Awards for the year 1963


A total of 35 Awards are listed.
Param Vishist Seva Medal : 1 | Maha Vir Chakra : 1 | Ati Vishist Seva Medal : 2 | Vir Chakra : 5 | Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) : 18 | Vishist Seva Medal : 8 |
Param Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Kanwar Jaswant Singh 1587 GD(P)Unit : Eastern Air Command  Award Date 26 Jan 63 Announced 26 Jan 63
Details :

Late Air Vice Marshal Kanwar Jaswant Singh was commissioned in the Indian Army in 1937 and was seconded to the I.A.F. in 1940, where he served with distinction for over 22 years. He saw active service in the North Western Frontier Province and later led a squadron into operations in Burma during World War II.

After holding several senior command and staff appointments, he tool over as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Air Command in March, 1962. With the limited resources available to him he re-organised the various units under his command to meet the heavy task of logistic air support required in the Assam and NEFA areas. With the recent Chinese aggression, the operational commitments in NEFA assumed vast proportions but there was no commensurate increase in the transport aircraft available to him. Air Vice Marshal Kanwar Jaswant Singh faced the situation with determination and further re-organised his command to undertake logistic support operations in the NEFA and Assam areas. He not only planned and directed the operations but proceeded to set an inspiring example by personally leading many difficult airlift missions. These operational missions were beyond the call of his normal duties but he carried them out to infuse confidence in his officers and men with complete disregard for his personal safety. All through the operations he was a familiar sight at the forward airfields in that region, planning, directing and supervising the air operations. The enthusiasm and determination with which the Air Force carried out the tasks allotted to them in Assam and NEFA were, to a large extent, due to the sustained work done by the officer.

By his exceptional leadership, organizing ability and devotion to duty, Air Vice Marshal Kanwar Jaswant Singh has rendered most distinguished service to the Indian Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1963 Number: 

Maha Vir Chakra
Sqn Ldr Jag Mohan Nath 3946 GD(P)Unit : No.106 Squadron  Award Date 26 Jan 63 Announced 26 Jan 63
Details : As Flight Commander of an Operational Squadron, Squadron Leader Jag Mohan Nath has fulfilled a number of hazardous operational tasks involving flying over difficult mountain terrain, both by day and by night, in adverse weather conditions and in complete disregard of his personal safety. He has displayed conspicuous gallantry, a very high sense of duty and a high degree of professional skill.
Reference: Gazette of India, 16th February 1963 - No. 15-Pres/63., dated 26th January, 1963 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Anantha Ananthanarayanan 1607 GD(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 63 Announced 26 Jan 63
Details :

Air Commodore A.A. Narayanan was commissioned in the General Duties Branch of the Air Force in 1940. He held several important appointments in various Air Force units including an assignment in Indonesia.

He was in command of our Air Force formation in Jammu & Kashmir Area from 1959 to 1962. By correct planning, with a limited number of aircraft and aircrew, he ensured the timely delivery of vital supplies to the forward areas, when air support had to be increased in magnitude with great speed to meet the Chinese attack in Ladakh. He set an example to the officers and men under his command by leading a number of difficult operational missions.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1963 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Lal Singh Grewal 2337 GD(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 63 Announced 26 Jan 63
Details :

Up to June, 1960 airlift into Ladakh to enable our Army to safeguard our frontiers was sustained by a squadron of Dakotas and a few Packets operating on Detachment basis. It was appreciated that to meet the Chinese aggression, we would have to induct a very large number of troops and such induction would automatically result in enormous increase in tonnage to be airlifted. The above resources could not meet the tonnages planned to be airlifted. Therefore, it was decided to commit the whole of No.12 Packet Squadron in support of airlift operations. Wing Commander Lal Singh Grewal was given command of this Squadron in July, 1960. Prior to his arrival the Packet Squadron detachment was operating on a very limited basis i.e. carrying out a few drops and only landing at Leh Advance Landing Ground.

