometers through enemy territory, and that it was already 1200 hours. He succeeded in reaching the road head at 1400 hours and then having organised a patrol led it himself, carrying his radio set along with him on a camel. He succeeded in reaching Saidan well in time to direct the air strike very successfully and returned to the Battalion Headquarter on the 11th December, 1971. On the 14th December, 1971, at about 1000 hrs, the Saidan defended position was surrounded by an enemy battalion, and by 1400 hours it came under heavy enemy pressure. Once more, Flight Lieutenant Rao volunteered to go to the area to dire strike aircraft against the besieging enemy troops. He left the Battalion Headquarters in a jeep with his radio set and after linking with a patrol from one of the companies, managed to get through to the surrounded Saidan position. The enemy attack was beaten back, but during the night, they built up again for another attack. An air strike was called for at 0830 hours on 15th December 1971, and this was excellently directed by Flight Lieutenant Rao as a result of which the enemy was forced to withdraw having suffered heavy casualties in men and equipment.

Throughout, Flight Lieutenant Winston Rabinder Sanjeeva Rao 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
Fg Offr Satish Chandra Sharma 12244 F(N)Unit : No.49 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 72
Details :

During the operations against Pakistan in December, 1971, Flying Officer Satish Chandra Sharma was attached to a Brigade in the Eastern Sector for duties as a Forward Air Controller in the Air Contact Team of the Brigade. On the 7th December, 1971, Flying Officer Sharma was detailed to accompany a Company which was airlifted by helicopter to a site behind the enemy occupied area at Sylhet. He landed at the helipad at 1700 hours with a small party and signal sets, under heavy enemy fire. He immediately took control fo the situation and brought his men safely to vantage point from where he directed the incoming helicopters sorties to strike enemy postions at the branch on river Surma and enemy Headquarters at Circuit House. This strike was so effective that the enemy did not fire for quite sometime. The enemy resumed its fire pressure at the subsequent landings on the morning of 8th December 1971. Flying Officer Sharma again went to a vantage point under heavy enemy shelling and successfully directed our bombers on the enemy positions and targets. These strikes were so accurate that the enemy firing ceased immediately. On the night of 8th/9th December, 1971, the enemy occupied positions around two of our forward block companies and engaged then with heavy MMG and mortar fire. Flying Officer Sharma again went to a vantage point and effectively directed our air strike. Undeterred by the enemy fire all around him, he led his escort party towards the forward company location. Enroute, he encountered a small enemy patrol, who fired at his party from a nearby grove. Though unfamiliar with infantry tactics, Flying Officer Sharma ordered his small party to attack the enemy, and personally led the charge on the enemy patrol. This spontaneous and swift action resulted in the death of two enemy personnel. Flying Officer Sharma and his party moved forward with confidence and reached a suitable vantage point close to the forward block company. From that position, he directed air attacks on the enemy occupied area. The air strikes were so accurate and effective that they disorganized enemy’s preparation for a possible attack on the forward block company.

Throughout, Flying Officer Satish Chandra Sharma displayed gallantry, leadership and professional skill of a high order.

Reference: Gazette of India , 16th December 1972 - No.125 - Pres/72 dated ??? 

Shaurya Chakra
Fg Off Jankiraman Balasubramanian 15558 F(P)Unit : No.49 Squadron  Award Date 26 Aug 81 Announced 26 Jan 82
Details :

On the 26th August, 1981, Flying Officer Jankiraman Balasubramanian (15558) Flying (Pilot), took off for an air dropping sortie in Eastern Sector. The Dropping Zone was one of the Southern-most low lying dropping Zone. The flight was uneventful till the aircraft reached the dropping Zone. On his very first run for the drop, Flying Officer Balasubramanian heard a loud backfiring noise from his port engine followed by severe vibrations and smoke. Flying Officer Balasubramanian quickly checked his engine instruments and confirmed the failure of port engine. He not only controlled the aircraft at this critical stage of flight but avoided the hill in front of him in a cool, confident and courageous manner and simultaneously shut down the port engine. Flying Officer Balasubramanian found that his aircraft was not climbing on one engine. He quickly ejected the load and managed to gain the badly needed height of 1500' which was his minimum escape route height. He flew the stricken aircraft on one engine for over one hour over hilly terrain fighting turbulence and keeping a hawk's eye on the temperature of his live engine. He thus succeeded in bringing the aircraft back to base and made a perfect touch down.

