Awards for the year 1961


A total of 10 Awards are listed.
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Kirti Chakra
Sqn Ldr Ayyappan Sudhakaran 3937 GD(P)Unit : A&ATU  Award Date 04 Jun 60 Announced 04 Mar 61
Details :

On the 4th of June, 1960, Suqadron Leader Ayappan Sudhakaran was carrying out a test flight in a Gnat aircraft – the only one of its kind in India – which was fully instrumented when the engine flamed out at low altitude. He could have abandoned the aircraft and saved his own life but decided to save the aircraft by attempting a forced-landing. In this gallant attempt he lost his life.

Squadron Leader Ayappan Sudhakaran had been a test pilot for nearly three years at Kanpur during which period he made numerous test flights in which he faced great risk to his life and displayed outstanding flying ability and technical knowledge of a very high order. In this incident in which he lost his life he showed courage, devotion to duty and determination in the highest traditions of the Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India , 4th March 1961 - No.16 - Pres/61 dated 27th February 1961 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Sqn Ldr Chandan Singh 3460 GD(P)Unit : 43 Squadron  Award Date 26 Jan 61 Announced 26 Jan 61
Details :
Citation Not Available
Reference: Gazette of India , 28th January 1961 - No.8 - Pres/61 dated 26th January 1962 

Shaurya Chakra
Lascar Neelakanta Bhaskar Panikar ORUnit : 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 (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Charles Bacon James Alexander 3523 MEDUnit : Para Training School  Award Date 15 Mar 53 Announced 26 Jan 61
Details : In March 1953. Captain Thukral was carrying out work deep in the Subansiri Valley. While he was working there some hostile Daflas shot poisoned arrows at him and, as there was no hope of medical aid reaching him in time his life was in danger, Squadron Leader Alexander – then a Flight Lieutenant and his team were dropped in the thick of the jungle and for a fortnight treated and looked after Captain Thukral, whose condition was serious, so saving his life. Braving all dangers Squadron Leader Alexander completed his mission with success. His action was in keeping with the tradition of the Air Force.
Reference: Gazette of India 28th January 1961 - No.7 - Pres/61 dated 26th January 1961 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Sqn Ldr Harchand Singh Gill 2862 GD(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 10 Oct 53 Announced 26 Jan 61
Details : In October 1953 a composite column of Assam Rifles and a Civil Administration Party was attacked by armed Tagins and some officers and men killed. In the operation launched against them, Squadron Leader H S Gill was in command of the detachment of Dakotas for the air-landing of the troops. The work of air landing personnel and supplies on the two small available landing grounds was difficult, Notwithstanding the difficulties, Squadron Leader Gill with his keen enthusiasm, boundless energy and courage personally carried out the major portion of the landings at Doporijo, By his tireless work, the airlift which had appeared impossible, became a reality. He showed courage and devotion to duty of the highest order.
Reference: Gazette of India 28th January 1961 - No.7 - Pres/61 dated 26th January 1961 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Ian Steele Loughran 4024 GD(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 12 Jan 60 Announced 26 Jan 61
Details : On 12th January 1960, Flight Lieutenant I S Loughran was authorized to give a screen check in Instrument Flying to another officer. The weather was bad and the cloud base which was at 6000 feet suddenly rose to 20,000 feet. Flight Lieutenant Loughran was told by signal to come down as bad weather was beginning to envelop the aerodrome also. Meanwhile another aircraft above the clouds was in difficulty and was calling for help. Although Flight Lieutenant Loughran had only 60 gallons of fuel left, he asked for permission to go its help and guide its descent. On this being given, Flight Lieutenant Loughran immediately started climbing and continued to do so till he found the other aircraft above 26,000 feet. He then escorted it down in formation with his own craft, and at the time of touching down found that his own fuel had completely finished. By his devotion to duty and calmness, he saved the other aircraft and its pilot at the risk of his own life.
Reference: Gazette of India 28th January 1961 - No.7 - Pres/61 dated 26th January 1961 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Fg Offr Virendra Kumar 5328 GD(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 61
Details :

During the year 1959-60, the IAF was engaged in supply dropping missions in NEFA and NHTA areas. The aircraft had to operate over treacherous terrain where the weather is unpredictable. The dropping zones were numerous and abnormally small in size. Under the hazardous conditions this young officer showed tremendous zeal and devotion to duty by carrying out a 1000 hours of flying on these missions in little over a year.

His enthusiasm and devotion to duty in the face of adverse flying conditions was in keeping with the highest traditions of the Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India 28th January 1961 - No.7 - Pres/61 dated 26th January 1961 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Vinod Kumar Sehgal 3853 GD(P)Unit : 104 HU  Award Date 01 May 61 Announced 15 Aug 61
Details :

On 1st May 1961, one Dakota aircraft, while on a sortie near the U.P./Tibet border area was reported missing. Squadron Leader Sahgal, who was commanding a Helicopter unit, volunteered to lead the Helicopter Detachment personally to locate the missing aircraft and conduct the rescue operations. This task not only involved reconnaissance over a hazardous mountainous area under unfavourable weather conditions, but also entailed considerable administrative and logistic planning in moving the detachment at short notice to various advanced outposts. He ferried the helicopter form his parent unit to an advanced base on 2nd May commenced intensive search of the area where the aircraft was report4ed to have crashed. Due to conflicting reports regarding he location of the crashed aircraft, it became frequently necessary to modify the operational and logistical plans and adjust it suitably to meet the situation. Next day he resumed the search and succeeded in establishing that the aircraft had not crashed I the area reported. By this time information had been received that the surviving members of the crew had reached one of the advance Army out posts. Squadron Leader Sahgal had therefore to move his detachment further up in order to rescue the survivors who were injured and needed immediate evacuation. Despite the difficult terrain and bad weather, he succeeded in locating a s suitable landing area. In evacuating the survivors, Squadron Leader Sahgal took an extremely bold step to fly out two survivors at a time, there by completing the evacuation in the least possible time. With a view to recover the bodies of the dead, he was detailed to further reconnoiter the area. In spite of fatigue, he carried out the search. During all these flights, Squadron Leader Sahgal had to fly his helicopter practically to the limits of the performance under adverse weather conditions.

Reference: Gazette of India 3rd February 1962 - No.24 - Pres/62 dated 26th January 1962 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Sqn Ldr Kapil Bhargava 3939 GD(P)Unit : HAL  Award Date 01 Nov 61 Announced 15 Aug 61
Details : Squadron Leader Kapil Bhargava, a test pilot of considerable experience, had his training in test flights of the Avro 748 in the United Kingdom and flew over 150 hours on the prototype there. He undertook the first test flight of the Indian built aircraft, fresh from the assembly lines at Kanpur, on 1st November 1960. On its inaugural flight at Palam on 26th November 1961, before a distinguished gathering , he demonstrated the performance and the capabilities of the aircraft. In this task He had shown a high degree of professional skill , knowledge and courage
Reference: Gazette of India 3rd February 1962 - No.24 - Pres/62 dated 26th January 1962 

Vishist Seva Medal
Sqn Ldr Appasaheb Bhagwant Patil 3242 GD(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 61 Announced 26 Jan 61
Details :
Citation Not Available
Reference: Gazette of India , 25th January 1961 - No.10 - Pres/61 dated 26th January 1961 

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