Awards for the year 1988


A total of 81 Awards are listed.
Param Vishist Seva Medal : 4 | Maha Vir Chakra : 1 | Kirti Chakra : 1 | Ati Vishist Seva Medal : 12 | Vir Chakra : 5 | Shaurya Chakra : 1 | Yudh Seva Medal : 4 | Vayu Sena Medal : 21 | Vishist Seva Medal : 22 | Mention in Despatches : 10 |
Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Jagdish Kumar Seth 4403 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 88 Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

Air Marshal Jagdish Kumar Seth was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in January 1953. During his distinguished career, he has held many command and staff appointments. In his outstanding flying career, he has flown over 7300 accident free hours, which include 1570 hours of operational flying and 1400 instructional hours.

In August 83 he was appointed Director Personnel (Officers) at Air Headquarters. Due to his meticulous planning and exceptional managerial skills, all personnel management functions including career planning, promotions and placements relating to officers of Air Force were successfully executed. He was assigned Command of Air Force Flying Academy in March 1985. With his deep understanding of all facets of flying training, he set exacting standards for this establishment and with his dedication and leadership ensured that they were achieved thereby bringing about a qualitative improvement in the standard of all trainee pilots passing our from there.

On promotion to the rank of Air Marshal in February 1986 he was appointed Air Officer Incharge Administration at Air Headquarters. In this appointment his sphere of responsibility extended to works services, administration and control of various welfare funds & schemes, discipline, security and management of public funds. With his professional competence and dedicated bard work he effected allround improvements in each of these areas.

Since July 1986 he has held the appointment of Senior Air Staff Officer of a major Operational Command. By his professional advice born out of his vast flying experience and determined direction of Air operations, he has improved the operational capability of the Air Defence and strike forces of the Command. Air Marshal Jagdish Kumar Seth, AVSM, VM has thus rendered distinguished service of the most exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1988 Number: 

Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Partha Kumar Dey 4404 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 88 Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

Air Marshal Partha Kumar Dey, was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in January, 1953. In his long and distinguished career spread over 34 years, he has held important command and staff appointments. A graduate of National Defence College, he has held the prestigious assignment of Directing Staff of Defence Services Staff College, Wellington.

After a successful tenure as Air Attaché in USA he took over Command of a major Fighter Base. Under his inspiring leadership and guidance, the station was brought to a new peak of operational preparedness. He also effected noticeable improvement in the administrative, sports and welfare facilities of the station.

On promotion to the rank of Air Marshal in July 1986 he was posted as Senior Air Staff Officer of Eastern Air Command and later Chief of Staff at Western Air Command. In both these appointments he was instrumental in enhancing the operational preparedness and combat capability of various elements of both the Commands by virtue of his own professional competence, deep knowledge of Air Operations and dynamic approach to solving problems. His current appointment as Director General of the newly created Defence Planning Staff is a further testimony to his analytical and conceptual capabilities.

Air Marshal Partha Kumar Dey, AVSM has thus rendered distinguished service of the exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1988 Number: 

Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Krishnaswamy Subramanian 4213 F(N)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 88 Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

Air Marshal Krishnaswamy Subramanian was commissioned in the Indian Air Force on 12 January 1952. He is a qualified Navigation Instructor and has over 5300 hours of flying experience. He is a graduate from Defence Services Staff College and National Defence College. He was awarded Vayu Sena Medal in 1966 for operational flying carried out during 1962 Chinese aggression in Ladakh Sector and Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in 1977 for the work done as Joint Director Plans at Air Headquarters. He has held important staff and command appointments.

As Chairman of the Air Force Cell of Fourth Pay Commission, Air Marshal Subramanian effectively interacted with the Chairmen of other two services pay commission cells and the Pay Commission. Under his able guidance, Air Force proposals for revised pay and allowances and non-effective benefits were finalised and a bulk of recommendations made by him were accepted by the Government.

On promotion to the rank of Air Marshal he was appointed as Air Officer-in-Charge Administration and was the guiding force for speedy implementation of the recommendations of the 4th Pay Commission. Under his Chairmanship, the Air Force Naval Housing Board has embarked on one of its largest projects at NOIDA Phase II. In his present sphere of responsibility which covers a broad spectrum of activities, Air Marshal Subramanian has made significant contributions on account of his exceptional professional competence and qualities of leadership.

In his long career in the Indian Air Force, Air Marshal Krishnaswamy Subramanian, AVSM, VM has shown outstanding qualities of dynamic leadership, organisational, managerial and professional competence of a very high order and has rendered distinguished service of the most exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1988 Number: 

Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Man Mohan Sinha 4408 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 88 Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

Air Marshal Man Mohan Sinha, was commissioned in the Flying (Pilot) Branch of the Indian Air Force on 17 January, 1953. In his career spanning over 34 years he has held with distinction varied command and staff appointments including Aide-de-Camp to the President of India, command of a fighter squadron, Directing Staff at Defence Services Staff College and Chief Instructor at Joint Air Warfare School.

In January, 1980 he was assigned command of a major air base in the Eastern region. Under his dynamic leadership the flying effort at the base increased by about 15% without any increase in manpower. For the timely and successful attainment of the tasks assigned to his base, he was awarded Ati Vishisht Seva Medal. In October 1982 he was specially selected as the Senior Directing Staff at War College, Al-Bakr University in Iraq. On his return in March 1985 he was posted as Director Personnel (Officers) at Air Headquarters. With his mature and humane approach he was able to evolve improvements in personnel policies for officers maintaining a desirable balance between Air Force organisational needs and individual aspirations.

On promotion to the rank of Air Marshal in August 1986, he took over as Senior Air Staff Officer of an Operational Air Command. To this assignment he again brought to bear his professional excellence and dedication and was largely instrumental in augmenting the combat capability of various elements of the Command thereby, enhancing the overall operations preparedness of the Air Force.

In April, 1987 he took over as Air Officerin-Charge Personnel at Air Headquarters. In this appointment his sphere of responsibility covers a broad spectrum encompassing all recruitment, initial training, career management and retirement/rehabilitation of all Air Force personnel, officers, airmen and civilians. His vast experience, analytical approach and farsightedness have been instrumental in giving a new thrust to optimum utilisation of manpower resources of the Air Force.

Air Marshal Man Mohan Sinha, AVSM, VM has thus rendered distinguished service of the most exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1988 Number: 

Maha Vir Chakra
Sqn Ldr Ajjamada Boppayya Devayya 4810 GD(P)Unit : No.1 Squadron  Award Date 07 Sep 65 Announced 26 Jan 88
Details : Sqn Ldr Ajjamada Boppayya Devayya was an instructor with the Air Force Flying College at the outbreak of the war. He was posted to No.1 "Tigers" Squadron at Adampur flying the Mystere IVa fighter bomber.

On 7th September 1965, Sqn Ldr Devayya was a part of a formation of aircraft on a strike mission to Sargodha Airfield in Pakistan. He was the last aircraft of the mission to finish the attack and as he was turning away he was intercepted by an enemy F-104 Starfighter aircraft. After Sqn Ldr Devayya successfully evaded the missiles launched by the enemy aircraft, his attacker , flying a faster aircraft caught up with him and fired his guns damaging Sqn Ldr Devayya's aircraft.

Sqn Ldr Devayya, displaying true fighting spirit opted for aircombat with the superior enemy aircraft and shot down the attacker. In the process, he made the supreme sacrifice as he probably crashed or was killed.

For showing conspicuous gallantry in putting the safety of his colleagues before his own, and In electing to get into an aerial combat with the F-104 even while his own aircraft was damaged, Squadron Leader Devayya displayed Valour of the highest order. Sqn Ldr Devayya was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra Posthumously. Till date the only instance of a Posthumous MVC to the Indian Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India, 28th April 1988 - No.36-Pres/88 dated 22nd January 1988 

Kirti Chakra
Wg Cdr Maheshwar Datt 11607 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 01 Nov 86 Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

On the evening of 14th November, 1986, an unexpected and very high snowfall blocked both ends of the 3,400 meter high Zozila pass. Over one hundred vehicles were trapped in the pass along with their occupants. Numerous landslides and avalanches further added to the disaster. Wing Commander Maheshwar Dutt flying a Mi-17 Helicopter, flew a total of 75 rescue sorties, 56 of them in the first four days. He personally rescued 145 persons saving them from almost certain death in the raging blizzard with wind speeds of 70kmph and temperatures well below zero. On no occasion was a prepared helipad provided and Wg Cdr Dutt often landed on compact snow by the roadside. These operations, from makeshift helipads scarcely larger than his helicopter wheel base were carried until all the trapped persons were evacuated.