Soon after his arrival, Wing Commander Lal Singh Grewal appreciated that carrying out these limited drops and landings only at Leh would in no way suffice in airlifting the increased tonnage required by our Army. Wing Commander Lal Singh Grewal, an exceptional pilot and an outstanding officer, knowing fully that the Packet aircraft was ordinarily designed to operate at altitudes less than 12,000 ft. calculated the risks involved in extending the use of Packet aircraft over a higher altitude and on diverse tasks which would result in considerable increase in the airlift capacity of the Packet aircraft. For this purpose, he had to consider the use of high blowers fitted in the Packet aircraft engine. These high blowers had been used to a very limited extent since the manufacture of these engines many years ago. He was of the opinion that bringing these high blowers into use would put enormous stress and strain on the other parts of the engine thereby causing engine failures. He was also aware that such engine failures over the Himalayan terrain meant serious risks of loss of life and in any case definite injury to the all crew and any passengers that may be carried in the even of a forced landing or bailing out. To safeguard the crew's life and to minimize the extent of injury that may result in case of engine failure which may lead to forced landing of the aircraft was the primary concern of Wing Commander Lal Singh Grewal. He studied many methods and came to the conclusion that safety heights must be introduced and new Emergency Landing Grounds constructed en route.

In carrying out these trials Wing Commander Lal Singh Grewal was always the first to experiment on any new method or procedure. Thereby he set an example to all others and in these trials he experienced quite a few engine failures and in every case brought his aircraft safely to either an Advance Landing Ground or back to the base. Such an effort of his increased the capacity of the Packet aircraft to carry increased load as also permitting it to go on diverse tasks. Most Dropping Zones were served in the past by Dakota aircraft, and Dakota aircraft due to many limitations could only deliver at the most one ton of load on ground per sortie. Wing Commander Lal Singh Grewal's experimentation resulted in the Packets taking over practically every known Dropping Zone. Such an effort increased our capacity to build up over a wide region.

Throughout Wing Commander Lal Singh Grewal has rendered service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1963 Number: 

Vir Chakra
Flt Lt Krishna Kant Saini 4436 GD(P)Unit : No.110 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 18 Nov 62 Announced 10 Jan 63
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Krishan Kant Saini had been operating in NEFA area since October, 1960. On 18th November, 1962, he , along with his co-pilot was evacuating seriously injured battle casualties in Walong area. He was instructed to land at a helipad close to the enemy line which was reported to be clear of enemy troops. When he was over the helipad, Chinese troops opened fire from many directions. His helicopter was hit at several places; the main reducter was damaged and oil from it gushed out in a thick spray which blinded him temporarily. His right ankle was also injured by a splinter and he was bleeding profusely. With great determination, presence of mind and skill, he dived the helicopter almost to ground level in order to avoid further damage from enemy fire. He thus saved the helicopter and the lives of his co-pilot and passengers. In spite of the damaged hydraulic system and the personal injury, he skillfully brought the aircraft back to base.

Flight Lieutenant Saini displayed courage, determination and professional skill of a high order.

Reference: Gazette of India , 11th January 1964 - No.3 - Pres/64 dated 1st January 1964  

Bar to Vir Chakra
Wg Cdr Purshottam Lal Dhawan 2351 GD(P)Unit : No.19 Squadron  Award Date 20 Oct 62 Announced 26 Jan 63
Details :

Wing Commander Purshotam Lal Dhawan was in command of one of the Transport Squadrons in the J &K Area – his third operational assignment in this area. After active hostilities commenced in Ladakh, information was received that Chandni post was under fire and no clear picture was available regarding our posts in the Daulat Beg Oldi area. Wing Commander Dhawan, knowing that he would encounter enemy fire, successfully carried out a complete reconnaissance over the area before landing at Daulat Beg Oldi and obtained information about the latest situation in the forward posts in that area. When our troops were retreating from Daulat Beg Oldi, Wing Commander Dhawan located them and dropped essential winter clothing and food without which they could not have survived.

Wing Commander Purshotam Lal Dhawan , displayed courage and devotion to duty of a high order.

