Awards for the year 1973


A total of 93 Awards are listed.
Param Vishist Seva Medal : 1 | Ati Vishist Seva Medal : 13 | Vir Chakra : 6 | Shaurya Chakra : 4 | Vayu Sena Medal : 40 | Vishist Seva Medal : 29 |
Param Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Prabhu Datt Chopra 3497 AELUnit : HAL  Award Date 26 Jan 73 Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Group Captain Prabhu Datt Chopra was commissioned in the Aeronautical Engineering (Mechanical) Branch of the Indian Air Force in September, 1947. He has been the General Manager of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Kanpur Division, since December 1967. Prior to that date he had served with distinction in various units of the Air Force and also in Hindustan Aeronautics Limited as Factory Manager of the Kanpur Division. When it was decided to manufacture Gnat and subsequently the HS-748 aircraft in the country, he was selected as the technical representative on the Project Team in the United Kingdom. It is to his credit that the manufacture of these two aircraft and the buildup of the Kanpur factory, allied facilities and the smooth transfer of technology was accomplished. During his stewardship, the Kanpur factory has grown from strength to strength. His main contributions have been increased indigenous content and manufacture of hundreds of components from raw materials. He has also brought about a marked improvement in the workers' productivity largely by improved technology and by his personal guidance. He enjoys the confidence of his colleagues and workers. He is one of the outstanding executives of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, possessing qualities, as a manager and technologist, which are worth emulation. By his devotion to duty and personal qualities, he has enriched the profession and helped build the Air Force and Civil Aviation. He has made a signal contribution to the aircraft industry and the Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1973 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde John Dunbar Acquino 1777 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 73 Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Air Commodore John Dunbar Aquino (1777) was commissioned as a Pilot in the Flying Branch of the Indian Air Force in December, 1941. In 1945, he was commended for his valuable services in the Air Force and later Mentioned­in­Despatches for his gallantry during the Indo- Pakistan conflict of 1947.

During his long and distinguished career he had the distinction of commanding five stations in addition to having served as Senior Officer-in-charge Administration of an Operational Command. In March, 1970, Air Commodore Aquino took over as the first Commandant of the Air Force Academy which was then in its early stages of formation. He displayed great perseverance and determination in ensuring the successful launching of this prestigious project despite heavy odds. It was because of his indefatigable efforts and tenacity of purpose that the Academy was able to start Flying Training In January, 1971.

Throughout his career, Air Commodore John Dunbar Aquino has rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1973 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Virendra Mohan Bhatnagar 3067 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 73 Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Air Commodore Virendra Mohan Bhatnagar (3067) wag commissioned as a Pilot in the flying branch of the Indian Air Force in January, 1945. He has attended a number of important courses abroad and at the Defence Services Staff College, where he has also completed a tenure as the Chief Instructor. During his career he has hold a variety of important administrative and instructional appointments.

For the last two years, he has held the important assignment of Director of Plans a and Programmes, He has always applied himself with extraordinary energy and determination to all tasks entrusted to him. He displayed initiative of the highest order, in formulating AVSM 1972-73 the Long Term Re­equipment Plans of the Air Force as also the Roll­on Plans. The procedures and systems evolved by him have been of great assistance in implementing this new concept in planning.

Throughout, Air Commodore Virendra Mohan Bhatnagar has rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1973 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Saroj Jena 3157 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 73 Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Air Commodore Saroj Jena (3157) was commissioned In the Flying (Pilot) Branch of the Indian Air Force in June, 1945. He has served in a number of squadrons and has commanded an operational squadron and two operational wings. A qualified Flying Instructor, he successfully completed light Bomber Conversion Training on Canberra aircraft in the U.K. He commanded the I.A.F. Canberra detachment in the Congo in 1962. For his outstanding achievements in flying assignments, he was awarded the Vayu Seva Medal in 1969.

He was appointed Joint director of Transport and Maritime Operations at Air Headquarters in June, 1970, and Director of Joint Operations (Planning) in July, 1971. In April, 1971 he was detailed to assist the Government of Ceylon in their operations against anti­national forces. He proceeded to Ceylon on 10th April 1971 for a study of on the spot situation and worked out details of the I.A.F. aid plan. Thereafter, an I.A.F. Helicopter Detachment landed in Colombo on 12th April, 1971 for operations. From 21st April, 1971 to 25th May, 1971 his services were placed at the disposal of the Indian High Commissioner in Ceylon. He made a major contribution towards the success of the operations in Ceylon. With his devotion to duty and exemplary behaviour and conduct, he earned goodwill for our country and the I.A.F in particular.

Air Commodore Jena has also had the task of revising the Air Headquarters War Book, which he accomplished quickly and thoroughly. He has also made a significant contribution towards the preparation of a history of the achievements of the Air Force during the Indo­Pakistan operations in December, 1971.

Air Commodore Saroj Jena VM has thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1973 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Murat Singh Aulakh 1660 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 73 Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Air Commodore MOORAT SINGH AULAKH (1660) Flying (Pilot) Citaiton Not Available.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1973 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Cherunassery Ittirarishan Nedungadi 2017 A&SDUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 73 Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Group Captain Charuvassery Ittirarichan Nedungadi (2017) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in October, 1942. During his long service career, he had held a variety of appointments dealing with administrative, organisational and personnel matters. In all these appointments, he had left the imprint of his personal discipline, efficiency and devotion to service.

Group Captain Nedungadi took over the duties of the Officer Commanding, Air Force Record Office, on 30th December, 1970. At the time of taking­over these duties, there was a largo backlog of pension and gratuity cases, and numerous representations from retired airmen concerning settlement of their dues being received. By establishing personal contact and close liaison with the staff of the Controller of Defence Accounts (Pensions), Allahabad, interviewing airmen retiring from the service, Group Captain Nedungadi was able to clear all arrears. The procedures have now been so laid down that no new arrears are allowed to accumulate.

Group Captain Nedungadi, within a few weeks of taking over command of the Unit, had an 'Airmen Discharge Booklet' printed which enabled retiring airmen to know all benefits due to them and the procedure to obtain these benefits, thereby eliminating most of their grievances.