Wing Commander Maheshwar Dutt thus displayed conspicuous courage and sustained endurance in the face of hazardous natural conditions.

Reference: Gazette of India , 2nd April 1988 - No.27 - Pres/88 dated 26th January 1988 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Shiva Krishna Varma 4531 AEMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 88 Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

Air Vice Marshal Shiva Krishna Verma was commissioned in the Technical Branch of the Indian Air Force on 7 September 1953. He had held a number of, important appointments in the Air Force. He has been Chief Engineering Officer of a large Air Force Base; Commandant, Air Force Technical College; Director of Armament and Safety Equipment at Air Headquarters and Senior Maintenance Staff Officer Western Air Command.

The Officer has worked as Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Engineering) for more than a year. He has performed these duties with total dedication and exercised good managerial capabilities to improve the maintenance of the Aircraft fleet. During the last one year, the aircraft fleet has shown a continuous and sustained rise in serviceability. This was only possible by the officer's alert directions on progression of demands and maintenance of equipment. He also kept control on new induction of aircraft and equipment and ensured their smooth operation inspite of the variety and multiplicity of aircraft inducted. The Officer exercised special initiative in planning and holding regular meetings with HAL and other production agencies to ensure that aircraft and maintenance spares were delivered to the Air Force in time. This resulted in definite improvement in the input of equipment from production agencies, thus placing the maintenance on a more sound footing.

Air Vice Marshal Shiva Krishna Verma has thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1988 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Debabrata Choudhury 4759 ADMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 88 Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

Air Vice Marshal Debabrata Choudhury was commissioned in the Indian Air Force on 2 June 1955. During his long career in the Air Force, he has held a variety of appointments with distinction. These include appointment of Air Officer Commanding of a big Equipment Depot. Since 01 May 1986 he is holding the appointment of Senior Officer-in-Charge Administration of a major operational command.

As Senior Officer-in-Charge Administration Western Air Command for over a year, AVM * Rank erronusly mentioned in the Gazette as Air Marshal Choudhury has contributed significantly to the enhancement of quality of life of personnel at WAC by executing a number of work­services and welfare measures. His contribution to the operational preparedness has been equally significant. Through remarkable understanding of operational needs, coupled with high administrative acumen, Air Vice Marshal Choudhury has initiated a large number of measures to provide the necessary infrastructure for enhanced level of operational preparedness.

During recent alert and for a number of major exercises Air Vice Marshal Choudhury personally made sure that administrative support for all operational requirements was provided in time. It is because of his untiring efforts, detailed planning and quick reactions that the Command was able to absorb large scale induction of manpower at extremely short notice, as per operational dictates. The smooth and timely induction greatly enhanced the operational potential.

Air Vice Marshal Debabrata Choudhury has thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1988 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Pondicherry Jayarao Jayakumar 5037 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 88 Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

Air Vice Marshal Pondicherry Jayarao Jayakumar was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the Indian Air Force on 14 January 1956. He has held with distinction various field, staff and command appointments.

Air Vice Marshal Jayakumar was directly involved in the formulation of the new promotion policy and the new appraisal system during his tenure as JDPO at Air Headquarters. These have become the basic policy documents for Personnel Management of the Indian Air Force.

Air Vice Marshal Jayakumar is posted at Air Headquarters, as Director Joint Operation (Planning) since 1 September 1986. In this assignment, he has had to interact closely, and co­ordinate several operational matters with the other two Service Headquarters, at the highest, level. His total understanding and knowledge of Air operations, higher level of concept ional thinking, coupled with meticulous attention to detail, has not only resulted in improving the operational effectiveness of joint service operations, but he has enhanced the image of the service he represents.

In June 1987 he was involved in the planning and monitoring of mercy mission in Jaffna Peninsula. Working continuously, he was always available to render the right advice and take decisions. Later, during the operation in Sri Lanka, he set up and controlled the Operations Cell at Air Headquarters. With complete disregard for personal comfort, he stayed at his post, night and day. It was due to his selfless devotion to duty, presence of mind and indepth knowledge of all the issues involved, that during both these operations he could ensure safe, expeditious and totally successful completion of all tasks given to the Indian Air Force.

Air Vice Marshal Pondicherry Jayarao Jayakumar has thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1988 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Manjunath Sadanand 4994 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 88 Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

Air Commodore Manjunath Sadanand, an alumnus of prestigious National Defence Academy, was commissioned in the year 1955 in the Flying Branch and has held various important assignments. His outstanding performance during “Operations Vijay" (Goa Operation) was rewarded with CAS Commendation for dedication and a very high level of professionalism. Subsequently, he became a qualified Flying Instructor and distinguished himself as qualified Flying Instructor.

Having gone through a gamut of highly skilled and specialist appointments, he has been now commanding Air Force Station, Bidar since 29 March 1986, one of the most challenging and prestigious appointments he has held so far. During this period, the Station has gone from strength to strength and become one of the premier flying training establishments our Air Force. His single minded devotion to duty, total involvement, personal example and dedicated effort are greatly responsible for the allround achievements of the Air Force Station Bidar.

Air Commodore Manjunath Sadanand has thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1988 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Keith David Kingsley Lewis 5109 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 88 Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

Air Commodore Keith David Kingsley Lewis was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in April 1956. He has over 4500 hours of flying to his credit and had taken active part in the 1965 and 1971 operations as a fighter pilot. During his effective flying career, he has been a flying instructor, Senior Flight Commander in fighter squadrons, commanded the legendary Tiger Squadron with distinction and was the first Group Captain Chief Operations Officer of a forward base. Subsequently, he graduated from the National Defence College.

As Air Officer Commanding of one of the most potent fighter bases in the Air Force, he applied himself to enhance its operational potential. During the period of “Operation Alert" in 1987 all fighter deployments in/out and operational tasks were undertaken with vigour and enthusiasm. The entire station willingly undertook long periods of continual watch necessary to guard against a pre­emptive enemy attack on the airfield, which would have been a prime target had war broken out. Additionally, he ensured a guaranteed ability to retaliate quickly and with precision using the offensive power of the deep penetration strike forces placed under his command. Also during this period some of the hardest flying training ever conducted was carried out by strike, air defence and missile squadrons in accurately simulated war scenarios. His own personal conduct during this period was exemplary and he strove to his utmost to ensure an instant state of operational readiness.

Air Commodore Keith David Kingsley Lewis VM has thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1988 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Venkatraman Shankar 5197 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 88 Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

Air Commodore Venkataraman Shankar was commissioned in August, 1956. He has held several important field appointments at major transport flying stations. He is a graduate of National Defence College and was awarded Vayu Sena Medal for his operational capabilities while commanding a Transport Squadron. He has to his credit 7800 hours of accident and incident free flying experience.

Being presently Director of Operations (T&M) at Air Headquarters, by meticulous planning of resource and pragmatic management, he has ensured the most economic and optimum utilisation of the limited resources and maintained a high operational state of the transport fleet. By his dedicated and pragmatic approach, backed by a sound professional knowledge, understanding and drive, he brought about a near total error free success into the operation “Poomalai" and subsequent AVSM 1988 deployment and maintenance of Indian Peace Keeping Forces at Sri Lanka. This, he achieved and maintains, inspite of multiplicity of aircraft, roles and demands.

Air Commodore Venkatararaan Shankar, VM has thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1988 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Arun Kumar Roy 5244 AELUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 88 Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

Air Vice Marshal Arun Kumar Roy, after successful completion of Engineering studies was commissioned in the IAF in 1956. During the last 31 years the Air Officer has held various important field and staff appointments including Instructor at Air Force Technical College, Commanding Officer Guided Weapon Squadron, Joint Director Signals Air, Station Commander Tropo Staion and Senior Maintenance Staff Offcer of a newly raised operational Command.