Reference: Gazette of India , 16th February 1963 - No. 17-Pres/63., dated 26th January, 1963 

Vir Chakra
Wg Cdr Tom Lionel Anderson 3126 GD(P)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date 20 Oct 62 Announced 26 Jan 63
Details :

On 20th October, 1962, after the Chinese had invaded our borders it became evident that Chushul airfield in Ladakh would be one of their main objectives. The garrison at Chushul depended mainly on air supply. In order t prevent our aircraft from supplying the garrison, the Chinese had established a number of MMG posts near the airfield circuit. Although each sortie to Chushul was fraught with grave danger from concentrated enemy fire, wing Commander Anderson, was in command of one of our Transport Squadrons, flew nearly 70 operational hours during the critical days, delivering vital supplies to the garrison. It was due to his courage and perseverance that the tank lift to Chushul was made possible. His ceaseless efforts inspired the officers and men of his squadron to work round the clock to maintain the supplies required for the survival of the garrison.

In these operations, Wing Commander Anderson displayed commendable courage and unflinching devotion to duty

Reference: Gazette of India , 16th February 1963 - No. 18-Pres/63., dated 26th January, 1963 

Vir Chakra
Sqn Ldr Chandan Singh 3460 GD(P)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date 20 Oct 62 Announced 26 Jan 63
Details : On 20th October 1962, Squadron Leader Chandan Singh was detailed to carry out supply dropping in the Chip Chap area in Ladakh. On reaching the dropping zone, he noticed that the outposts were under heavy fire from the Chinese forces. He successfully dropped vital supplies to our garrison although his aircraft was hit 19 times by enemy ground fire, Squadron Leader Chandan Singh displayed courage and devotion to duty in carrying out the task in complete disregard of his personal safety.
Reference: Gazette of India , 16th February 1963 - No. 18-Pres/63., dated 26th January, 1963 

Vir Chakra
Flt Lt Vinayak Bhiwaji Sawant 4401 GD(N)Unit : No.106 Squadron  Award Date 20 Oct 62 Announced 26 Jan 63
Details : Flight Lieutenant Vinayak Bhiwaji Sawant was employed on operational tasks which involved flying over difficult and mountainous terrain, both by day and by night. The aircraft had to be navigated accurately in the face of adverse weather conditions. Flight Lieutenant Sawant undertook these hazardous tasks cheerfully and displayed gallantry and a high degree of professional efficiency
Reference: Gazette of India , 16th February 1963 - No. 18-Pres/63., dated 26th January, 1963 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Parshottam Lal Pandhi 1997 GD(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 63
Details :

Wing Commander Parshottam Lal Pandhi was in command of a transport squadron engaged on Air Transport support operations in difficult terrain and adverse weather conditions in the North East Frontier Agency and Nagaland areas in 1960-61.

He carried out more than 1200 hours of flying on supply dropping missions in adverse conditions and showed commendable devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India 26th January 1963 - No. 10-Pres/63 dated 26th January, 1963 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr John Francis Lazaro 2944 GD(P)Unit : No.43 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 63
Details :

In March 1960, when airlift requirements to our northern frontiers increased considerably, a transport squadron under Wing Commander Lazaro was detailed to meet the commitment. It became necessary for Dakotas to fly beyond Leh to Chushul at greater frequency and also to newly selected dropping zones in treacherous mountain terrain. In order to ensure safety of aircrew and aircraft, new routers and t4echniques had to be devised. Wing Commander Lazaro undertook several trial flights in this area and worked out new and safe routes for his squadron to follow. Her organized and operated his squadron in a very efficient manner. Many a month, his unit flew more than 1200 operation hours.

In , 1961, as Officer in Charge Flying, Srinagar, he planned and coordinated the airlift for the entire Jammu and Kashmir area and succeeded in achieving all the tasks efficiently with limited staff.

Wing Commander Lazaro displayed leadership, professional skill and devotion to duty of a high order.

Reference: Gazette of India 26th January 1963 - No. 10-Pres/63 dated 26th January, 1963 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Anthony Frank Gama 3068 GD(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 63
Details :

As a Squadron Leader, Wing Commander Anthony Frank Gama commanded a Transport Squadron engaged in air transport operations over NEFA and NHTA from September 1959 to July 1962. In about a year and a half he carried out more than 1000 hours of flying on supply dropping missions and transport operations. He showed professional skill and organizing ability of a high order.