Flying Officer Jankiraman Balasubramanian, with his flying experience of only 270 hours, handled the grave emergency in an exemplary and professional manner and thus saved eight valuable lives on board.

Reference: Gazette of India , 10th April 1982 - No.19 - Pres/82 dated 26th January 1982 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Thomas Cyril Martins 4610 GD(P)Unit : No.49 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 64
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Martins was serving with a transport squadron operating in NEFA. During the different phases of the battle of Walong, the vital supplies required by the piquets and retreating columns had to be supplied by airdrops. Flight Lieutenant Martins carried out numerous sorties over hazardous and unmapped areas for this purpose. In spite of the danger of anti-aircraft fire from the encircling Chinese troops, he always volunteered to undertake these missions, in complete disregard of his personal safety.

Flight Lieutenant Martins displayed 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)
Fg Offr Krishna Vishwanth Rajagopal 6025 GD(P)Unit : No.49 Squadron  Award Date Announced 01 Jan 67
Details :

Fg. Offir. Krishna Vishwanath Rajagopal has been employed in a transport squadron engaged in airlift operations in Assam area since March, 1962. He has carried out over 1000 operational sorties at the various landing grounds and dropping zones in NEFA and elsewhere. He has fulfilled vital Army operational requirements by carrying out operational sorties in difficult terrain in bad weather conditions. Throughout, Fg. Offir. Rajagopal displayed courage and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 7th January, 1967- No.102 - Pres/66 dated 31st December 1966 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Fg Offr Jatinder Mohan Singh 6027 GD(P)Unit : No.49 Squadron  Award Date Announced 01 Jan 67
Details :

Fg. Offir. Jatinder Mohan Singh has been serving with a transport Squadron engaged in airlift operations in the Assam area. During the last four years, he has carried out many difficult air landings and dropping missions to several forward areas in NEFA and Nagaland. On many occasions, he voluntarily undertook difficult missions to hurriedly setup army posts and carried out emergency droppings under difficult conditions. He has flown over 2200 hours, including 1700 hours of operational flying.

Throughout, Fg. Offr. Jatinder Mohan Singh displayed courage and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 7th January, 1967- No.102 - Pres/66 dated 31st December 1966 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Fg Offr Ved Prakash Kala 6340 GD(P)Unit : No.49 Squadron  Award Date Announced 01 Jan 67
Details :

Fg. Offir. Ved Prakash Kala has been engaged in transport support operation in the eastern sector since December 1961. In early 1963, he was assigned the task of carrying out reconnaissance for dropping zones in the mountainous terrain in Joshimath and Badrinath areas. He carried out the task successfully. He has always volunteered for difficult and dangerous missions and has been able to operate under adverse weather conditions, flying over 130 hours per month even during the rainy season.

Throughout, Fg. Offir. Kala displayed professional skill, courage and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 7th January, 1967- No.102 - Pres/66 dated 31st December 1966 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Fg Offr Sadanand Ramchandra Pedagaonkar 6524 GD(P)Unit : No.49 Squadron  Award Date Announced 01 Jan 67
Details :

Fg. Offr. Sadanand Ramchandra Pedgaonkar has been serving with a transport squadron engaged in airlift operations in NEFA and Nagaland sine May 1962. During the course of about 3 years, he has flown over 2000 hours, of which about 1500 hours have been on operations. He has successfully carried out landings and air dropping operations in many advance landing grounds and dropping zones. At times, when the exigencies of service so demanded, he flew as many as six to seven sorties a day. He flew over 180 hours in about a month's time during the Chinese aggression in 1962.

