|Lascar||Neelakanta Bhaskar Panikar OR||Unit : AFS Jorhat||Award Date 10 Mar 60||Announced 04 Mar 61|
|Details :|| |
A twin Pioneer aircraft of the Scottish aviation Company carrying two observers, one from the IAF and the other from the Indian Airlines Corporation, crashed at Jorhat while taking off on an evaluation flight at about 1510 hours on 10th March 1960. It caught fire and set ablaze the surrounding vegetation. Lascar Panikar who was near the spot rushed inside the aircraft and led Sqn Ldr Hedge, the IAF observer, to safety. He also attempted to rescue Captain Wasim Pina, the other observer, who was trapped inside the aircraft. Disregarding his personal safety, Lascar Panikar entered the burning aircraft three times and despite the burns and injuries which he sustained due to the explosion of the fuel tanks, eventually rescued Captain Wasim Pina with the aid of an Army Sepoy.
Lascar Panikar showed great courage and initiative in bringing these two persons out of the burning aircraft and his gallant and selfless act, in complete disregard of his own safety, was in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force.
|Reference:||Gazette of India , 4th March 1961 - No.17 - Pres/61 dated 27th February 1961|
|Vayu Sena Medal|
|Sqn Ldr||Perepuu Sreerama Murthy 6555 AE(M)||Unit : AFS Jorhat||Award Date||Announced 26 Jan 79|
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Squadron Leader Perepu Sreerama Murthy joined the Air Force in 1962. In November, 1975, he took over as Chief Engineering Officer of a Transport Wing. By his managerial capability and sound professional knowledge, he made a creditable contribution towards a high rate of serviceability and flight operation of ageing Dakota aircraft.
On learning about the loss of contact with the aircraft with Prime Minister on 4th November, 1977, Squadron Leader Murthy mobilised, with commendable speed, specialist and other vehicles with adequate manpower and equipment to proceed to the crash site for rescue work. On arrival at the crash site, he set forth to secure safety of the aircraft systems to prevent any explosion or outbreak of fire. Without any loss of time, he got the area, soaked with spilled fuel around the aircraft, cleared of all rescue and security personnel approaching with naked flames and kerosene lamps. Undeterred by the risk involved, he manoeuvred through the narrow passages, surrounded by sharp and twisted structures, inside the crashed aircraft and isolated the sources of electrical power and also ensured that no risk of explosion existed from the charged bottles. Despite unsafe access to the fuel tanks, due to the aircraft resting on its belly and the darkness, he managed to plug damaged fuel lines.
A crash tender and an ambulance struck in the slushy and damaged track had blocked the narrow approach to the crash site. This blockage affected the rescue operation to the extent that even the car carrying the Prime Minister was held up for nearly half an hour. Squadron Leader Murthy arranged for the recovery vehicles, equipment and manpower and got the blockage cleared to enable movement of all rescue vehicles and thus ensured speedy execution of the rescue operations.
In this action, Squadron Leader Perepu Sreerama Murthy displayed courage, determination, 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|