Reference: Gazette of India 26th January 1963 - No. 10-Pres/63 dated 26th January, 1963 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Hardayal Singh Dhillon 3237 GD(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 18 Dec 61 Announced 26 Jan 63
Details :

Squadron Leader Hardyal Singh Dhillon was commander of a transport flight operating from Jamnagar during the Goa Operations. He had to fly continuous ferry trips to all parts of India to bring in vitally needed spare parts required for the operations. On 18 December 1961 with a large quantity of ammunition and explosives aboard, he made a successful landing at an unfamiliar airfield with no night landing facilities. Squadron Leader Dhillon displayed commendable courage, professional skill and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India 26th January 1963 - No. 10-Pres/63 dated 26th January, 1963 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Surapati Bhattacharya 3974 GD(P)Unit : No.1 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 63
Details : During the Goa Operations, Squadron Leader Bhattacharya was in command of a Mystere Squadron which was operating in close support of one of our battalions in the Daman Area. During one of the sorties, it was indicated to him that machine gun fire from a Portuguese strong point was hampering the advance of our own troops. Though left with only marginal fuel to return up to his base, Squadron Leader Bhattacharya pin-pointed the target, attacked it in the face of ground fire and succeeded in silencing the Portuguese machine guns. He thus saved our troops from heavy casualties and cleared the way for their advance. Squadron Leader Bhattacharya displayed cool courage and determination in this action.
Reference: Gazette of India 26th January 1963 - No. 10-Pres/63 dated 26th January, 1963 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Bikram Singh Jaswal 4440 GD(P)Unit : No.107 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 63
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Bikram Singh Jaswal has been employed as a helicopter pilot since 1960 in the Ladakh area. He was one of the first few pilots to operate the newly acquired Mi-4 helicopters in this area. He undertook trials and carried out landings at advance landing grounds located at high altitudes with skill and courage. The series of trial flights undertaken by him, with loads and at various altitudes culminated in landing the Mi-4 for the first time at an airfield situated over 16000 feet above sea level.

While at Leh, in December 1960, he evacuated a jawan who was dangerously ill in one of our forward posts. He has carried out as many as 40 casualty evacuations. He has flown more than 1400 operational hours on helicopters over Ladakh and NEFA and displayed professional skill and courage of a high order.

Reference: Gazette of India 26th January 1963 - No. 10-Pres/63 dated 26th January, 1963 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Padmanabha Gautam 4482 GD(P)Unit : No.5 Squadron  Award Date 06 Dec 61 Announced 26 Jan 63
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Gautam was one of the pilots operating with the Canberra Unit in the Congo during 1961. On 6 December 1961, he was ordered to attack Kolwezi airfield in Katanga. Despite extremely adverse weather conditions and heavy enemy opposition, he courageously and successfully carried out several attacks on the airfield and completely destroyed the Fouga aircraft which was harassing UN Ground forces. He also shot up three other Katangese aircraft on the field and neutralized other installations around it. Flight Lieutenant Gautam also carried out several other successful missions over Elizabethville in close support of the ground forces operating against the Katangese.

Throughout the operations Flight Lieutenant Gautam displayed commendable courage and devotion to duty in the face of the enemy.