The Air Officer is in command of No. 7 BRD since Dec 85. This depot is responsible for overhaul of guided weapons and Air Defence Radar Systems. During his tenure he has brought in a new sense of motivation among technical officers who are ever ready to provide all possible assistance to operational units. The depot has achieved 100% production of the task 86-87. During exercise 'LIVE WIRE' the leadership and inspiration exhibited by the Air Officer, won appreciation from AOC-in-C WAC for the depot. Once again during alert from 23 Jan 87, till completion of Exercise Brass-Tack, 7 BRD under the able command of this Air Officer, rose to the occasion to provide valuable round­the­clock assistance to undertake additional load inspite of the fact that 20 technical officers from the depot and lodger units were attached to augment manpower of operational commands. All along, the Air Officer with his dedication, initiative, example and dynamism contributed significantly to enhance the operational preparedness of IAF.

Air Commodore Arun Kumar Roy has thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1988 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Pooran Dev Adlakha 5266 ACCTUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 88 Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

Air Commodore Pooran Dev Adlakha was commissioned in the Accounts Branch in November 1956. An MBA from Delhi University, during his 31 years of service, he has held a variety of important assignments, within the branch and outside.

After graduating from the National Defence College, he took over the command of Air Force Central Accounts Office in November 1984. He applied himself to his duties great sense of responsibility and dedication and with skillful management brought remarkable improvements in the accounting services provided to both serving and retired Air Force personnel.

With his originality of approach, he launched a massive programme of computerisation of all accounts. The task is expected to be completed two years ahead of targeted date and ultimately reduce pressure on manpower. This has also enabled him to issue pre­calculated arrears of pay statements for all airmen in respect of Fourth Pay Commission, which reached every unit well in time and ensured full payment to every airman. With commendable precision and thoroughness, he has also completed the second phase, through computer, where 1.3 lakhs pay fixation statements, for audit as well as issue to all airmen, have been printed.

With his downright keenness to get down to the brasstacks, he launched two exercises - “Exercise Credibility" for reducing the debit balances and “Exercise Samtushti" for clearance of outstanding non­effective accounts. In both these areas, he achieved near total success.

The reconciliation of Provident Fund Accounts of all Air Force personnel, a stupendous and mind boggling exercise, was faced by him head­on and accomplished, bringing credit to the organisation. This achievement bears an eloquent testimony to his result oriented, and not procedure­oriented approach.

Air Commodore Pooran Dev Adlakha, VSM has thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1988 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Shiv Nath Rathour 5580 F(N)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 88 Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

Air Commodore Shiv Nath Rathour was commissioned in December, 1958. In his span of 29 years, he has held with distinction varied appointments, both in the field and at higher formations. He is a highly qualified navigator and has maintained a high professional standard throughout.

Air Commodore Rathour has been the Air Officer Commanding of Air Force Station, New Delhi since 01 July 1985. The Station is established to provide administrative service to Indian Air Force personnel posted to Air Headquarters and scores of other units spread over Delhi. Besides, there is a heavy commitment for providing administrative service to personnel arriving on temporary duty at Air Headquarters. Station has also to cater for the highly sensitive and important task of providing helipad facilities for heli-lifts of VVIPs. The wide ranging and demanding task involves providing inputs for very important ceremonial functions like Republic Day Parade, Independence Day Celebrations, Guard of Honour to foreign dignitaries, etc. All the aforementioned duties involve tremendous administrative responsibility and challenge.

Air Commodore Rathour by his exceptional level of dedication, initiative and resourcefulness in performance of duties, provided a high level of motivation to his staff for putting in sustained and hard work to meet the challenge posed and has been able to bring about improvements in the output of Air Force Station, New Delhi, during his command.

Air Commodore Shiv Nath Rathour, VM has thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1988 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Viney Kapila 5596 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 88 Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

Air Commodore Viney Kapila was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in 1958 has flown over 3,300 hours on modern jet fighter aircraft and participated in the 1961 Goa Operations and the 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak conflicts. He was awarded the Vir Chakra for gallantry in the 1965 war.

As a Flight Commander of a frontline squadron, he was responsible for the smooth and rapid change over to MiG­21s. He carried out successful trials for induction of MiG 21 aircraft into the Kashmir Valley and thereafter laid down operating procedures which are still applicable. Because of his perseverance, profound analytical approach and expertise in tactical doctrines, he was responsible in large measure for optimising the night employment techniques and tactics on the MiG­21 and S­22 aircraft.

In his present appointment as Air I of an Operational Command, the officer has through penetrating foresight, ingenuity and application of sound tactical precepts, introduced and formulated advanced training schedules, enhancing the operational potential of the fighting units. With his positive and dynamic approach, he designed realistic operational details for three major exercises, namely, Eagle-Ranvijay, Brass Tacks and Live Wire, which employed massive strike forces, hitherto unheard of in earlier exercises.

Air Commodore Viney Kapila, VrC has thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1988 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Mohan Dharamdas Lalvani 5658 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 88 Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

Air Commodore Mohan Dharamdas Lalvani was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in February, 1959 and over the years has distinguished himself in all important appointments held by him, which were many and varied.

He was among the first pilots to be assigned to the Mi­4 helicopters. For his outstanding performance in the hazardous terrains of Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh, he was awarded the Vayu Sena Medal in January, 1965.

In 1970, Air Commodore Lalvani was cross streamed to the Air Defence System. He evolved syllabi and application systems which laid a solid foundation for training. Under his command, a star sapphire unit, which prior to his stewardship carried the label of 'unfit for war', its status raised from the dubious distinction to an above average capability in just six months. As commander of an operational station in the Western Sector, his base was adjudged 'Best in Operations' and 'Best in Maintenance'.

Air Commodore Lalvani, because of his instructional crafts, was deputed as a Directing Staff at the Institute of Defence Management. Here, he so excelled himself that he became a regular guest lecturer to organisations like Administrative Staff College of India, NITIE and even the Iraq Defence College at Baghdad.

In staff work again, Air Commodore Lalvani displayed outstanding perception and analytical skills. He made a very significant contribution in the drafting of the joint document relating to transfer of AOP assets to the Army. As Air II of Eastern Air Command, he displayed discernment, ingenuity and an innovativeness which not only enabled optimum utilisation of resources but a qualitative improvement in operational employment.

Air Commodore Mohan Dharamdas Lalvani, VM has thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1988 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Naresh Kumar 5057 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 88 Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

Air Vice Marshal Naresh Kumar was commissioned in the Indian Air Force on 14 January 1956. He has held various appointments including command of two helicopter units and staff appointments at Command Headquarters. He graduated from National Defence College in 1986.

While commanding one of the helicopter units he was assigned the task of flood relief in North Bengal and in recognition of his services, act of courage, initiative and devotion to duty, he was awarded 'Vayu Sena Medal'.

Presently he is posted as Air Officer Commanding of a forward Air Base located at high altitude. His base is responsible to provide infrastructure for successful operation of helicopters and large scale operation of transport aircraft. Because of skirmishes at Siachen Glacier, he has been burdened with additional responsibilities of ensuring availability of supplies and casualty evacuation. Himself a diligent and dedicated officer, Air Vice Marshal Naresh Kumar has been able to motivate the personnel under his command to work with zeal, enthusiasm and single mindedness of purpose. Because of his inspiring leadership, the personnel under his command have been able to achieve their task despite heavy constraints of adverse weather conditions, high altitude and limited flying resources.

Air Vice Marshal Naresh Kumar, VM has thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1988 Number: 

Vir Chakra
Wg Cdr Vijay Kumar Narayan Sapre 11285 F(P)Unit : No.109 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 11 Oct 87 Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

Wing Commander Vijay Kumar Narayan Sapre was involved in planning and execution of Helicopter Operations in support of Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka from the beginning. On the night of 11th/12th October 1987, Wing Commander Sapre led the night Special Heliborne operations comprising four Mi-8 aircraft. He successfully carried out the entire mission landing the troops at the designated helipad, which was under heavy fire by the militants. However, since this was a critical mission, he displayed outstanding grit and courage and completed three successful missions. Through, heavy damage was caused to his helicopter, Wing Commander Sapre quickly assessed the situation and flew back the aircraft to base with great skill.