Throughout, Fg. Offr. Pedgaonkar displayed courage and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 7th January, 1967- No.102 - Pres/66 dated 31st December 1966 

Vayu Sena Medal
Flt Lt Tarlok Singh Dhaliwal 6350 GD(P)Unit : No.49 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 69
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Tarlok Singh Dhaliwal is serving as a pilot in a transport Squadron engaged in an air maintenance role in the eastern regions. He is a qualified flying Instructor and has flown a total of 3,360 hours out of which 1,650 hours are on operational missions. During the Chinese aggression in 1962, he carried out many supply dropping sorties. His intimate knowledge of the terrain of NEFA and Mizo Hills and his experience in carrying out numerous landings at Advance Landing Grounds has been very useful in the training of junior pilots. He has been a source of great inspiration to his junior colleagues.

Throughout, Flight Lieutenant Tarlok Singh Dhaliwal 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
Flt Lt Ashutosh Kumar Tripathi 8686 GD(P)Unit : No.49 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 70
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Ashutosh Kumar Tripathi joined a flying unit in 1964. During his tenure in this Squadron, he has flown 2,586 hours, of which more than 1,500 hours were on air maintenance operations over the hazardous mountainous terrain in the Eastern area. He has always shown willingness to undertake the most arduous and demanding missions and has successfully accomplished the tasks. He has thus been a source of inspiration to others in the Squadron.

Throughout, Flight Lieutenant Ashutosh Kumar Tripathi 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)
Fg Offr Baldev Singh 10991 F(P)Unit : No.49 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 74
Details :

Flying Officer Baldev Singh has been a Dakota pilot since June. 1967. He has a total of 2200 hours of which 1200 hours have been flown on operational sorties over hazardous terrain in the Eastern Sector. His flying has been accident free throughout and he has obtained a high operational status. On the 10th September, 1972, he was detailed to carry out an Air Maintenance sortie. While joining circuit at the Drooping Zone, he experienced severe vibration and smoke from the port engine. He decided to abort the sortie. The vibration further increased forcing him to feather the engine. Despite his best and repeated efforts the engine failed to feather and the aircraft started to lose height very rapidly bringing him below the safe height in the hills. He took correct and timely decision and ordered the load to be ejected so as to maintain minimum height for clearing the hills through the escape route, but the aircraft still did not maintain height. The live engine temperature started increasing rapidly and because the malfunctioning engine was windmilling, he restarted the engine maintaining partial power to counteract the drag of the windmilling propeller. After ejecting 57 bags of load aircraft maintained a slower rate of descent. After flying the crippled aircraft for one hour, under adverse conditions of weather he executed a safe landing at Base.

Flight Lieutenant Baldev Singh thus displayed courage, 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 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Sgt Devraj 216117 ORUnit : No.49 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 75
Details :

Flight Sergeant Devraj has been serving with a Transport Squadron in the Eastern theatre since April, 1972. From September, 1967 to March, 1972, he had served with a heavy Transport Squadron in Jammu and Kashmir. He has always volunteered for difficult sorties and has flown a total of 3,960 hours, out of which 1706 hours have been on operational sorties. During the Indo-Pak Conflict 1971 he had flown a large number of operational hours and had taken part in the operations in Western as well as Eastern Sectors. He also took part in paratrooping operations. During his stay of less than two years in Assam Sector, he flew a total of 1,600 hours including 1400 hours on operational sorties.

Throughout, Flight Sergeant Devraj 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
Sqn Ldr Gopal Krishan Mehta 6752 F(P)Unit : No.49 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 78
Details :

Squadron Leader Gopal Krishan Mehta was on the posted strength of a transport Squadron for two years and was employed in the capacity of Flight Commander. Unmindful of his personal comfort, he ceaselessly worked for long hours in coordinating and supervising the air maintenance task given to the squadron and completed it ahead of schedule. He himself flew a total of over 900 hours, out of which 550 hours were flown on operational missions in Nagaland and Mizoram. He has to his credit, a total of 4,784 hours of flying out of which 2,010 hours have been flown on operational missions over mountainous terrain and under adverse weather condition. He is an 'A' category transport pilot with Master Green instrument rating. With his professional competence and organisining ability, he has brought about all round improvement in the categorisation state of pilots in the squadron. He accompanied them on such flights, trained them and brought them up for categorization. His personal involvement has motivated his subordinates to give their best to the Air Force.

Squadron Leader Gopal Krishan Mehta has thus displayed professional competence, leadership and devotion to duty of an exceptional order.