Reference: Gazette of India 26th January 1963 - No. 10-Pres/63 dated 26th January, 1963 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Ramachandra Shenoy Sudhakaran 4780 GD(N)Unit : No.106 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 63
Details : Flight Lieutenant Ramchandra Shenoy Sudhakaran has been employed in a strategic reconnaissance squadron since June 1956. This squadron was assigned the task of surveying certain mountainous regions under hazardous conditions. Flight Lieutenant Sudhakaran played a leading role in achieving the aerial survey. He was undaunted by the risks involved in flying over forward areas in NEFA and J & K . his skill in navigation and aerial photography ahs bee of a high order and the data collected by him proved very useful. Flight Lieutenant Sudhakaran has displayed commendable courage and devotion to duty.
Reference: Gazette of India 26th January 1963 - No. 10-Pres/63 dated 26th January, 1963 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Baldev Singh 5007 GD(P)Unit : No.59 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 63
Details : As a pilot and a Flight commander of a logistical air support squadron between February 1960 and January 1962, Flight Lieutenant Baldev Singh has carried out more than 1200 hours of operational flying over NEFA and NHTA. All this flying was done on single engine aircraft, which had to operate from small unmanned landing grounds situated in narrow and dangerous valleys, and unpredictable weather conditions. Earlier, he served two years in a transport squadron in the J & K area. He has shown great courage and devotion to duty in successfully carrying out the tasks assigned to him.
Reference: Gazette of India 26th January 1963 - No. 10-Pres/63 dated 26th January, 1963 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Suresh Chandra Bhakey 5107 GD(P)Unit : No.59 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 63
Details : Flight Lieutenant Suresh Chandra Bhakay has been employed in a logistical air support squadron in NEFA and Nagaland since April 1962. He has flown more than 1500 hours on single engine aircraft and has made 575 landings at advanced landing grounds, mostly situated I hilly terrain where flying hazards were aggravated by strong cross winds and generally unfavourable weather conditions. On several occasions, he was called upon to undertake on an average five hours of flying per day for months together. Flight Lieutenant Bhakay has carried out the tasks assigned to him in an admirable manner and has displayed commendable courage and professional skill.
Reference: Gazette of India 26th January 1963 - No. 10-Pres/63 dated 26th January, 1963 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Fg Offr Chandrasekharan Ramachandran 5592 GD(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 63
Details : Flying Officer Chandrasekahran Ramachandran was engaged in air transport support operations in the NEFA and NHTA areas from December 1958 to January 1962 and carried out more than 1300 hours of operational flying on supply dropping missions in difficult flying conditions. He has undertaken operational tasks with determination, zeal and courage and shown commendable professional skill and devotion to duty.
Reference: Gazette of India 26th January 1963 - No. 10-Pres/63 dated 26th January, 1963 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Flt Lt Dinendra Mohan Chakraverty 4438 GD(P)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 63
Details : Flight Lieutenant Dinendra Mohan Chakraverty has been employed as a transport pilot on air support operations in NEFA and NHTA since 1954. He ahs displayed commendable professional skill keenness and devotion to duty in supply dropping missions. He has flown more than 1500 hours of operational sorties in difficult and dangerous areas.
Reference: Gazette of India 26th January 1963 - No. 10-Pres/63 dated 26th January, 1963 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
WO Nitendra Narayan Choudhary 15986 ORUnit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 63
Details :

Warrant Officer Nitendra Narayan Choudhry was engaged on air transport operations in the NEFA and NHTA areas during the period 1954-1962, and carried out more than 20000 hours of operational flying over dropping zones situated in difficult and dangerous terrain where the weather was unfavourable and flying and supply dropping operations are very hazardous. He has also taken part in relief operations and special survey flights.

His keenness and devotion to duty in the face of adverse flying conditions have been in the best traditions of the air force.

Reference: Gazette of India 26th January 1963 - No. 10-Pres/63 dated 26th January, 1963 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
WO Durga Shankar Nandi 29069 ORUnit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 63
Details : Master Warrant Officer Durga Shankar Nandi ahs so far completed 4000 hours of flying, out of which 2000 hours have been on operational missions over NEFA and Nagaland. And more than 1000 hours on operations in J & K area. He was involved in a major aircraft accident in June 1955 in which three of his crew were killed and he was seriously injured. On another occasion also he received injuries when his aircraft crashed on take off at Srinagar. His courage and devotion to duty have been a source of inspiration to other aircrew.
Reference: Gazette of India 26th January 1963 - No. 10-Pres/63 dated 26th January, 1963 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Pancha Nando Mukherji 3135 GD(N)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 63
Details : Wing Commander Panch Nando Mukherji, was detailed a second time for operations in the J & K area. In addition to his duties as navigation leader of one of our Operational squadrons, he carried out the duties of Officer-in-Charge flying at one of our operational Wings. In spit of the hazards in the difficult and unfamiliar mountain terrain, Wing Commander Mukherji always volunteered for operational sorties and flew about 800 operational hours in that area. As Officer-in-charge Flying, he coordinated the operational efforts of the various Squadrons efficiently and with considerable success. During the emergency he was invariably the first to volunteer for any reconnaissance ordered over the operational areas.
Reference: Gazette of India 16th February 1963 - No. 21-Pres/63 dated 26th January, 1963 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Sqn Ldr Bharat Singh 3582 GD(P)Unit : No.7 Squadron  Award Date 01 Sep 62 Announced 26 Jan 63
Details :