Wing Commander VKN Sapre has flown 150 sorties in the area out of which 76 have been flown during the current hostile phase.

Wing Commander Vijay Kumar Narayan Sapre thus displayed conspicuous gallantry and professional competence in the face of militants.

Reference: Gazette of India , 20th April 1988 - No.37 - Pres/88 dated 15th April 1988 

Vir Chakra
Sqn Ldr Tirumangal Koti Vinay Raj 11438 F(P)Unit : No.112 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 11 Oct 87 Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

Squadron Leader Thirumangalath Kattil Vinay Raj carried extensive flying in Jaffana Peninsula during the month of October 1987 as a part of Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) operation. On the night of 11/12 October 1987, during the course of high Special Heliborne Operation, Squadron Leader Vinay Raj was the Captain of No. 2 aircraft in four aircraft formation, detailed for a special mission. He was responsible for successfully landing three missions at the designated helipad, which was under heavy fire by the militants. During this operation the helicopter received extensive damage but Squadron Leader Vinay Raj was able to fly the helicopter back to base safely.

Squadron Leader Thirumangalath Kattil Vinay Raj thus displayed conspicuous gallantry in the face of heavy militant firing.

Reference: Gazette of India , 20th April 1988 - No.37 - Pres/88 dated 15th April 1988 

Vir Chakra
Sqn Ldr Daniel Rajkumar Duraiswami 11887 F(P)Unit : No.109 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 11 Oct 87 Announced 26 Jan 88
Details : Wing Commander Daniel Rajkumar Doraisami has been operating from Jaffna Peninsula from the beginning of the current operations in support of Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF). He has flown extensively in the area.

On the night of 11th/12th October, 1987, Wing Commander Doraisami was the Captain of an aircraft in four-aircraft formation detailed for special mission. He carried out three successful missions for landing troops in a helipad, which was totally surrounded by the militants. The helicopter came under fire and was extensively damaged. Undaunted Wing Commander Doraisami assessed the damage and flew back the helicopter to base.

Wing Commander Daniel Rajkumar Doraisami thus displayed conspicuous gallantry in the face of militants ground firing thereby saving valuable aircraft.

Reference: Gazette of India , 20th April 1988 - No.37 - Pres/88 dated 15th April 1988 

Vir Chakra
Flt Lt Vishwanath Prakash 17149 F(P)Unit : No.107 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 11 Oct 87 Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Vishwanath Prakash formed part of Indian Air Force element of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka. On the night of 11th/12th October 1987, he was the Captain of helicopter in a four aircraft formation and involved in the critical Special Heliborne Operation. Despite being comparatively junior in service and relatively inexperienced, he showed determination and grit of a very high order. He successfully carried out three missions during the night. The helipad was under heavy fire by the militants and his helicopter suffered extensive damage but Flight Lieutenant Vishwanath Prakash managed to fly it back to base safely.

Flight Lieutenant Vishwanath Prakash showed exceptional courage in the face of militants’ ground fire.

Reference: Gazette of India , 20th April 1988 - No.37 - Pres/88 dated 15th April 1988 

Vir Chakra
Sqn Ldr Rajbir Singh 14287 F(P)Unit : 125 Sqn  Award Date 03 Nov 87 Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

Squadron Leader Rajbir Singh served in the Indian Air Force element of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka. On 3rd November 1987 Squadron Leader Singh was detailed to strike the militant strongholds which were impeding the advance of a para commando Regiment towards Mulai. On reaching the area he was directed to attack a stronghold which was heavily defended with heavy machine guns. In spite of heavy ground fire he carried out repeated front gun attacks with deadly accuracy. During his third attack on a machine gun nest the aircraft was hit by ground fire. After pulling out of the attack he noticed that the left engine was damaged and had heavy oil leak. He immediately switched off the left engine and established flight on single engine to avoid engine fire. Though the aircraft was heavily loaded with ammunition, he decided not to jettison the much needed armament stores. Squadron Leader Rajbir Singh realized that he was flying over a very hostile area and forced landing would result in getting captured by the militants. He kept absolutely calm and nursed the aircraft back in a very professional manner. He tried to contact base on Radio Telephony but the Radio set had also been damaged due to ground fire. In spite of heavy traffic over base, he landed the aircraft on a single engine without causing any damage to the aircraft.

Squadron Leader Rajbir Singh thus displayed conspicuous gallantry and professional competence in the face of the militant ground fire.

Reference: Gazette of India , 20th April 1988 - No.37 - Pres/88 dated 15th April 1988 

Shaurya Chakra
Sqn Ldr Devinder Singh Khajuria 15073 AE(M)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 20 Aug 86 Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

On 20th August, 1986, at 1200 hours, a distress message was received from the Sub Collector of 'Elluru' that the flood water, after breach in the bundh of the river, had gushed in submerging the village 'Kottapetta' and cutting it from the rest of the State. Thousands of villagers faced danger to their lives for want of food and essential medicines. Epidemic of cholera was fast spreading in the village. It was essential to drop the medicines and food supplies in the village without any loss of time. The work was entrusted to Squadron Leader Devinder Singh Khajuria, Flight Engineer Leader. Immediately a helicopter was loaded with necessary medicines and food packets and took off for this important mission. While approaching the village the Flight Gunner tried to open the exit door to drop the essential medicines and food supplies but found that the door jammed in the closed position. All his efforts to release the latch failed. Releasing the gravity of the situation, Squadron Leader Khajuria immediately left his seat and rushed to the cargo compartment, opened a side window noticed that the metal block on the exit door had been bent and had got stuck in the groove. Since the area was completely submerged under a sheet of water, there was no place at all the land the helicopter. Squadron Leader Khajuria took upon himself the hazardous task of releasing the locking mechanism from outside the helicopter in flight. Exhibiting exceptional courage and at great personal risk, he put his head out of side window and with more than half of his body outside the helicopter against the heavy rotor downwash and air flow in flight, made a valiant effort to reach the door locking metal block but did not succeed. He instructed the flight gunner and ejection crew to hold his legs and extending his body further out of the helicopter, he could reach the bent latch. He doggedly carried on working on the latch and after a lapse of almost five minutes of flight, finally succeeded in straightening it out and thus releasing the locking mechanism to the marooned villagers' in time.

Squadron Leader Devinder Singh Khajuria thus displayed dogged determination, dauntless courage and high professional acumen.

Reference: Gazette of India , 2nd April 1988 - No.28 - Pres/88 dated 26th January 1988 

Yudh Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Ashim Kumar Banerjee 11320 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 88 Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

Wing Commander Ashim Kumar Banerjee is posted to a Helicopter Unit. He has been operating from Jaffna in support of the Indian Peace Keeping Force. On the evening of 20th Oct 87, he had to execute a mission wherein the troops had to be landed in an area surrounded by LTTE hostile elements. His helicopter was hit by small arms while landing at the landing zone. The rotor blades and one external fuel tank were demented. Wing Commander A Banerjee assessed the damage and thereafter managed to take off and land back safely at base. Next morning he again flew mission in the similar hostile environment wherein his helicopter again suffered bullet damage.

Wing Commander Banerjee has flown 85 operational sorties in Jaffna peninsula during the thick of hostilities.

For courage of an exceptional order in the face of the enemy and displaying professional acumen of the highest order which resulted in saving of an aircraft and costly lives of the occupants, the President is pleased to award Yuddh Seva to Medal Wing Commander Ashim Kumar Banerjee.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1988 Number: 

Yudh Seva Medal
Fg Offr Ajai Prakash Shrivastava 17471 F(P)Unit : No.114 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 26 Jan 88 Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

Flying Officer Prakash Srivastava has been on the posted strength of one of the Helicopter units of the Air Force since 11 Dec. 84. He has been involved with “OPS MEGHDOOT" since then.

Flying Officer Srivastava has flown 950 sorties connected with “Ops Meghadoot" in a relatively short span of two years and nine months in the unit. During the month of September, 1987, he accomplished 120 hours of operational flying over the glacier.