By his personal example, and. single minded devotion the ideals of the service, Group Captain Nedungadi has forged a closely knit and efficient organisation capable of reacting and producing results in the quickest possible time.

Throughout, Group Captain Charuvassery Ittirarichan Nedungadi has rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1973 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Koyithodyil Ravindran Nair 3475 GD(N)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 73 Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Group Captain KOYITHODYIL RAVINDRAN NAIR (3475) Flying (Navigator) Citaiton Not Available.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1973 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Abhijit Kumar Gupta 3505 EQPTUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 73 Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Group Captain Abhijit Kumar Gupta (3505) was commissioned in the Logistics Branch of the Indian Air Force in August, 1948. During his career, he has held a variety of important appointments both at Units and at operational Commands and is at present in Command of an Equipment Depot. He was commended by the Chief of the Air Staff in January, 1971.

During his tenure as Commander of an Equipment Depot, Group Captain Gupta ensured successful completion of inspection, preservation and packing of a vast quantity of items received from another Equipment Depot which was closing down. He streamlined the internal procedures, achieving speedy and prompt supply of items required by the units, thus significantly enhancing the functional efficiency of the depot. In addition, he dedicated himself to the task of effecting economy in the use of stores. With untiring zeal and ingenuity he effected large savings of recurring expenditure. He geared up the supply organization which enabled the depot to maintain timely supply of stores to the units during the Indo-Pakistan conflict of December, 1971. In the field of administration, Group Captain Gupta has shown similar zest and acumen. The morale of officers and men under his command has been high.

Throughout his career, Group Captain Abhijit Kumar Gupta has worked with determination, tact and untiring energy and has achieved outstanding success in the discharge of his responsibilities. He has thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1973 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt George Verghis 3557 AELUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 73 Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Group Captain George Verghis joined the Indian Air Force in 1941 as a Wireless Operator and was commissioned in the Technical Branch in 1948. As an Air Signaller and subsequently as the Signals Leader in a Transport Squadron, he has done over 3000 hours of flying, most of which were on operational duties in the difficult terrain of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh areas. During his long service, he has held a variety of appointments and has earned a name for himself as an unassuming, tireless and efficient Technical Officer.

In 1968, when it was decided to establish a Medium Repair Facility in the Indian Air Force for Guided Weapons and Ground Radars, Group Captain Verghis was selected for the key post of Project Officer to implement this scheme. Planning and executing this project costing crores of rupees within a tight time schedule, was a formidable and challenging task. Group Captain Verghis tackled the task successfully with characteristic thoroughness and devotion to duty. By his personal example and leadership he built up a team of efficient and dedicated officers and airmen to implement the Project. By adopting modern management techniques, he has been continuously monitoring the progress to ensure that the Project is implemented as scheduled. When the Project is completed, the Air Force would have attained self-sufficiency in the overhaul of Guided Weapons and Ground Radar. The fact that this will be achieved within the stipulated time is due entirely to the meticulous planning and progressive leadership provided by Group Captain George Verghis.

Throughout his career, Group Captain George Verghis has rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1973 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Prabhakar Shanker Dere 3883 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 73 Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Group Captain Prabhakar Shanker Dere (3883) was commissioned in the Flying (Pilot) Branch of the Indian Air Force in April, 1950. He has acquitted himself most creditably in a variety of operational, instructional and staff appointments.

Early in his career, Group Captain Dere qualified as a Flying Instructor and served in that capacity at the Air Force Academy. Later, as the Chief Flying Instructor of the Transport Training Wing, he was responsible for conversion training of a large number of pilots. He rendered commendable service as Deputy Director Personnel (Officers) at Air Headquarters, and served with distinction as Commander of a Tactical Air Centre.

In October, 1971, Group Captain Dere was appointed Group Captain Air II at Headquarters Eastern Air Command and was responsible for planning and execution of Air Operations of the Transport Force in the Eastern Sector. With his vast training experience and dynamic approach to his task, he soon organised and conducted intensive night flying training for all aircrew of various transport aircraft and helicopter. During the Indo-Pakistan operations in December, 1971, with his sound planning and direction, the Transport Force achieved most outstanding results in numerous missions undertaken by it in support of the Army and our own Fighter Force. At all stages of the operations, speedy deployment of our forces and vital logistic support in terms of spares, ammunition, explosives and other supplies were carried out effectively by air. Evacuation of casualties by air were also carried out promptly. Inspite of very heavy demands on the limited resources of Transport Force, Group Captain Dere utilized the aircraft and helicopters with maximum flexibility and achieved concentration wherever it was needed,

Group Captain Dere organised the para operations which were the biggest airborne operation in the history of the Indian Air Force. The outstanding success of the airborne operation earned laurels for the Indian Air Force. He also organised with great success the tactical airlift by helicopters of troops by day and night in the Brahmanbaria, Narsingdi, Daudkhandi and Bairab Sectors. This airlift enabled our ground forces to race against time in their advance to Dacca and renewed their confidence in the Air Force to provide them unprecedented mobility. The effective bombing raids over Dacca and Kurmitola were also organized by Group Captain Dere.

The outstanding success achieved by the Transport Force in the Eastern Sector was largely due to the sound planning and efficient direction of the Air Operations by Group Captain Prabhakar Shanker Dere.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1973 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Kyatnabally Nanjappa Ramaswamy 3771 AEMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 73 Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Wing Commander Kyatnahally Najapa Ramaswamy (3771) was commissioned in the Aeronautical Engineering (Mechanical) Branch of the Indian Air Force in January, 1950. During his career in the Air Force he has held a variety of important technical appointments and has left the imprint of his personal discipline, professional efficiency and devotion to service.

Wing Commander Ramaswamy joined the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited on 31st March, 1964. He has been associated with the Project relating to the manufacture of MiG engines right form the inception of the Factory. He has done exceedingly good work during the stages of planning and execution of the Project.

After retirement from the Air Force he was absorbed permanently in the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited in the post of Chief Production Engineer. In this sphere Wing Commander Ramaswamy exhibited qualities of leadership and technical perfection of a high order. He was also responsible for drawing up a coordinated plan for the establishment of production of the new engines required for fitment on MiG-21 aircraft.