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

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Venkataraman Shankar 5197 F(P)Unit : No.49 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 79
Details :

Wing Commander Venkataraman Shankar has been the Officer Commanding of a Packet Squadron since 29th April, 1976. Ever since he took over Command of the Squadron, he realised the need to activate his team into a wellknit and cohesive force. As a result, the Squadron has been able to meet all operational and training Commitments that were entrusted to it and has achieved an excellent state of operational status. A man with strong love for flying and decisive and poised in handling emergencies, he was successful in maintaining the morale of the officers and men of his Squadron very high. As a pilot, he has to his credit a total of 6800 hours of accident/incident free flying and 3900 hours of purely operational flying in both Eastern and Northern Sectors. He stands fully qualified for operations in J&K, Ladakh, Nagaland, Mizoram, and Arunachal Pradesh where flying calls for the most stringent standards of professional competence and acumen. By his keen insight into the working of men and material and capability to quickly anlayse situations, he has been able to bring the aircraft serviceability state of his Squadron to an all time high. It is during his stewardship that the Squadron has been adjudged the best Squadron for Flight Safety and has been awarded the Flight Safety Trophy for the year 1977. He has achieved the highest 'A' /Master Green on three different aircraft and has maintained this status for the past 14 years.

Wing Commander Venkataraman Shankar has thus displayed leadership, high professional skill and devotion to duty of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 19th January 1980 - No.7- Pres/80 dated 26th January 1979 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Ranjit Singh Mann 7433 F(P)Unit : No.49 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 82
Details :

Wing Commander Ajit Singh Mann was on the posted strength of one of the transport Squadrons in the Eastern Sector for over four years. During his flying career he has flown over 5125 hours out of which 2805 were flown on operational commitments in the most hazardous and difficult mountainous terrain of Ladakh, Nagaland, NEFA, and Mizo Hills. This entire flying has been accident­free. He has carried out numerous trials of initial reconnaissance and acceptance of new dropping zones. Professionally he has achieved exceptional standard in instrument flying and upgraded his rating to Master Green. He is a Right Hand Seat Check Pilot who has been instrumental in training young Squadron Pilots and upgrading the operational qualifications of a large number of Pilots. He brought up the Pilot categorization state to 97.5% and has been maintaining it.

The Squadron has an accident­free record for the last three years with maximum flying hours to its credit. During this period the Squadron carried out 24,515 hours of flying and there was no other transport Squadron in the Air Force with such flying record. Squadron has won the flight safety trophy for the three consecutive years. This remarkable achievement has been primarily due to untiring efforts by him as senior most flight commander of the Squadron.

Wing Commander Ajit Singh Mann has thus displayed professional competence, leadership capabilities and devotion to duty of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd January 1983 - No.1-Pres/83 dated 26th January 1982 

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Shyamal Kumar Banerjee 10941 F(P)Unit : No.49 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 95
Details :

Group Captain Shyamal Kumar Banerjee was commissioned as a pilot in the flying branch on 04 June 1967. He has held the appointment of Flight Commander at Elementary Flying School Bidar, the Chief Flying Instructor at Transport Training Wing Yelahanka and Deputy Director Air Staff Inspection at Air Headquarters. As an experienced Qualified Flying Instructor he assumed the command of an AN-32 Squadron on 29 Jun 92, three months after a fatal Cat I accident in which both the Flight Commander and Navigation leader were killed.

The Squadron aircrew categorization state and the operational clearance state for different roles were low. With his untiring efforts, unflinching determination and perseverance, he tackled this task in an exemplary manner. Under his close supervision, 25 pilots, 13 navigators and 09 Flight Engineers upgraded their aircrew category/Instrument rating. Also 10 pilots and 08 navigators achieved fully operational status. In addition, three Qualified Flying Instructors were cleared for the instructional duties in air maintenance role and two pilots were trained to perform the duties of Right Hand Seat Check Pilot. The aircraft serviceability state of the Squadron improved. The average night flying effort of the Squadron and the average tonnage per hour for air maintenance sorties also increased.