On 21 Sep 87, Flying Officer Srivastava was on duty at the Base Camp for an immediate requirement at one of the posts in the forward area which was under heavy enemy fire. He immediately flew his machine to the heavy fire prone area and provided all possible support to the affected soldiers at the post. His task included troop induction, supply of communication and rations of the brave soldiers at the post, which is at an elevation of 19,250 feet and an average surface temperature of -10ºC to -15ºC. During his relentless part-icipation in operation VAJRA SHAKTI lasting six days, the pilot under took 51 sorties to this area of operation. On these days he flew from sunrise to sunset oblivious of his own personal manner. In this limited area of operation, where at least eight of mind and undertook the mission with commendable leadership and courage. Neither the enemy artillery shelling, nor flying fatigue or high altitude or sub - zero temperatures could interfere with his will and determination to complete the assigned mission.

For his exceptional devotion to duty and exemplary leadership and courage in the face of enemy artillery fire, the President is pleased to award Yuddh Seva Medal to Flying Officer Ajai Prakash Srivastava.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1988 Number: 

Yudh Seva Medal
Fg Offr Ajay Massand 17730 F(P)Unit : No.114 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 26 Jan 88 Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

Flying Officer Ajay Massand has been on the posted strength of one of the Helicopter units of Air Force with effect from 09 Dec 85. He has been participating in OPS MEGHDOOT for the past two years.

Flying Officer Massand has a total of 1320 hours of service flying to his credit. He has flown 720 sorties towards Ops Meghdoot in a relatively short span of one year and ten months in the unit. During one month, he did 104 hours of operational flying over the glacier.

On 23 Sep 87 when Flying Officer Massand was called upon to perform duty at the base Camp for an immediate requirement at one of the posts at a towards area which was under heavy enemy fire, he immediately took the decision of flying his unarmed machine to this heavy fire prone area and provide all possible support to our affected soldiers at the post. His task included troop induction, supply of ammunitions and ration to brave soldiers at the post which was at an elevation of 19,250 feet and an average surface temperature of -12ºC to -15ºC. During his relentless participation in operation 'VAJRA SHAKTI' which lasted for six continuous days, the pilot undertook 48 sorties to this particular helipad which was under heavy enemy shelling. On these days he flew from sunrise to sunset oblivious of his own fatigue and completed whatever task was assigned to him in an exemplary manner. In this limited area of operation where at least eight helicopters were operating at a time, the pilot maintained his presence of mind and undertook the mission with exemplary leader ship and courage. Neither the artillery shelling from enemy nor flying fatigue or high altitude or sub-zero temperatures could deter him from achieving the assigned mission.

For his exceptional devotion to duty and exemplary leadership and courage in the face of enemy artillery fire, the President is pleased to award Yuddh Seva Medal to Flying Officer Ajay Massand.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1988 Number: 

Yudh Seva Medal
Sqn Ldr Kunwar Jai Singh 13799 F(P)Unit : No.125 Helicopter Squadron  Award Date 26 Jan 88 Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

Squadron Leader K Jai Singh (13799) F(P) of a helicopter Squadron has been on active duty with the Squadron Detachment while operating from Palali airfield in the Op Pawan area.

On 10 and 11 Apr 88, Squadron Leader Jai Singh was detailed as Captain of an Akbar aircraft to provide offensive support to a company of the Army engaged in search and combing operations in the Vavuniya Jungles. The targets on both occasions were in a densely forested area, devoid of any landmarks. Squadron Leader Jai Singh successfully engaged the designated targets on both these occasions with pinpoint accuracy. On one of the occasions, heavy ground fire was also encountered by him. However, unmindful of his own safety, Squadron Leader Jai Singh continued with his mission with single minded determination and achieved the desired results.

For his professional skill, courage and determination in the face of enemy threat, as also excellence of marksmanship, the President is pleased to award Yuddh Seva Medal to Squadron Leader K Jai Singh.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1988 Number: 

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Prakash Sadashivrao Pingale 6755 F(P)Unit : Operational Conversion Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

Group Captain Prakash Sadashiv Pingale took over the Command of Operational Conversion Unit in June, 1986. The unit conducts flying training of ex-Air Force Academy pilots on to an advanced fighter aircraft. This training is required to be completed in one year and at any one time two courses undergo training simultaneously. When Group Captain Pingale took over the Command, he had three courses to train. Keeping the low serviceability of over thirty year old Hunter aircraft in view, this was a stupendous task. Group Captain Pingale got down to tackle this problem with exemplary earnestness.

He exhorted the technical personnel to bring up the serviceability of the Hunter fleet. With his personal liaison with Command Headquarters and the repair agency for Hunter aircraft, he was able to ensure regular supply of rotables and clearance of long outstanding AOGs. These efforts resulted in the serviceability of the Hunter fleet from 25% to 55% in a short period of six months. Using his managerial skills, Group captain Pingale spaced out the training schedule of the three courses undergoing training at Operational Conversion Unit. With his own efforts and personal example, he not only cleared the backlog of flying training but also ensured completion of the two courses of pilots 15 days and three months ahead of schedule.

Group Captain Pinagle displayed an extremely high level of skill and devotion to duty of an exceptional order. His efforts went a long way in maintaining the regular flow of pilots to our front line Fighter Squadrons and in enhancing the operational capability of the Indian Air Force.

For his tremendous zeal and devotion to duty of an exceptional order, in the best tradition of the Air Force, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Group Captain PS Pingale.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 2nd April 1988 - No.24-Pres/88 dated 26th January 1988 

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Ashok Kumar Goel 8151 F(P)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

Group Captain Ashok Kumar Goel was commissioned in the flying Branch in Dec 1963. An officer with exceptional professional competence, he has 6700 hrs of accident free flying, mainly on operational tasks both in the Western and Eastern Sectors.

Group Captain Goel has always displayed a very high order of leadership, organizing ability, ingenuity and dedication under the most strenuous and trying conditions whether at home or abroad. Under his dynamic leadership, able guidance and close monitoring and supervision the entire team of aircrew achieved excellent grading while under going training on IL-76 aircraft in the Soviet Military Academy. Back home as the first commanding officer of the IL-76 Squadron, he accomplished the stupendous tasks involving the simultaneous equipment and change of location of the Squadron through his meticulous planning administrative acumen and astute management. Undeterred by the multiplicity and the complexities of the myriad problems in the fields of operation, maintenance and administration, Group Captain Goel, with his singular drive, extraordinary capacity for hard work and outstanding ability to train and motivate his subordinates, forged ahead to establish the Mighty Jet Squadron in a remarkably short period since its induction, as the most reliable and dependable workhorse in the country air transport operations. His cheerful acceptance of responsibilities, exceptional initiative and extraordinary diligence have been source of inspiration of everyone.

For his outstanding professionalism, selfless devotion, exemplary dedication to duty and leadership qualities of an exceptional order, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Group Captain Ashok Kumar Goel.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 2nd April 1988 - No.24-Pres/88 dated 26th January 1988 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Jagdish Singh Grewal 10866 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

Wing Commander Jagdish Singh Gerwal has been in continuous active flying since commissioning and has flown more than 2500 hrs on fighter aircraft. He has maintained an accident-free record during his flying career spanning 20 years. During the Indo-Pak conflict in 1971, he flew 22 operational missions.

The officer won the Sword of Honour Standing first in the overall order of merit and also at Air Combat Trophy during his FCL course in Mar 79. Subsequently, he was a member of the directing staff at the Tactical Combat Development Establishment.

He was specially selected and posted as a flying inspector in the Directorate of Air Staff Inspection from Sep 79 to Jan 81. Thereafter, the officer was chosen to fly the most modern fighter aircraft, the MiG-25.

He was appointed Commanding Officer of a frontline fighter Squadron on 24 Jun 85. Under his Command not only was the quantum of flying high, the quality was also of the highest order. The efficiency of the Squadron was well brought out during the DASI inspection of the unit in Aug 86 achieving "Average Plus" in air combat exercises. Setting a personal example of a high standard of flying, flight safety, sincerity of purpose, productive initiative and single minded devotion to duty, he motivated his colleagues and turned the Squadron into a potent and cohesive fighting force. During his Command the Squadron maintained zero human error accident incident record.