Wing Commander Ramaswamy was largely responsible for the delivery of engines according to the fixed targets year after year, by exhibiting an extraordinary sense of devotion to duty and dedication. The degree of success which has been achieved by the Engine Factory at Koraput is a tribute to his acumen, leadership and professional ability.

Throughout his service, both in the Indian Air Force and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Wing Commander Kyatnahally Najapa Ramaswamy has rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1973 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Kuldip Singh Bhatia 4139 AELUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 73 Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Wing Commander Kuldip Singh Bhatia was commissioned in the Technical Branch of the Indian Air Force in August, 1951. He attended Post Graduate Course abroad and also the Defence Services Staff College Course in India. After holding a variety of appointments at units, he was posted to a staff appointment at Air Headquarters. When Air Headquarters took up planning of a modern Air Defence Ground Environment System for India, he was selected to lead a team of officers to undertake this commitment. In this challenging task, he brought into play his varied experience and deep technical knowledge.

Under his able leadership and guidance, this planning team formulated the technical specifications of the Radar and Communication System required to meet the operational req­ AVSM 1973 uirements. On more than one occasion, he was deputed as Member of technical teams visiting factories abroad for the purpose of evaluating and selecting equipment required by the Air Force.

Throughout, Wing Commander Kuldip Singh Bhatia has rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1973 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Ranjit Dhawan 4572 F(P)Unit : No.220 Squadron  Award Date 26 Jan 73 Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Wing Commander Ranjit Dhawan (4572) was commissioned as a Pilot in the Flying Branch of the Indian Air Force in October, 1953. During his career, he has held a variety of appointments and is at present in command of an operational Squadron. He was awarded the Vayu Sena Medal for his exemplary action in the Indo-Pakistan conflict of the 1965.

During the December, 1971 war, Squadron Leader Dhawan was in command of a fighterbomber squadron. He carried out 12 operational missions deep inside enemy territory including strikes on Hyderabad and Nawabshah airfields. He was also responsible for the destruction of an enemy troop train at Mirpurkhas Railway Station and non­directional beacon at Chor. All these achievements resulted in a major setback to the enemy. He always displayed high, organising ability and skill in ensuring that aircraft serviceability remained high throughout operations.

In the field of administration, Wing Commander Dhawan has displayed equal imagination and foresight. Under his command, the morale of his officers and men was always high,

Throughout, Wing Commander Ranjit Dhawan has rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1973 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Sqn Ldr Arun Keshav Sapre 4981 F(P)Unit : Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment  Award Date 26 Jan 73 Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

The late Squadron Leader Arun Keshav Sapre (4981) was commissioned as a Pilot in the Flying Brach of the Indian Air Force in October, 1955. In the earlier part of his AVSM 1974 career, he served as a Pilot in Operational Squadrons. After successfully completing the Test Pilot's Course in the United Kingdom, he was employed as a Test Pilot. He made valuable contributions toward flight testing and also carried out important development trials on a variety of fighter aircraft. He was responsible for successful trials of an aircraft designed and built in India by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

In March, 1971, Squadron Leader Sapre was detailed to carry out gun firing trials on a fighter aircraft. Despite the fact that he encountered a dangerous control problem at a crucial stage, while firing the guns, he skillfully dealt with the situation and brought the aircraft under control averting a major disaster. On the basis of these trials, he made useful suggestions for improvement in the control system of the aircraft.

In November, 1971, he again carried out 3 successful sorties for the purpose of testing the gun firing system of the aircraft. However, during the fourth sortie, the aircraft went out of control. Squadron Leader Sapre, at great risk to his life, tried to bring the aircraft under control but could not succeed. The aircraft crashed in the sea and he was killed.

Throughout his career, Squadron Leader Arun Keshav Sapre rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1973 Number: 

Vir Chakra
Wg Cdr Manmohan Singh 4023 F(P)Unit : No.15 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Wing Commander (now Group Captain) Man Mohan Singh was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in January 1951. During the India-Pakistan conflict of December, 1971, he was in command of an Operational Fighter Squadron in the Eastern Sector. His squadron flew 110 sorties in Bangladesh in close support and anti-shipping roles and met all its operational commitments without damage to any of its aircraft. He personally led 19 sorties and successfully engaged enemy defence positions, gun boats and ships despite heavy ground fire. When the heliborne operations across the Maghana river commenced, his squadron provided very effective air cover for the successful completion of the task. In addition, the squadron provided valuable support to the Army in Agartala Sector inspite of the fact that the aircraft had to operate from a short runway at Agartala.

Throughout the operations, he displayed courage and devotion to duty of a high order.

Reference: Gazette of India , 16th June 1973 - No.37 - Pres/73 dated 26th January 1973 

Vir Chakra
Sqn Ldr Dhirendra Singh Jafa 4819 F(P)Unit : No.26 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

During the operations against Pakistan in December, 1971, Squadron Leader Dhirendra Singh Jafa served with a FighterBomber Squadron in the Western Sector. On 4th December, 1971, when the enemy had encircled a Battalion of our troops in a small enclave in the Hussainiwala area and was pressing hard with tanks, he led a two aircraft formation in this area. He carried out over 12 attacks and personally destroyed or damaged seven enemy tanks and a jeep. This action blunted the enemy assault and enabled our encircled troops to extricate themselves with minimum casualties. On 5th December, 1971, he was detailed as the Sub-Section Leader of a four aircraft strike mission over the enemy gun positions which were constantly shelling our positions in an area in the west of Amritsar. Despite the heavy ground fire from the enemy guns, he carried out successful attacks until in his sixth attack his aircraft was hit by ground fire and he had to eject at a very low altitude.

In this action, Squadron Leader Dhirendra Singh Jafa displayed gallantry and leadership of a high order.

