Awardee List for the year 1959

A total of 4 Awards are listed.
Kirti Chakra : 3 | Shaurya Chakra : 1 |
Kirti Chakra
Wg Cdr Edul Jahangir Dhatigara 1899 GD(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 27 Mar 56 Announced 23 Jan 59
Details :

During the operation in the Naga Hills, the outpost garrison at Sakhai was cut off on 27th March 1956 and the hostiles kept up the attack on the outpost throughout the night. Next morning an emergency message was received that unless an immediate airdrop of water and ammunition was carried out at Sakhai, the garrison would have no means of defence. The aircraft which had flown on a normal sortie earlier that day had reported fast deterioration of weather and had suggested stoppages of further flying. The garrison commander pressed that the airdrop was absolutely essential. In the circumstances Wing Commander Dhatigara decided to make the attempt himself. There was also the requirement that the airdrop should be made in a zone of 40 yards by 20 yards. On reaching the spot Wing Commander Dhatigara found that dropping zone was partially covered and the air was very turbulent. After the first run-in, the outpost informed the aircraft that dropping circuit should be changed as the aircraft was being fired upon when passing over the villages of Sakhai, Vishyepu and Khivi. But due to clouds no other circuit was possible. Wing Commander Dhatigara, disregarding the advice from the outpost continued the airdropping operations in spite of bad weather and automatic fire from the hostiles. The supply of water and ammunition was successfully delivered to the garrison in good time and good condition.

By volunteering to carry out the airdrop under very adverse weather conditions and in the face of heavy automatic fire Wing Commander Edul Jahangir Dhatigara displayed initiative, courage and skill which was in the best traditions of the I.A.F.

Reference: Notification No. 23-Pres/58 dated 15th September, 1958 published in Part 1, Section 1, Gazette of India dated 20th September, 1958.  

Kirti Chakra
Sqn Ldr Nedyam Bhaskar Menon 2994 GD(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 28 Jan 56 Announced 26 Jan 59
Details :

On 19th June, 1956 a detachment of 3 Sikh Light Infantry while acting in “aid to civil Power” at Khonoma in Naga Hills was completely surrounded by heavily armed hostiles. Their supplies of food and water from the loyal Nagas were cut off shortly thereafter. An emergency request was therefore made to the nearest I.A.F. Station for airdrop of water and food. Two attempts made on the 26th and the 27th June failed due to inclement weather. On 28th June Sqn Ldr Menon, the Detachment Commander, personally took up a Dakota with the requisite supplies. In spite of bad weather and continuous heavy automatic fire of the aircraft and although the dropping zone was very narrow being only 40 yards by 15 yards, Sqn Ldr Menon with extraordinary courage, skill and utter disregard for his personal safety successfully dropped food and water to the garrison. His daring feet saved the garrison and enabled it to hold on till relief came. He repeated this performance under similar hazardous conditions on 1st July, 1956.

The action of Sqn Ldr Nedyam Bhaskar Menon was in keeping with the best traditions of the I.A.F.

Reference: Notification No. 23-Pres/58 dated 15th September, 1958 published in Part 1, Section 1, Gazette of India dated 20th September, 1958.  

Kirti Chakra
Sqn Ldr Reginald Azariah Rufus 3319 GD(P)Unit : Air HQ and Comm  Award Date 26 Feb 57 Announced 26 Jan 59
Details :

On 26th February 1957, the Prime Minister and his party were travelling from Mangalore to Raipur in a twin-engined I.A.F. plane piloted by Sqn. Ldr. Rufus. About an hour and a quarter after taking off, fire and considerable vibration in the port engine were noticed. Immediate steps were taken to put out the fire. With one of the two engines out of action, Sqn. Ldr. Rufus decided to land at a disused kutcha landing strip at Raichur 25 miles away-the nearest regularly used airfield being more than 80 miles. By exceptionally accurate judgment and flying skill he made a perfect landing thus ensuring complete safety of the Prime Minister and his party.

Throughout this incident, Sqn. Ldr. Rufus handled the plane with cool courage and skill in the best traditions of Indian Air Force.

Reference: Notification No. 37-Pres/59 dated 17th July, 1959 published in Part 1, Section 1, Gazette of India dated 1st August, 1959. 

Shaurya Chakra
WO George Alfred Paddington 6070 TECHUnit : Air HQ and Comm  Award Date 26 Feb 57 Announced 17 Jul 59
Details :

Warrant Officer GA Paddington was the Flight Engineer in the crew of twin-engined I. A. F. plane which was conveying the Prime Minister and his party from Mangalore to Raipur on 26th February, 1957. After a flight of about an hour and a quarter Warrant Officer Paddington noticed discrepancies in the readings of the port engine instrument and kept a strict watch on that engine which soon caught fire. He informed the Pilot and took prompt and correct action to extinguish the fire thus contributing to the eventual safe landing of the plane.

Warrant Officer George Alfred Paddington's devotion to duty was thus very praiseworthy.

Originally 10835 Warrant Officer

Reference: Gazette of India , 17th July 1959 - No.37 - Pres/59 dated 1st August 1959 

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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Note: All the data available here is publicly available in the Gazette of India, published by the Indian Government, or from public domain sources, press releases about Awards and Right-To-Information (RTI) Requests. Additionally data shared by veterans is added to the page with permission. No data with respect to serving officers below the rank of AVM is displayed. Information in Gazette of India and Award citations and photographs as released by the Indian Air Force are the only details displayed.