For his high standard of professionalism, leadership, devotion to duty, sincerity of purpose and productive initiative, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wing Commander Jagdish Singh Grewal.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 2nd April 1988 - No.24-Pres/88 dated 26th January 1988 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Avinash Deodata Joshi 10886 F(P)Unit : No.221 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

Wing Commander Avinash Deodatta Joshi assumed command of a frontline fighter Squadron on 15 Apr 85. Throughout the period of his command, Wing Commander Joshi stressed the primacy of operational capability. He trained his Squadron to a very high level of efficiency in its primary and secondary roles. The fully operational and instrument rating status of his pilots was raised to 100%. In addition, his Squadron came to be recognized as highly specialized in undertaking tasks involving extended periods of valley flying.

In acknowledgement of his professional capabilities and achievement of exceptional standards, Headquarters Western Air Command assigned to his Squadron a number of special missions designed to optimize the Vijay's operational utilization. Wing Commander Joshi led almost all of these missions himself. As a result of the trains he conducted and as a result of the success of these special missions, the operational capability of the centre Vijay fleet increased substantially.

Wing Commander Joshi had to sacrifice much of his personal convenience and comfort, and his time, in order to train his Squadron to the peak of operational efficiency. At the same time, he made a noteworthy contribution to the optimization of the Vijay aircraft's operational envelope. He approached these takes and accepted his success with admirable humility. Through his action and attitude, he roved himself a true leader.

For his initiative, professional zeal and out standing competence and for his exemplary leadership qualities, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wing Commander Avinash Deodatta Joshi.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 2nd April 1988 - No.24-Pres/88 dated 26th January 1988 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Peter Douglas Woodman 10934 F(P)Unit : Elementry Flying School  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

Wing Commander Peter Douglas Woodman has been on the posted strength of Air Force Station, Bidar since 03 Dec 84. Presently, he is holding the appointment of Chief Flying Instructor No. 2 Squadron.

During his tenure at the Station, he has flown more than 700 hrs of flying on Kiran aircraft of which nearly 500 hrs have been devoted to instructional flying. As the Chief Flying Instructor he has closely supervised daily flying activity, monitored performance of the trainees and the staff. He has ensured correct interpretation and strict implementation of training syllabi. Maintenance of high standards and adherence to orders and instructions under his supervision have brought about remarkable improvement in the quantity of flying training.

The officer has devoted long working hours to ensuring the implementation of training tasks. It is to his credit that he has flown an average of 4 to 5 sorties per day besides his supervisory duties. He has also carried out other operational and administrative tasks efficiently, cheerfully and unmindful of personal discomfort. His devotion to duty, maintenance of high flying standards and creation of a safe environment for flying have contributed in a great measure to the achievement of the aims of his Station.

For his tireless efforts, dedication to duty and exemplary professional acumen, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wg Cdr Peter Douglas Woodman.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 2nd April 1988 - No.24-Pres/88 dated 26th January 1988 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr James Arun Benjamin 11296 F(P)Unit : No.108 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

Wing Commander James Arun Benjamin sustained serious burn injuries on this back, neck and face in 1971 in a Gnat flying accident. Undeterred by this and other serious emergencies that he encountered, he continued his flying career with courage, determination and thorough professionalism. He has flown 700 hrs on the Gnat and has to his credit 500 hrs of instructional flying as a Qualified Flying Instructor. He completed a successful tenure as a senior Flt Cdr in a MiG-21 Squadron before being chosen to command a prestigious fighter Squadron on 25 Feb 85.

With the distinction of being a Qualified Flying Instructor, Fighter Combat Leader and Defence Services Staff College graduate, he applied his full professional knowledge and ability to hone the Squadron to fine operational pitch during his tenure of two years and two months. The squadron carried out 5838 sorties in 3850 hrs of accident-free flying during this period.

His meticulous planning and guidance to his Flt Cdr assured a high Fully Operational, Instrument Flying rating status throughout, including rights strikes capability.

As a Commanding officer, he was quick on the uptake, totally reliable, positive minded, and a sound leader both in the air and on the ground. His reputation in the Squadron was of an exceptionally high order as was his standing with his peers and superiors. His ability in flying is evident from his flying qualifications, types of aircraft flown and apportionments held. On the present type MiG-21 variants, he has 1200 hours of accident free flying.

For his dedication to service beyond the call of duty, exceptional ability as a fighter pilot and supervisor, and man management, operational planning and training of a high order, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wing Commander James Arun Benjamin.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 2nd April 1988 - No.24-Pres/88 dated 26th January 1988 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Jaspal Singh Gujral 11300 F(P)Unit : No.29 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

Wing Commander Jaspal Singh Gujral was commissioned on 31 Dec 1967. He has to his credit 3100 hrs accident-free flying in single engined aircraft. He is a qualified flying instructor with an A-2 category.

During his long and meritorious service, he has held a number of important appointments. He was on the staff of Flying Instructors' School and was Flight Commander of frontline operational Squadron equipped with Trishul aircraft. He has also functioned as Assistant Director Offensive Ops at Air Headquarters. During 1971, the officer was engaged in strikes against the enemy in South Western Sector. During all these assignment, he acquitted himself creditably, displaying a high degree of skill and professionalism. The officer is a graduate, of Defence Service Staff College and Institute of Defence Management. He has now been selected to undergo Higher Air Command Course.

Wg Cdr Gujral has been commanding one of the premier operational Squadrons since June 1985. On taking over command of the Squadron, he wholeheartedly devoted himself to the task of activating his team into a well-knit cohesive force Displaying high organizing ability, dedication and zeal, he brought about a distinct all­round improvement. He not only set a personal example for others, but also ensured that operational and training commitments of the Squadron were fully and successfully met. Under his inspiring leadership, the squadron achieved 100% serviceability aircrew operational status.

For his professional acumen, devotion to duty, ingenuity and zeal, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wg Cdr JS Gujral.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 2nd April 1988 - No.24-Pres/88 dated 26th January 1988 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Balakrishna Menon 11307 F(P)Unit : No.15 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

Wing Commander Balakrishna Menon has been in command of a frontline fighter Squadron since 08 July 85. He has been an A-2 Qualified Flying Instructor for the last 10 years and he has over 2700 hours of accident free flying experience of which nearly 1300 ours are on jet fighters. During his tenure as Squadron Commander, his Squadron has flown over 4600 hours amounting to approximately 7100 sorties on both fighter and trainer aircraft. This gigantic task was achieved without a single accident. In the same period, as many as 16 young fledgling pilots were brought to fully operational status on the MiG-21 aircraft.

Accident free flying and a high rate of training achieved under his command have distinguished his Squadron in the Air Force. This was achieved manly due to his dynamic leadership and total dedication to the task entrusted to him. His deep involvement in every activity of his Squadron and his methodical approach have contributed a great deal towards this achievement. His ability to analysis critically and his probing mind have ensured a high degree of professionalism amongst both the aircrew and the ground crew of his Squadron. His personal example and outstanding leadership have been a source of inspiration to those placed below him.

For his exceptional devotion to duty, leadership of a very high order and professional skill, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wing Commander Balakrishna Menon.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 2nd April 1988 - No.24-Pres/88 dated 26th January 1988 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Ajit Keshav Agtey 12188 F(P)Unit : Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

Wing Commander Ajit Keshav Agtey was on the posted strength of Aircraft Systems and Testing Establishment as a test pilot from Dec 82 to Nov 85 and was again posted as a Senior Test Flying Instructor in the Test Pilot School (TPS) with effect from 27 Oct 86.

During the initial three years he made valuable and vital contribution towards the development and safe clearance of aircraft avionics and weapon systems to meet Air Force requirements and also those of various Research & Development establishments. In particular, Wing Commander Agtey was the Project Pilot for a key development programme that aimed at a significant improvement in the operational potential of our frontline combat aircraft. Wing Commander Agtey's personal contribution has been extremely significant in achieving the target at minimum cost and time. He has flown over 50% of all development sorties in this programme and has been the main source of vital pilot inputs so necessary to tune the system to meet operational requirements.

Wing Commander Agtey was again posted to ASTE on promotion in Oct 86 as a Senior Test Flying instructor in the Test Pilots School. He carried out his duties in the above appointment with total dedication.

Besides due to his earlier involvement in development flight trials on the Jaguar, he was once again involved in various trials for the Flight Test Squadron which he performed with the same commitment as he had done during his earlier tenure.