Reference: Gazette of India , 16th June 1973 - No.37 - Pres/73 dated 26th January 1973 

Vir Chakra
Flt Lt Apramjeet Singh 7403 F(P)Unit : No.45 Squadron  Award Date 08 Dec 71 Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Apramjeet Singh was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the Indian Air force in June 1963. During the Indo-Pakistan conflict of December, 1971, he flew 21 operational sorties consisting of escort and sweep missions, deep inside enemy territory. On 8th December 1971, while flying as Number two in the Chhamb Sector, his formation encountered heavy enemy ground fire in which his leader was shot down. His aircraft was also hit and sustained heavy damage. Despite the fact that the aircraft had become almost uncontrollable, due to damage to its port wing, and many other systems becoming unserviceable, he displayed exemplary skill and courage in bringing his aircraft back to base safely.

In this action, Flight Lieutenant Apramjeet Singh displayed gallantry and professional skill of a high order.

Reference: Gazette of India , 16th June 1973 - No.37 - Pres/73 dated 26th January 1973 

Vir Chakra
Flt Lt Melvinder Singh Grewal 7728 F(P)Unit : No.32 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

During the operations against Pakistan in December, 1971, Flight Lieutenant Melvinder Singh Grewal served with a Fighter-Bomber Squadron in the Western Sector. On 4th December, 1971, he was detailed as a member of a four aircraft strike mission over the enemy airfield ‘Shorkot Road’. He successfully carried out the mission destroying one aircraft on ground and damaging a building. The same day, in the evening, he carried out another strike mission. As a member of a formation over the same airfield, he pressed the attack despite heavy Anti-Aircraft fire. However, in this attack his aircraft was hit by ground fire and crashed.

Flight Lieutenant Melvinder Singh Grewal displayed gallantry and devotion to duty of a high order.

Reference: Gazette of India , 16th June 1973 - No.37 - Pres/73 dated 26th January 1973 

Vir Chakra
Flt Lt Aditya Vikram Pethia 8384 F(P)Unit : No.31 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

During the operations against Pakistan in December, 1971, Flight Lieutenant Aditya Vikram Pethia served with a Fighter-Bomber Squadron in the Western Sector. On 5th December, 1971, he was detailed as leader of a tactical reconnaissance mission over Chistian Mandi to seek and destroy enemy armour vehicles. He spotted a train moving towards Bhaval Nagar transporting about 15 tanks. Despite heavy enemy ground fire, he made two attacks on the train and destroyed two enemy trains. Unmindful of his personal safety, he made another attack to silence the enemy anti-aircraft gun. However, his aircraft was hit by enemy ground fire and crashed.

Flight Lieutenant Aditya Vikram Pethia displayed gallantry and devotion to duty of a high order.

Reference: Gazette of India , 16th June 1973 - No.37 - Pres/73 dated 26th January 1973 

Vir Chakra
Fg Offr Kariyadil Cheriyan Kuruvilla 10862 F(P)Unit : No.222 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

During the operations against Pakistan in December, 1971, Flying Officer Kariyadil Cheriyan Kuruvilla served with a FighterBomber Squadron in the Western Sector. On 4th December, 1971, he carried out a strike mission over Chander airfield and successfully attacked enemy aircraft on ground and airfield installations. On 5th December, 1971, he flew another strike mission over Chistian Mandi, scored a direct hit on the engine of a train and inflicted heavy damages to the train despite intensive Antiaircraft fire. Again, on 6th December, 1971, he undertook another strike mission over Dera Baba Nanak area and attacked enemy tank concentrations. During this attack, while making a second pass over the target, his aircraft was hit by the enemy anti-aircraft fire and crashed.

Flying Officer Kariyadil Cheriyan Kuruvilla displayed gallantry and devotion to duty of a high order.

Reference: Gazette of India , 16th June 1973 - No.37 - Pres/73 dated 26th January 1973 

Shaurya Chakra
Cpl Gurdip Singh Deol 235583 ORUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 15 Apr 71 Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

On 15th April, 1972, a major fire broke out in the dispersal area of a forward Air Force Base. On hearing the siren, Corporal Deol, who was staying far away from the base, was the first to arrive at the scene on his motor cycle. He found that the fire was fast approaching blast pens endangering the safety of aircraft and he decided to move the aircraft out. He located a tractor. As the ignition key was not available, he had the tractor started through his ingenuity. Corporal Deol got the tractor coupled with the aircraft nearest to the fire, the blast pen had already been surrounded by flames. Unmindful of his personal safety, he towed the aircraft out and thus saved it from destruction. He towed four more aircrafts out of other blast pens in the same manner. During these operations, he sustained injuries, but did not seek treatment until all the aircraft had been removed safety.

In this action, Corporal Gurdip Singh Deol displayed courage and determination of a high order.

Reference: Gazette of India , 16th June 1973 - No.?? - Pres/73 dated ??? 

Shaurya Chakra
Cpl Jai Raj Vind 245354 ORUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 04 Dec 71 Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

On the 4th December, 1971, an aircraft fully loaded with armaments stores met with an accident on landing at a forward Air Force Base. The nose wheel of the aircraft had collapsed and the aircraft caught fire. In spite of the inherent danger of an explosion due to missiles and other armament stores being loaded on the aircraft, Corporal Jai Raj Vind undertook the hazardous task of putting out the fire. He did this successfully despite being in the close vicinity of the burning aircraft, with complete disregard of his personal safety. It was through his determined efforts that he succeeded in putting out the fire; he thereby saved the life of the pilot and also avoided the aircraft becoming a complete wreck.

The conspicuous courage, presence of mind and complete disregard for his personal safety displayed by Corporal Jai Rand Vind, were in the highest traditions of gallantry in the Indian Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India , 16th June 1973 - No.?? - Pres/73 dated ??? 

Shaurya Chakra
Nb Sub Shingara Singh ORUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 17 Dec 71 Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

On the 17th December, 1971, information was received at a forward Air Force Base that the enemy had bombed Bhatinda Railway Station as well as the nearby villages causing considerable damage to civil property and population. It was also reported that several bombs had not exploded. Naib Subedar Shingara Singh immediately rushed to the place with his men and after carrying out a thorough search of area, located seventeen unexploded bombs. Though fully aware that the bomb could have been fitted with delayed fuzes, he went with the diffusion of the bombs with complete disregard to his personal safety. In fact, one of the bombs did explode when he, along with his men, had just retired for lunch and later two bombs were found with the fuzing components having partly functioned. Undeterred, he successfully diffused all the bombs within 96 hours and thus infused confidence in the local population.

