|Sqn Ldr||Tony Paul Nanda 17697 F(P)||Unit : 132 FAC Flight||Award Date 15 Sep 94||Announced 15 Aug 95|
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Squadron Leader Tony Paul Nanda is one of the posted strength of a Chetak/Cheetah Helicopter Flight, Air Force, Since 17 January 94.
On 15th September 94, he was detailed to undertake a causality evacuation mission in a Chetak helicopter from Gota village in Riasi district of J&K state. Being aware that the casualties were hit by bullets fired by Anti National Elements, he took due precautions in approaching and landing at the helipad located at a height of 6000' amsl.
He loaded the two causalities quickly and occupied the Pilot seat. The instant the rotors were engaged, the helicopter was fired away from the hill and was hit. One bullet gazed Squadron Leader Tony Paul Nanda's head. Bleeding profusely and in a dazed condition, he gathered his wits and decided that the best course of action was to get airborne.
He took off amidst a spray of bullets and selected the most suitable escape route. Even in the face of great danger, the safety of his helicopter and passengers was paramount to him. Despite his own injury, instead of landing at a nearest airfield he insisted that the aircraft be flown to Jammu, so that the causalities could reach the civil hospital in time. The sheer professionalism, clarity of thought and exceptional courage displayed by Squadron Leader T P Nanda under such dangerous circumstances is in keeping with the highest traditions of the Air Force.
Squadron Leader Tony Paul Nanda, thus, displayed courage, determination, and dedication beyond the call of the duty with utter disregard to his personal safety.
|Reference:||Notification No. 182-Pres/95 dated 15th August, 1995 published in Part 1, Section 1, Gazette of India dated 7th October, 1995|