Squadron Leader Bharat Singh was in command of one of our Fighter Squadrons between June 1959 and April 1962. He was entrusted with the task of forming a Fighter Aerobatic team. He started with four aircraft in March 1960 and within a month led the team in a public display at Bombay. As a result of their impressive performance, he was authorized to start training a nine-aircraft team. The aerobatics training had to be done in addition to the normal operational and training commitment o the Squadron. The nine-aircraft team successfully staged a public display in January 1962. The standard attained by the team was due to the professional skill and training capabilities of Squadron Leader Bharat Singh.

As a Unit Commander, Squadron Leader Bharat Singh ahs all along displayed a high degree of professional skill and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India 16th February 1963 - No. 21-Pres/63 dated 26th January, 1963 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Narayan Parsad Chaudhuri 4296 SIGUnit : No.19 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 63
Details : Squadron Leader Narayan Parsad Chaudhuri was operating with one of our Transport Squadrons from June 1960 and had flown about 750 operational hours. He invariably volunteered for any difficult mission assigned to his squadron despite the flying hazards over unfamiliar mountain terrain. By his high standard of professional ability and enthusiasm, he raised the standard of communications in his Squadron to a high degree of efficiency. During the operations on our northern borders against the Chinese aggression, he carried out 10 reconnaissance sorties and 15 landings in Daulat Beg Oldi, Chushul and Fukche, showing initiative courage and devotion to duty of a high order.
Reference: Gazette of India 16th February 1963 - No. 21-Pres/63 dated 26th January, 1963 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Satnam Singh Sodhi 5181 GD(P)Unit : No.107 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 04 Oct 62 Announced 26 Jan 63
Details :

On 4th October 1962, one of our helicopters was stranded in Galwan outpost. In order to rescue its crew, it was essential to send a relief helicopter with a servicing party. No pilot was competent to undertake this difficult task was immediately available. Flight lieutenant Satnam Singh Sodhi, who was being trained for operations in the Ladakh area volunteered to carry out this hazardous mission though he had only 78 hour of flying experience on this type of aircraft and was not familiar with the area. Tough considerable risk was involved, Flight Lieutenant Sodhi was permitted to proceed on this mission. He landed at Galwan successfully at approximately 1630 hours in fading light. Immediately after th e servicing party had alighted, he flew out the stranded crew to a safer place.

In voluntarily undertaking this task, for which he was not fully qualified, Flight Lieutenant Satnam Singh Sodhi displayed a great sense of responsibility and a high degree of professional skill.

Reference: Gazette of India 16th February 1963 - No. 21-Pres/63 dated 26th January, 1963 

Vishist Seva Medal
Fg Offr Madathankandy Valiyalappil Ramachandran 5845 TECHUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 63 Announced 26 Jan 63
Details :

A Transport Squadron was moved to J&K area in May 1960, at a short notice. As the Squadron Engineering Officer, he had to be left behind at the Base to look after the second line servicing there. Flying Officer Madathankandy Valiyavalappil Rama Chandran was called upon to organize and take charge of the complete first line servicing at the new Base. Flying Officer Madathankandy Valiyavalappil Rama Chandran though not very experienced, with limited resources at his disposal had to organize complete first line servicing at the new Base from scratch. He displayed great professional skill, devotion to duty and organizing ability of a high order brining the daily servicing section to a high standard of efficiency in a short period. In spite of shortage of spares and manpower, he by his ingenuity and proper handling of men produced 80 percent of serviceability. Flying Officer Madath ankandy Valiyavalappil Rama Chandran set such a fine example that his men worked without any holidays from 12 to 14 hours a day under extremely difficult operational conditions. Had it not been for the commendable effort on the part of Flying Officer Madathankandy Valiyavalappil Rama Chandran such high serviceability of aircraft would not have been possible, which, in turn would have resulted in the airlift falling behind schedule. Such distinguished service and devotion to duty of a high order is in keeping with the best traditions of the Indian Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1963 Number:06 