In this action, Naib Subedar Shingara Singh displayed courage and leadership of a high order.

Reference: Gazette of India , 16th June 1973 - No.?? - Pres/73 dated ??? 

Shaurya Chakra
Flt Lt Anil Kumar Dogra 8729 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 31 May 73 Announced 15 Aug 73
Details :

On the night of 31st May, 1973, a Boeing 737 aircraft of Indian Airlines crashed near residential area of Vasant Vihar, New Delhi. At approximately 2150 hours that night, Flight Lieutenant Anil Kumar Dogra, who was passing by that way in his car, noticed a bright red glow in the area. Instinctively, he assumed that it was an air crash as the glow was in the approach funnel of Delhi airport. He immediately turned his car in the direction of the glow and drove in the total darkness over the rocky terrain until he could see the origin of the glow.

On reaching the scene of the crash, Flight Lieutenant Dogra found the wreckage of the burning aircraft was scattered over a large area. With complete disregard for his personal safety, he proceeded to extricate victims of the crash from the burning wreckage. He personally rescued eight out of seventeen survivors and moved them to a safe distance. Inspired by his example, some villagers who had collected at the site also began to help him. He then rushed three persons, who were in critical condition, to the Army Hospital, Delhi Cantonment in his car for timely medical aid. He immediately returned to the scent of the accident to help on evacuation of other victims. He thus took prompt action and saved the lives of many passengers.

In this action, Flight Lieutenant Anil Kumar Dogra displayed gallantry and initiative of a high order.

Reference: Gazette of India , 23rd March 1974 - No.33 - Pres/74 dated 11th March 1974 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Jagjit Singh Lamba 3927 AELUnit : DTDP(Air)  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Wing Commander Jagjit Singh Lamba was commissioned in the Aeronautical Engineering (Electronics) Branch of the Indian Air Force in January, 1950. During his career he has held a number of important appointments, and qualified himself to hold Category 'A' on a variety of transport aircraft. As the Deputy Director (Aviation Electronics) in the Directorate of Technical Development and Production (Air), he undertook a study to replace imported general purpose electronic test equipment used in the Air Force utilising indigenous items. The Air Force was using over 600 assorted items of imported electronic test equipment, stocked under different reference numbers, in respect of various aircraft and major electronic installations. As a result of his systematic efforts it was possible to rationalise over 240 assorted types of test equipment and replace them with only 17 indigenous products. This had resulted not only in a large saving of Foreign Exchange, but also in improving the serviceability and reliability of the test equipment. He also und ertook a study of locating the indigenous/international equivalents for electronic components used in our vital Air Defence System and has thus achieved significant results. During the operations in 1971, stocks of an electronic component in. the air defence system were running low and the consumption rate was high. He undertook the task of producing a solid­state substitute with the help of a local firm, which was found to be not only an acceptable substitute for the imported item, but had also improved the overall performance of the Air Defence System.

Throughout, Wing Commander Jagjit Singh Lamba displayed courage, professional skill and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Kanwal Krishna Malik 4335 F(P)Unit : 28 Wing  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Wing Commander Kanwal Krishan Malik has been the Officer-in-Charge Flying at an operational Wing for over two years. During this period he has shouldered the task of supervising the operations of Fighter Squadrons, helicopter unit, Aircrew Examining Board and numerous flight trials. Unmindful of his personal comfort, he was always ready to shoulder fresh responsibilities. The year 1971 mainly saw him fully occupied with his duties as Station Commander of a forward base, where, working under the most trying conditions, he infused enthusiasm and an offensive spirit by his high professional ability and personal supervision and guidance. The excellent results achieved by his unit in the operations in December, 1971 were, in the main, largely due to his stewardship.

Throughout, Wing Commander Kanwal Krishan Malik displayed courage and leadership.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Man Mohan Sinha 4408 F(P)Unit : Joint Air Warfare School  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Wing Commander Man Mohan Sinha was the first Chief Instructor-in-Charge of the Doctrine Development Wing at Joint Air Warfare School. During his tenure at Joint Air Warfare School, he visited numerous forward Bases and Wings and updated all Tactical Air Force Doctrine being formulated and taught at the Institution. When he was attached to Advance Headquarters Western Command during the India-Pakistan conflict of December, 1971, he helped in setting up the Joint Army Air Operation Centre at the Command Headquarters, which was responsible for planning and controlling all tactical Air Operations in the Western Theatre under Headquarters Western Air Command. During the actual operations, he worked with ceaseless devotion and total disregard to his personal comfort, His untiring efforts, thorough knowledge of the tactical air situations and constant devotion to his assigned duties, earned him the respect and admiration of his colleagues and subordinates alike.

Throughout, Wing Commander Man Mohan Sinha displayed courage, leadership and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Balchandra Shankar Deshmukh 4489 F(P)Unit : No.108 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Wing Commander Balchandra Shankar Deshmukh has been the commanding officer of a fighter squadron since November 1968. The highlight of the period of his command was his leadership of the Squadron during the operations in December, 1971. He flew twelve operational sorties during the conflict, a number of them deep into enemy territory. He always achieved task in the face of heavy enemy ground fire and opposition, in complete of his personal safety. Inspired by his courage, personal example and devotion to duty, his officers and men had worked enthusiastically and functioned as a well trained combat achieving excellent results.

Throughout, Wing Commander Bhalchandra Shankar Deshmukh displayed courage, leadership and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Walter Henry Marshall 4496 F(P)Unit : Fighter Training Wing  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Wing Commander Walter Henry Marshall has been on the strength of Fighter Training Wing since August 1970 and has been holding the appointments of Instructor and Officer-inCharge of Flying. In these capacities he has displayed a very high degree of organising ability and exemplary devotion to duty. He has succeeded in improving the quality of training at Fighter Training Wing. He has been instrumental to a large extent in revising both the Ground and Training Flying Syllabi at the Fighter Training and has taken particular interest in improving the training aids on the Station. He displayed exceptional ability in organising and controlling fly-pasts at various places with precision. During India-Pakistan conflict of December, 1971, he commanded a fighter squadron in the Western Sector. He visited all the nearby bases and prepared contingency plans meticulously. In record time, working round he brought his pilots, who had limited flying during the night to fully operational status for night flying. He was also responsible for making modifications to the available aircraft, which proved very useful during the conflict.