For his exceptional professional knowledge and total commitment to task entrusted to him, perseverance, diligence and outstanding devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wing Commander AK Agtey.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 2nd April 1988 - No.24-Pres/88 dated 26th January 1988 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Biroja Shankar Singh Deo 12189 F(P)Unit : DGCA  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

Wing Commander Biroja Shankar Singh Deo was commissioned in the Indian Air Force on 20 December 1969. He was awarded the Chief of the Air Staff Medal for being the best all­round helicopter pilot in addition to bagging the Jamsaheb Trophy for being first in the order of merit in flying in the Helicopter Training School.

The officer has flown over 4900 accident free hours in various roles operational, instructional and test flying as an Air Force Examiner. Wg Cdr BS Singh Deo holds the highest category/instrument rating of A/Master Green on four different types of helicopters i.e., Mi-8, Mi-17, Chetak and Cheetah. The officer is the only helicopter pilot to date in the IAF to have achieved a Master Green rating when still in the junior rank of Flying Officer. Wg Cdr BS Singh Deo is also a qualified Production Test Pilot. He was awarded the Group Captain Suranjan Das Trophy for standing first in the Overall Order of Merit in the course at Aircraft System Testing Establishment in addition to the Chief of the Air Staff Trophy for standing first in Flight Evaluation. He was a staff test pilot at ASTE for nearly two years.

He was sent abroad for conversion on to the Westland helicopter. A mature officer with sound professional knowledge, he has been appointed as a Directorate General of Civil Aviation examiner on the Westland helicopter.

For his exceptional flying competence, consistent first-rate performance all through, instructional ability of the highest order and above all, two full and eminently successful tenures as an Air Force Examiner with the AEB at such a young age, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wg Cdr Biroja Shankar Singh Deo.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 2nd April 1988 - No.24-Pres/88 dated 26th January 1988 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Sunil Ramnath Laud 12372 F(P)Unit : No.14 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

Squadron Leader Sunil Ramnath Laud was commissioned on 13 Jun 70. He successfully graduated from Defence Services Staff College in Dec 84 and was posted as Flight Commander to a Squadron to oversee the conversion of the Squadron from Hunters to Jaguar aircraft in view of his experience and specialist flying qualifications.

In the preceding two years 1985 and 1986 as the Flight Commander, he has with his exceptional devotion to duty imparted his experience, qualification and skill to all the members of the squadron. The squadron has thus achieved an Operational Training status of which the IAF can be proud. The manner in which he has linked the maintenance and operational requirements to ensure an optimum utilization of aircraft and personnel has been exemplary.

The induction of the Jaguar aircraft into the Sqn was of added significance in view of the fact that the aircraft were retrofitted with the indigenous Navigation Attack System (DARIN). In the absence of DARIN training aircraft, the under training pilots has to be taught the working of the Navigation Attack Systems in a clear-cut, unambiguous fashion. He addressed himself to this task ensuring that the under training pilots appreciate the system theoretically and were competent at the same time to imbibe the essentials to be able to utilize the system tactically and operationally. This involved a degree of personal involvement and effort that included long working hours.

For his exemplary effort and devotion to duty involving the successful operational induction of the Indian Air Force first indigenously Navigation Attack Platform in the Jaguar, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Squadron Leader Laud.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 2nd April 1988 - No.24-Pres/88 dated 26th January 1988 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Gurcharan Singh Baweja 15030 F(P)Unit : Air Force Academy  Award Date 01 Apr 87 Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

Squadron Leader Gurcharan Singh Baweja has been on the posted strength of Air Force Academy as Qualified Flying Instructor in HJT-16 aircraft since 09 Jun 85. During a short period of slightly less than two years, he has flown a total of 816 hours on Kiran aircraft.

On 01 Apr 87, while flying on instructional sorties in a Kiran aircraft, on the final approach at 300­400', he noticed that even though the pupil was moving the throttle forward to correct for a slightly undershooting approach, the RPM was winding down rather than increasing. Sqn Ldr Baweja immediately took over control and sized up the situation in a split second. He and the pupil had the opportunity to eject, but realizing that he still had some decaying power and even though the aircraft was low on the glide slope it had a slightly higher IAS, he decided to carry on with the approach and make the beginning of the R/W for a safe landing. He now optimised his approach and by deft handling of the aircraft in this critical stage, was able to round off over the undershoot area which enabled a safe touch down just a few feet ahead of the beginning of the R/W. By the time the aircraft touched the R/W, the engine had flamed out fully. This commendable performance was not a reflex action or a chance outcome, but a well judged and premeditated act in which Sqn Ldr Baweja exhibited professional skill and proficiency of the highest order and, as a result, he not only saved a valuable aircraft but also provided an opportunity to locate the cause factor for the engine failure.

Sqn Ldr Baweja is a self motivated officer who goes out of his way to keep his knowledge up to date.

For his exceptional professionalisms, keeping his cool while handling a critical emergency and rate devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Sqn Ldr Gurcharan Singh Baweja.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 2nd April 1988 - No.24-Pres/88 dated 26th January 1988 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Mukul Ekka 16081 F(P)Unit : No.41 Squadron  Award Date 29 Jan 87 Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Mukul Ekka was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in June 180. He was posted to 41 Squadron in December 1980 and has been flying the Otter since then.

On 21 Nov 86 Flt Lt Mukul Ekka experienced an engine failure while flying over inhospitable desert terrain full of sand dunes. With his professional judgment and skills he glided the aircraft to the only available stretch of land beside a village and executed a flawless landing saving the life of a passenger on board and civilian property. The aircraft, too, was absolutely undamaged.

On 29 Jan 87, he again had an engine failure while on a cross country flight. One of the cylinders of the engine has burst and the cockpit was filled with dense white smoke. In spite of the adverse conditions, with commendable competence and judgment he executed a perfect force landing besides a river bed, saving the aircraft from any further damage. On both occasions the selection of force landing sites was praiseworthy as it facilitated work on the aircraft and the aircraft were successfully flown back to base after engine changes at the sites. The officer has thus exhibited his tenacity, courage and exemplary self- discipline both in the air and on the ground.

For his continued exceptional of performance of duties and remarkable professional skill, the president is pleased to sward Vayu Sena Medal to Flt Lt Mukul Ekka.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 2nd April 1988 - No.24-Pres/88 dated 26th January 1988 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Vivek 16560 F(P)Unit : No.15 Squadron  Award Date 26 Mar 87 Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

On 26 Mar 87, Flight Lieutenant Vivek, flying a fighter aircraft, was carrying out a low level bombing attack over the Sarmat air to ground weapons range. During the attack at a high speed and very low height a large bird struck the front of the aircraft causing extensive damage to the air intake. The bird and aircraft debris entered the engine, damaging it severely and leading to an engine flameout. The aircraft was at a very low level, approaching the sea at this time.

Displaying exemplary presence of mind and courage of the highest order in the face of a very critical emergency, the pilot maintained control of the aircraft, turned it away from the sea and subsequently cleared it off the installations on the ground. He carried out all actions flawlessly and in the shortest possible time and informed the range safety officer and the airfield of his flight condition. He then restarted the engine ensuring that his flight path would keep him clear of the built up areas and vital installations near the airfield. Thereafter he carried out a flawless emergency landing at the airfield without any delay or damage to the aircraft.

Flt Lt Vivek displayed courage and presence of mind of a very high standard in handling this grave emergency. He not only saved a valuable aircraft, but also prevented damage to vital installations and injuries to civil and service personnel on the ground. His handling of the emergency was in keeping with the highest traditions of the service and is all the more remarkable in that he had returned to active flying after a relatively long break just a few days prior to this accident.

For courage and presence of mind of the highest order in the face of a very grave emergency, the president is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Flt Lt Vivek.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 2nd April 1988 - No.24-Pres/88 dated 26th January 1988 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
MWO Anokh Singh Sandhu 224541 ORUnit : Para Training School  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

1224541 Master Warrant officer Anokha Singh Sandhu has been on the posted strength of Paratroopers Training School since Feb 80, and has been performing the duties of a Parachute Jump Instructor. He has to his credit a total of 1043 parachute descents including 460 free­fall descents. The free­fall descents constitute a record not matched by any other individual in the country at present.