Vishist Seva Medal
Sgt Gurbachan Singh 24984 ORUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 63 Announced 26 Jan 63
Details :

Sergeant Gurbachan Singh was employed as N.C.O. in-charge of the aircraft servicing section of an operational squadron from 21st January 1960 to 17th March 1962 which was engaged in logistic air support in NEFA and NHTA. The Squadron at its operational base had hardly any facilities to set up its various technical and administrative sections. No engineering officer was posted to this Squadron.

With the limited resources of manpower and equipment available, Sergeant Gurbachan Singh displayed great skill and organizing ability in bringing the servicing section to a high state of efficiency in a short time.

His professional ability, man-management and above all a dedicated sense of duty has been a source of great inspiration to all.

Had it not been for keenness and ability displayed by Sergeant Gurbachan Singh the operational efficiency of the squadron would have been greatly affected. He has thus rendered distinguished service of a high order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1963 Number:06 

Vishist Seva Medal
Sgt Sundram Iyer Kandaswamy 25113 ORUnit : Armament Training Wing  Award Date 26 Jan 63 Announced 26 Jan 63
Details :

Flight Sergeant Sundram Iyer Kandaswamy was the N.C.O. in-charge of the servicing section of the Vampire aircraft based at Jamnagar during operation "Vijay". Prior to the operation, there was an acute shortage of spares and the serviceability of the aircraft was far below the required standard. Flight Sergeant Sundram Iyer Kandaswamy was assigned the task of improving the serviceability of the aircraft. He worked zealously and through determination, high standard of professional skill and tactful handling of his men succeeded in achieving nearly 80 percent rate of serviceability. In fact, during the last three days of operation "Vijay" he did not leave his post of duty as he literally worked and slept on the job.

Hard work over a sustained period caused great amount of physical and mental fatigue to this senior N.C.O. as he kept at his job with complete disregard to his personal comforts. On 19th December, 1961, Flight Sergeant Sundram Iyer Kandaswamy while marshalling an approaching aircraft was involved in taxying accident. He received fatal injuries on his skull by the impact of the aircraft mainplane. The accident would not have happened had Flight Sergeant Sundram Iyer Kandaswamy, who by his exemplary leadership and devotion to duty had contributed greatly to successful operation of the Vampire aircraft, thus met his end on duty. The fine example of Flight Sergeant Sundram Iyer Kandaswamy is in keeping with the best traditions of the Indian Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1963 Number:06 

Vishist Seva Medal
Sgt Digambar Eknath Manurkar 25025 ORUnit : No.5 Squadron  Award Date 26 Jan 63 Announced 26 Jan 63
Details :

Flight Sergeant Digambar Eknath Manurkar was the NCO-in-charge of the technical team in the Canberra Detachment during air operations in Katnaga in December, 1961. Kamina air base, where the contingent was operating, had no servicing facilities and no workshops or other ancillary services existed. A field servicing section for the aircraft had to be started in unfamiliar surroundings. Everything had to be improvised under most unfavourable conditions. The success of operation depended mainly on the individual ingenuity and initiative. The operation involved continuous movement of men and material at very short notice. Flight Sergeant Digambar Eknath Manurkar in the face of such heavy odds was able to set up servicing organization with considerable skill and a high degree of efficiency. In accomplishing this task, he and his team had to work very long hours, more often late in the night, for maintaining a high rate of operational serviceability of the aircraft. Had this high rate of serviceability not been maintained, it would not have been possible to meet all the operational commitments.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1963 Number:06 

Vishist Seva Medal
Sgt Vidhya Sagar 200035 ORUnit : No.5 Squadron  Award Date 26 Jan 63 Announced 26 Jan 63
Details :