Throughout, Wing Commander Walter Henry Marshall displayed courage, leadership and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Har Krishan Oberoi 4583 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Wing Commander Harkrishan Oberai was Officer-in-Charge Flying of an operational air base during operations in Decembet, 1971. By working hard he brought up the station Base Operations Room, Close Support Cell, ATC and GCA complex to full operational readiness. With his superior planning and organisational skill, he coordinated operations most effectively to make maximum use of the resources available to him. All close support missions assigned to the station were carried out under his able guidance. When the runway at his base was damaged by enemy action several times, he co-ordinated the repair work of the Engineers, and was on the runway with the repair teams throughout the night on many occasions, in sub-zero temperatures and with unexploded bombs lying close to the places of repair. He was a source of inspiration to the repair teams, who followed his example and repaired the runway in time for the next day's operations. Throughout, Wing Commander Harkrishan Oberai displayed courage and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Sube Singh Malik 4663 F(P)Unit : No.2 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Wing Commander Sube Singh Malik took over command of a fighter squadron in November, 1970. Throughout his stay in the Squadron, he has consistently endeavoured to improve the operational readiness of the squadron. During the India-Pakistan conflict 1971, he was required to move to the Western Sector at extremely short notice and operate detachments of the Squadron from several separate locations. All these moves were undertaken at very short notice and the detachments were operational at each of these locations immediately on arrival. Most of the moves were carried out either with very limited air transport support or none. The threat from enemy aircraft in the area in which his squadron operated was reduced almost to nil because of the activity of his unit.

Throughout, Wing Commander Sube Singh Malik displayed courage, leadership and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr William George Beddoe 4686 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Wing Commander William George Beddoe has been on the posted strength of a Tactical Air Centre as the Senior Air Staff Officer for a year. Shortly after his arrival at the unit, the Commanding Officer was posted out and the unit was called upon to move to a new location. As officiating Commander, Wing Commander Beddoe had to plan and execute the move. Due to his meticulous preparation, personal example and effective leadership, the unit accomplished the long road move with remarkable speed and became operational at the new location immediately on arrival.

During the operations in December, 1971, he was Senior Air Staff Officer of a Tactical Centre, where he carried out his duties with outstanding zeal and devotion. His example inspired his subordinates and won the praise of his Commanding Officer and the Army Officers who worked with him. Due largely to his efforts, the Tactical Air Centre was able to arrange effective air support to the Army during the war.

Throughout, Wing Commander William George Beddoe displayed courage, leadership and devotioirp to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Purnachandra Madhavrao Takle 4707 F(P)Unit : No.16 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Wing Commander Purnachandra Madhav Rao Takle was Flight Commander in a bomber squadron from1 February 1969 to March 1972 and assumed the command of Squadron in March 1972. During the period of his stay in the Squadron, he worked most diligently to improve the operational readiness of the Squadron.

During the operations in December, 1971, he carried out seven very vital and dangerous missions, covering both the Eastern and Western Sectors, involving deep penetration into the enemy territory. These missions included night interdiction by the light of flares and bombing raids against heavily defended enemy airfields. Besides carrying more operational missions than any other pilot in the unit, he supervised operational planning and aircraft servicing activities with exemplary keenness and determination. He was killed in a flying accident on 29th March, 1972.

Throughout, Wing Commander Purnachandra Madhav Rao Takle displayed courage, leadership and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Surinder Kumar Bajaj 4884 F(P)Unit : Air Head Quarters  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Squadron Leader Surindar Kumar Bajaj took over the appointment as Assistant Director of Intelligence at Air Headquarters in November, 1970. Before coming to Air Headquarters he was employed in a highly sensitive assignment requiring exceptional flying ability and initiative. To his present work, he has brought a fund of experience in handling sensitive tasks. During his short tenure in Air Headquarters, he has exhibited commendable acumen in tackling difficult problems. His thorough grasp of current situations and incisive examination of a particular case resulted in the saving of about Rs. 90,000/- to the State. He has been actively associated with a number of major security cases and by skilful1 interrogation has been able to unearth matters vitally affecting the security of the service.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Surindar Kumar Bajaj has displayed professional skill and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Onkar Singh Wadhawan 4899 F(P)Unit : No.221 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Squadron Leader Onkar Singh Wadhawan, in his seventeen years of commissioned service, has commanded two fighter squadrons and has served as Officer-in-Charge Flying of a fighter base. He has a total of 3799.45 hours of flying. His flying record has been accident free. As Flight Commander in an operational squadron, he has been responsible for conducting the conversion training of pilots onto advanced supersonic aircraft. His instructional flying ability on the aircraft is of an exceptional order. He has seldom worked less than 9 hours a day, driven by his keenness for perfection at work and faultless completion of his duties as a Flight Commander.

Squadron Leader Onkar Singh Wadhwan's exceptional professional ability and skill in the air, tremendous keenness for flying and remarkable thoroughness in all his work on the ground, are of special significance to the Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Kollagunta Sambamurthi Chandrasekhar 4962 F(P)Unit : Central Air Command  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Squadron Leader Kollagunta Sambamurthi Chandrasekhar has been on the posted strength of Headquarters Central Air Command since May, 1970. On re-organisation of Command Headquarters in July, 1971, he was reposted as Command Maritime Officer. Immediately before the commencement of the operations against Pakistan in December, 1971, when the tension in the sub continent was mounting, it was due to his extreme hard work that Headquarters Central Air Command and Headquarters Maritime Air Operations geared up sufficiently to cope with any demands of the Indian Navy. During the Operations, he volunteered for regular Canberra flying and, while on attachment to a bomber squadron, he carried out six operational missions. Throughout his career he has shown a high sense of duty, capacity for sustained hard work and cheerful acceptance of onerous tasks.