He is among the first PJIs is who undertook the daring task of conducting live trials of the Free-Fall Parachute indigenously developed by the Aircraft Research & Development Establishment. For his outstanding ability and professional expertise he was the first to be chosen to undergo the Advance Free­Fall Course at Aviation Research Centre in 1978. During the course, he pioneered freefall descents during night. In the successful integration of advanced high performance strato cloud parachute at PTS, he has played an outstanding role. He has successfully trained the first batch of Army paratroopers on the recently high standard of professional skill, absolute devotion to duty and outstanding courage, have set an example for his junction to follow. His seniors are proud of him for his attributes as a PJI.

For his outstanding achievement in the field of free all parachuting and selfless devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Master Warrant Officer Anokh Singh Sandhu.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 2nd April 1988 - No.24-Pres/88 dated 26th January 1988 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Suresh Chandra Malhan 11579 F(P)Unit : No.125 Helicopter Squadron  Award Date Announced 14 Apr 88
Details :

Wing Commander Suresh Chander Malhan has been the Commanding Officer of a Helicopter Squadron since 14 Apr 86. His Squadron currently forms part of the Indian Peace keeping Force in Sri Lanka.

Wing Commander SC Malhan drew first blood for the Squadron on 25 Oct 87 when be under took the first mission on over a causeway south east o Jaffna against LTTE vehicles and an ammunition dump. He spotted the ammunition dump and dived into attack. With his accurate rocket attacks the ammunition dump was destroyed in a single pass. That was the beginning of a series of offensive air support missions by his unit. On 27 Oct 87 he led a major attack on the LTTE strongholds at Chavakacheri. He displayed remarkable marksmanship while attacking in a built up area, destroying LTTE strongholds that has been holding back the advance of the Army. This attack enabled the Indian Army to take over the township with negligible casualties and link up with a Regiment which had been isolated for seven days.

On 03 Nov 87 a Para Commando Battalion was pinned down by deadly enemy fire in the area of Mulai. This was at a time when there were strict restrictions imposed on the use of rockets and bombs. Not a person to be deterred, he struck the enemy position with front guns. Displaying complete disregard to himself, he made repeated attacks on enemy positions against heavy hostile fire even though his aircraft sustained bulled hits. He withdrew only when the heavy automatic weapons were all silenced.

For his exemplary leadership, undaunting courage and complete disregard of personal safety in the face of the enemy, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wing Commander Suresh Chander Malhan.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 13th August 1988 - No.78-Pres/88 dated 15th April 1988 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Raj Singh Kataria 13946 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 14 Apr 88
Details :

Squadron Leader Raj Singh Kataria has carried out 11 missions in Kilinochchi, Vavuniya, Trincomalee and Batticaloa Sectors of the Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka with unique dedication.

The terrain in these Sectors is full of jungles, small hill features and water islets which cannot be observed from the air. In one of the missions he flew his gunship at the lowest possible height and within the lowest safety limit and destroyed the militant hideous in the built-up area. He thus displayed magnificent professionalism. The commendable completion of mission with his gunship dealt a crushing blow to the militants, crippling them both psychologically and materially. What he achieved facilitated the ground action of the Army speedily to a logical conclusion.

For displaying laudable courage and valour in the face of the militants, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Squadron Leader Raj Singh.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 13th August 1988 - No.78-Pres/88 dated 15th April 1988 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Venkatesa Swaminatha Nagendra Nath 13165 F(P)Unit : No.109 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 11 Oct 87 Announced 14 Apr 88
Details :

Squadron Leader Venkatesa Swaminatha Nagnendra Nath is posted to a Helicopter unit. He has been carrying out helicopter operations in Jaffna from the beginning of the current operations.

On the night of 11/12 Oct 87, he was on co­pilot duties with Wing Commander VKN Sapre in a helicopter wherein three urgent missions had to be conducted for induction of the Indian Army troops in an area known to be surrounded by LTTE elements. During these three night missions the aircraft came under adverse enemy fire and was extensively damaged. He displayed courage and valour and gave full support to his Captain while operating in such environments and made a valuable contribution in retrieving the helicopter safely back to base. He has flown 40 missions in the area.

For displaying extraordinary dedication to duty and commendable professional competence, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Squadron Leader N Nath.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 13th August 1988 - No.78-Pres/88 dated 15th April 1988 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Arun Dharamdas Sonpar 13398 F(P)Unit : No.107 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 11 Oct 87 Announced 14 Apr 88
Details : Squadron Leader Arun Dharam Das Sonpar is posted to a helicopter unit. He was detailed as co-pilot with Fg Offr V Prakash on special Heliborne Operation on the night of 11/12 Oct 87. He was made responsible for successfully landing the troops for three missions at a helipad under heavy fire. The helicopter received heavy damage. Sqn Ldr Sonpar gave valuable support to his Captain and thereby ensured that the helicopter was flown back to base successfully.

For his exceptional dedication to duty and professional competence of a higher order, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Sqn Ldr Sonpar.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 13th August 1988 - No.78-Pres/88 dated 15th April 1988 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Ramesh Balkrishnan 16587 F(P)Unit : No.109 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 11 Oct 87 Announced 14 Apr 88
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Ramesh Balkrishan is posted to a Helicopter unit and has been operation from Jaffna in support of the Indian Peace Keeping Force.

Flt Lt. B Ramesh was detailed as Co-Pilot with Sqn Ldr DR Doraiswamy on special helicopter operation in the night of 11/12 Oct 87. This crew was responsible for successfully landing the troops for three missions at the helipad which was under heavy fire. The helicopter received heavy damage. Flt Lt B Ramesh gave valuable support to his Captain and thereby ensured that the helicopter was flown back to base successfully.

For his commendable dedication to duty and professional competence of a high order, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Flt Lt B Ramesh.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 13th August 1988 - No.78-Pres/88 dated 15th April 1988 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Sanjay Bishnoi 16213 F(P)Unit : 125 Sqn  Award Date 11 Oct 87 Announced 14 Apr 88
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Sanjay Bishnoi is posted to a Helicopter Unit and has been operating in support of the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Jaffna.

He was detailed was co­pilot with Sqn Ldr TK Vijay Raj in helicopter on a Special Heliborne Operation on the night of 11/12 Oct 87. He was made responsible for successfully landing the troops for three missions at the helipad which was under heavy fire. The helicopter received heavy damage.

Flt Lt Bishnoi contributed valuables support to his Captain and thereby ensured that the helicopter was flown back to base successfully.

For his exemplary dedication to service and display of professional competence of a high order, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Flt Lt Sanjay Bishnoi.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 13th August 1988 - No.78-Pres/88 dated 15th April 1988 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Kuldip Raj Lamba 6242 AE(M)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 88 Announced 26 Jan 88
Details :

Group Captain Kuldeep Raj Lamba was commissioned in Jun 60 and has held important appointments at various levels. After a long tenure at Air Headquarters, in Oct 84, he was posted to a frontline fighter station as a Chief Engineering Officer.

He took over his duties at a time when the Station aircraft maintenance organization was facing a variety of problems. This resulted in the monthly flying effort of the two locally based Vijay Squadrons being restricted to roughly half the desirable figure. Some of the problems were inadequately trained and experienced technical manpower, shortage of test and ground support equipment and a restricted spares supply line. These problems and others had led to a daunting backlog of 200 hrs inspections at the base Central Repair Servicing Section.

Group Captain Lamba willingly accepted the challenge and set about clearing the backlog of inspections without delay. As a result of his tireless efforts, the locally based fighter squadrons have been able to complete their assigned flying tasks from March 86 onwards without a break.

Group Captain Kuldeep Raj Lamba efforts and achievements have contributed significantly to the restoration of the fighter aircraft fleet based at the Wing to its rightful position of a premier element of the strike force under Western Air Command. In the process, he has made a commendable contribution to the enhancement to the operational preparedness of the base and of the Air Force as a whole.

For his devotion to duty, his technical excellence and his leadership of the Station technical organization, the President is pleased to award Vishisht Seva Medal to Group Captain Kuldeep Raj Lamba.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1988 Number: 

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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