Sergeant Vidya Sagar was in-charge maintenance of aero-engine and aircraft refueling during air operations against Katangese in December, 1961. At Kamina base, where the contingent was located, there was no servicing facility and the refueling equipment was outdated and often went out of commission retarding the operational efficiency of the contingent. During such emergencies, Sergeant Vidya Sagar faced the situation with confidence and improvised the refueling system with maximum efficiency possible under those trying circumstances. Many a time to overcome the crisis, he and his refueling team had to decant the fuel from the barrels and feed the aircraft entirely by manual operations. On the side of maintenance of aero-engine, Sergeant Vidya Sagar always personally supervised the work, checking and making adjustments in the engines, repairing and changing parts where necessary. Through untiring work, he completed all his task and endured that his part of the work did not hold up the operational schedule of the contingent.

Sergeant Vidya Sagar by his personal example and high degree of professional skill set a high standard for other to follow and rendered distinguished service of a high order in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1963 Number:06 

Vishist Seva Medal
Sgt Amar Nath Verma 300079 ORUnit : No.5 Squadron  Award Date 26 Jan 63 Announced 26 Jan 63
Details :

Sergeant Amar Nath Verma was in-charge of Airframe servicing section of the I.A.F. Canberra contingent at Kamina air base operating against Katangese during the month of December, 1961. During those operations there was heavy opposition from the enemy ground forces and frequently the aircraft were fired upon causing damage. These aircraft needed immediate repairs to continue the operations. The spares were hard to come by and repair facilities in existence at Kamina were far from satisfactory. Sergeant Amar Nath Verma, at this critical stage, rose to the occasion, displayed high technical and organizing ability and carried out extensive repairs to the damaged aircraft in exceptionally short time. He worked ceaselessly without respite and had it not been for his untiring efforts the operational efficiency of the contingent would have a severe set back.

Sergeant Amar Nath Verma displayed a high sense of duty by his professional ability and organizing skill rendered service of high order, which is in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1963 Number:06 

Vishist Seva Medal
Cpl Krishan Deo Sinha 34684 ORUnit : No.5 Squadron  Award Date 26 Jan 63 Announced 26 Jan 63
Details :

Corporal Krishan Deo Sinha was in-charge of Armament team of I.A.F Canberra detachment, operating from Kamina base against Katanganese in December, 1961. He was responsible for re-arming of the aircraft and maintenance of the entire armament equipment. This task involved movement and handling of large quantity of ammunition, servicing the guns and loading them. After each operational sorties, the aircraft had to be thoroughly checked for stoppages, cleaned and reloaded. This dangerous and onerous task called for extra caution, precision, skill and speed. Corporal Krishan Deo Sinha in undertaking this task successfully has shown a very high degree of professional ability and leadership and carried out the vital task of re-arming the aircraft with utmost speed and efficiency and has rendered service of a high order which is in the best traditions of the IAF.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1963 Number:06 

Vishist Seva Medal
Cpl Manmohan Singh Sodhi 201461 ORUnit : No.5 Squadron  Award Date 26 Jan 63 Announced 26 Jan 63
Details :

Corporal Manomhan Singh Sodhi was associated with the Airframe servicing section of the Canberra detachment, engaged in the air operations against the Katatangese in December, 1961. During these operations, there was heavy opposition from the hostile ground fire which resulted in serious damage to the aircraft due to bullet hits. Servicing facilities were meager at Kamina air base, where the contingent was located and the acute supply position of spares aggravated the situation further. At this critical stage, much depended upon the individual skill and the ingenuity of the workmen and a high degree of efficiency. In accomplishing this task, he and his team had to work heavy long hours, more often late in the night, for maintaining a high rate of serviceability of the aircraft. Had this high rate of serviceability not been maintained, it would not have been possible to meet all the operational commitments. Corporal Manomhan Singh Sodhi by resourcefully applying his superior technical knowledge played an important part in the repair work undertaken. He worked with a speed and efficiency for long hours and contributed to a large measure to the success of operation.

Corporal Manomhan Singh Sodhi, by his untiring efforts and superior professional knowledge has thus rendered service of a high order, true to the best traditions of the I.A.F.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1963 Number:06 

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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