Squadron Leader Kollagunta Sambamurthi Chandrasekhar has always placed the interests of the service before his own and has shown an example of loyalty and devotion well beyond the normal call of duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Chandra Kant Dhawan 4995 F(P)Unit : No.25 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Squadron Leader Chandra Kant Dhawan has been serving as a Flight Commander of a heavy transport Squadron. This is his second tenure in the unit. Ever since 1963 he has been undertaking various difficult missions in the Ladakh Sector and has flown 3220 hours out of which 1680 hours were on operational sorties. Squadron Leader Dhawan was previously a fighter pilot. In that capacity he was selected to undergo conversion on Hunter aircraft in the UK, when these aircraft were introduced into service with the IAF. He soon became fully operational on that aircraft. Shortly thereafter, he contacted a rare disease which affected the retina of his eyes. He was taken off flying duties and utilised on various ground assignments. His disease was cured and owing to his persistent efforts he was allowed to return to flying duties, but only on transport aircraft. He qualified as a Captain on Dakota aircraft, but such was the quality of his performance that he was amongst the first few pilots to be selected for training on AN-12 heavy transport aircraft, when these were acquired for the Air Force. He was the only pilot of the rank of Flying Officer to qualify as a day/night captain on this aircraft. At a time when the squadron was in need of more trained crews, he rose to the occasion and successfully completed their operational training within a short period.

During the operations against Pakistan in December, 1971, he worked round the clock, controlling and coordinating the flying activities of the aircraft of his unit which had been dispersed to many bases around the country. He was also responsible for the training of his crews in new tactics, which went a long way to achieve the role of his unit. In addition, he participated in the Battalion group para drop in Bangladesh.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Chandra Kant Dhawan has displayed exemplary zeal, professional skill and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Alban Anthony D'Rozario 5044 F(P)Unit : No.20 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Squadron Leader Alban Anthony D'Rozario was a Flight Commander of a fighter Squadron during the operations in December, 1971. In the very early hours of 4th December, 1971, he flew in an urgently needed operational aircraft from a rear base and a few hours later led a four aircraft strike on an airfield, which was heavily defended. He pressed home his attacks and seriously damaged one enemy aircraft inside a blast pen. On 6th December, 1971, though his wingman's aircraft went unserviceable on the ground, he voluntarily proceeded on an interdiction mission, during which he destroyed two enemy diesel engines near Wazirabad, and brought back valuable information regarding enemy movements based upon which subsequent missions were planned. On the 7th December, 1971 he led a four aircraft deep penetration day strike on Kohat airfield where he set fire to a hangar and damaged other airfield installations. He thereafter, flew three close support missions in the Samba, Chhamb and Naoshera areas and inflicted heavy casualties on enemy troops and vehicles. On the 12th December, 1971 the Squadron was ordered back to a rear base but Squadron Leader D'Rozario voluntarily stayed at the forward base and led another close support mission on 13th December, 1971 in order to familiarise the relief Squadron's Flight Commander with tactics and terrain. Throughout, Squadron Leader Alban Anthony D'Rozario displayed courage and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Sharad Narayan Medhekar 5062 F(P)Unit : No.122 (Ad-Hoc) Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Squadron Leader Sharad Narayan Medhekar is the Flight Commander of an operational training unit. During the operations in December, 1971, he was attached to a fighter/bomber squadron in the Western Sector. On the 4th December, 1971, he took part in a mission to attack oil storage tanks at Karachi. He pressed home the attack in the face of heavy enemy ground fire. The splendid results obtained by this mission were most commendable. On the 12th December, 1971, he was again engaged in an attack on the enemy radar complex at Badin. Here, too, there was very heavy enemy ground fire, but he pressed the attack home, achieving remarkable success. To bring back evidence of the effect of the attack, he was also required to bring back photographs of the radar after the attack was over. In the face of the most intense ground fire he made the required photographic run over the target and was able to carry out the task. In addition, he carried out eleven other missions against the enemy in the close support role.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Sharad Narayan Medhekar displayed courage, leadership and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Harwant Bir Singh 5065 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Squadron Leader Hanwant Bir Singh has been in transport squadrons since his commissioning in January 1956. He has been engaged in our air maintenan tasks over NEFA, Naga Hills, J&K and Ladakh and has amassed a total service flying of over 6,000 hours. Out of this, he has flown approximatly 3,000 hours on operational sorties. Squadron Hanwant Bir Singh is a disciplined, dedicated competent pilot. He has displayed courage and skill in his flying and is always willing to undertake any task given to him. With his zeal and great aptitude flying he has acquired singularly great

proficiency various types of transport aircraft.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Hanwant Bir Singh has displayed courage, devotion to duty and professional skill of a high order.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Kevin Martin 5074 F(P)Unit : Air Force Flying School  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Squadron Leader Kevin Martin obtained his Flying Instructor's qualification in December, 1961. Since then he has served as a flying instructor and is curretly serving as the Assistant Chief Instructor at the Air Force Flying College. In his present appointment, he has flown a total of 1470 accident free instructional hours. The significance of this achievement lies in fact that an instructor must leave his pupil to handle controls as far as possible, so that lessons are properly learnt and skill is properly developed.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Kevin Martin displayed professioml skill and devotion to duty in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Bipinchandra Shantaram Raje 5182 F(P)Unit : No.222 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Squadron Leader Bipinchandra Shantaram Raje has been serving as a Flight Commander in a fighter squadron. He was assigned responsibilities for the Squadron Daily Serviceability State and flying training. By his hard work, initiative and drive he raised the operational efficiency of his Squadron to a very high standard. During the Operations in December, 1971, he volunteered to fly some of the most arduous and dangerous missions deep into enemy territory. On his very first mission his section was attacked by enemy aircraft and his No. 2 was shot down. Despite this he continued to lead missions with great success. In the interdiction and close support roles, he did exceptionally well, revealing in uncanny ability to detect well concealed targets.