Group Captain SK Banerjee has to his credit 7600 hours of accident free flying. Under his leadership the Squadron has been adjudged the Best Transport and Helicopter Squadron of EAC for two consecutive years 1992-93 and 1993-94. For exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Gp Capt Shyamal Kumar Banerjee.

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

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Sunil Kumar Kashyap 20991 F(P)Unit : No.49 Squadron  Award Date 02 Aug 95 Announced 26 Jan 97
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Sunil Kumar Kashyap is on the posted strength of an AN-32 Sqn in the Eastern Sector since 08 Dec 91.

On 02 Aug 95, Flt Lt Kashyap was authorised to fly an air maintenance supply drop sortie to a forward Dropping Zone (DZ). This DZ is small in size and is situated in a narrow valley. Due to this only part load can be dropped on one circuit. Further, topography of DZ necessitates an immediate climb after the drop as there are steep hills in the direction of drop and on the down wind side. Flt Lt Kashyap decided to drop three skid boards during the first circuit. As the skid boards were being released from the aircraft, the star-board engine failed. Flt Lt Kashyap remained calm and put on additional bank which brought the aircraft to the limits of its flight envelop. He skillfully turned the aircraft in the narrow valley clearing the high hills around the DZ. After clearing the immediate hills he tried to climb to route safety height but could not do so as the aircraft refused to respond due to prevailing high temperature and humidity. He then decided to follow the escape route by following the valley and crossing over high ridges with very little safety margin. Throughout the emergency he remained calm, continued to fly skillfully and safely landed the aircraft at Chabua. He displayed unflinching determination and professionalism of a very high order, in keeping with the highest traditions of the Air Force, in handling of the emergency and safe recovery of the aircraft.

For exceptional courage, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Flight Lieutenant Sunil Kumar Kashyap.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 15th March 1997 - No.19-Pres/97 dated 26th January 1997 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Ravinder Kumar Sharma 16050 F(P)Unit : No.49 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 06
Details : Group Captain Ravinder Kumar Sharma (16050) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the Indian Air Force on 15 Jun 1980. He is presently the Commanding officer of an AN-32 Squadron at Air Force Station Jorhat.During his 24 years of dedicated service, Gp Capt Sharma has flown 8200 accident/incident free hours on various aircraft, commanded two transport squadrons, and an Air NCC squadron. He has also held the important appointments of Flight Commander, Air Force Examiner and Qualified Flying Instructor on AN-32, HS-748. 1L-76 and DO-228 ac and is an alumnus of DSSC Wellington. He has the distinction of holding "A" Master Green Cat/lR concurrently on four different ac and the unique record of being the only pilot in the IAF to have operated to Leh and Thoise airfields in AN-32, 1L-76 and DO-228 ac.The officer has been a pioneer who carried out high altitude trials of DO-228 ac and became the first pilot to successfully land the ac at high altitude airfields of Leh, Thoise and Kargil. Landing the un-pressurised ac at such high altitude was achieved through the ingenuity, innovation and the sustained efforts of the officer in carrying out essential modifications on the ac, including enhancing ac oxygen system endurance.Gp Capt Sharma took over command of the squadron at a stage when the Sqn had been nominated for the Best Combat Sqn competition. Leading by personal example, he instilled confidence in his team and motivated them lo achieve high levels of performance. His dynamic leadership, dogged perseverance and untiring efforts resulted in the Sqn being adjudged the Best Combat Transport Sqn of IAF for the year 2004.Gp Capt Sharma has achieved commendable levels of task accomplishment in operational, maintenance and administrative aspects of the Sqn with sustained high efficiency. He has been the guiding force behind several innovations and modifications carried out by the Sqn namely, engine shock absorber extraction tool, empty fuel simulator for quantity gauge calibration, "Fasten Seat Belt" passenger warning, "Battery Failure" indication etc which will enhance operational capability, improve reliability/maintainability of the ac and-contribute significantly towards better Flight Safety of the Sqn and the IAF as a whole, besides saving substantial amount of money to the exchequer.For his exceptional devotion to duty, The Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal.' to Group Captain Ravinder Kumar Sharma.
Reference: Gazette of India dated 18th March 2006 - No.30-Pres/2006 dated 26th January 2006 & AFD2006 Investiture  

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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