His personal ability in flying, capable leadership, operational successes, and his contribution to the Squadron, both in operations and otherwise, are of special significance to the Indian Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Surendra Nath 5317 F(P)Unit : No.25 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Squadron Leader Surendra Nath has been engage in operational flying in a heavy transport squadron the Ladakh area since May, 1963. During his present and previous tenures he has completed 1550 hours of operational flying. He was employed as Training Flight Commander in the squadron. With perseverence and professional skill he conducted the training new pilots and familiarised them with the Ladakh sector. This he did with unflinching devotion to duty, has a total 5600 hours of flying on his record, of which 1800 hours are on instructional duties. During operations in December, 1971, he volunteered and participated in the Battalion group Para drops.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Surendra Nath display professional skill and devotion to duty in the best traditions of the Jndian Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Ravindra Nath Paul 5329 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Squadron Leader Ravindra Nath Paul has been on the strength of a heavy transport squadron since 1968. He has flown a total of 6080 hours of 2100 hours have been flown on operations over and NEFA areas. As a Flight Commander, he displayed remarkable organising ability in the planning and execution of assigned tasks. He himself is very keen and competent flyer and has inspired squadron pilots by his personal example.

During the operations in December 1971, Squadron Ravindra Nath Paul flew six low level night missions, displaying outstanding professional airmanship of exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Kodandera Cariappa 5376 F(P)Unit : No.111 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Squadron Leader Kodendera Cariappa Cariappa was commissioned in the Air Force in May, 1957. He did 1000 hours of operational flying before undergoing the Flying Instructors' course in 1963. He stood first in merit in flying at Flying Instructors' School. At the flying training school where he was posted during 1963-65, he flew over 1000 hours and proved himself as an outstanding instructor. During the 1965 operations, while serving in a fighter squadron, he carried out several missions at a great personal risk before he was shot down and taken prisoner of war. Since taking over as Officer Commanding of a Helicopter Unit in February 1969, he devoted himself to the task of bringing the squadron to a high state of operational efficiency and readiness. Under his inspiring leadership, the squadron's pilots have carried out long hours of day and night flying. He has carried out dangerous missions over Mizo Hills and Nagaland areas without regard for his personal safety. He streamlined the administration of the unit which yielded immediate results by way of improved functional efficiency.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Kodendera Cariappa Cariappa displayed professional skill, leadership and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Ashwini Kumar Bhide 5674 F(P)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Squadron Leader Ashwini Kumar Bhide was the Flight Commander of a transport squadron in the Western Sector during the operations in December, 1971. He undertook five low level missions over strategic targets, without fighter escort, deep into the enemy territory, which involved flying at low level and low speed over target areas. He successfully completed all his missions inspite of heavy ground fire over target, area and his aircraft being hit on more than one occasions. The cool courage displayed by him in the face of heavy enemy opposition was an inspiration not only to his own crew members, but also to all the other crews of his squadron.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Ashwini Kumar Bhide displayed courage, professional skill and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Clarence Joseph D'Lima 5870 F(P)Unit : AirHQ Communications Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Squadron Leader Clarence Joseph D'Lima was posted to Air Headquarters Communication Squadron in December, 1963 and has since flown 3254 hours on various aircraft. On the introduction of an advanced transport aircraft into the Air Force, he was one of the Pilots selected for training abroad and was adjudged exceptional after completion of the training. Prior to his posting to this unit, he had flown 2900 hours, mostly on supply dropping missions over NEFA and Nagaland. He has over 6200 hours of accident-free flying to his credit. He has held the highest category on transport aircraft for the last three years. Besides his flying, he has taken active part in all the other activities of the unit.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Clarence Joseph D'Lima displayed courage, professional skill and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Subramanian Srinivasa Rathnam 6010 F(P)Unit : AirHQ Communications Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details : Squadron Leader Subramaniam Srinivasa Rathnam was posted to Air Headquarters Communication Squadron in August 1966 and has since flown 2400 hours. Prior to his joining this unit he had flown over 3000 hours in five vears, of which 2000 hours were over NEFA aittd Naga hills area. Apart from his outstanding keenness for flying, he proved his professional ability by obtaining 'A' transport category and check Pilot's endorsement on CARIBOU aircraft when he had only 4 years of total service. On posting to Air Headquarters Communication Squadron, he began conversion on to a type of aircraft he had not flown previously. He was the first pilot selected for conversion on TU 124 aircraft and has since obtained 'A' transport category on this type also. He has flown over 6200 hours in his service career.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Subramaniam Srinivasa Rathnam displayed courage and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Baljinder Kumar Dhir 6460 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Squadroin Leader Barjinder Kumar Dhir was appointed Commanding Officer of a Helicopter Unit on its formation in February, 1971. Faced with the adminisative problems of any newly formed unit, he threw imself into his work with vigour and enthusiasm. Initial maintenaince problems were overcome with resourcefulness and in the space of six weeks, his unit as able to undertake routine commitments. Being the only qualified Flying Instructor in the Squadron, he had to undertake three tasks simultaneously administration of the Squadron as a whole, training of the aircrew, and such other important commitments as were assigned to the unit. Within a short space of six months he undertook important commitments and also completed the conversion training of more than half of his aircrew. By the end of 1971, all pilots on his posted strength were converted. Prior to the operations in December, 971, detachments from this squadron were employed on mercy missions and flood relief operations in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa and West Bengal. During the perations, the squadron operated in small detachments at four different locations, the most important being the tass assigned to the squadron in the Bangladesh Operations.Throughout, Squadron Leader Barjinder Kumar Dhir displayed courage, leadership aind devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Yashpal Sharma 6498 F(P)Unit : Flying Instructors School  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Squadron Leader Yash Pal Sharma has been carrying out instructional flying for the last five years. He has a total of 4680 hours of accident free flying, of which 727 hours are on instructional duties. During his tenure at Flying Instructors' School, he has shown commendable enthusiasm in training trainees to be qualified flying Instructors, when the unit faced an acute shortage of instructors, he volunteered to take more pupils and worked ceaselessly towards successful completion of courses. Thus he set an inspiring example, not only his colleagues but also to the pupils.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Yash Pal Sharma displayed professional skill and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

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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