Awards for the year 1989


A total of 65 Awards are listed.
Param Vishist Seva Medal : 4 | Uttam Yudh Seva Medal : 2 | Kirti Chakra : 1 | Ati Vishist Seva Medal : 10 | Vir Chakra : 3 | Yudh Seva Medal : 1 | Vayu Sena Medal : 21 | Vishist Seva Medal : 23 |
Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Prithi Singh 4480 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 89 Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Air Marshal Pirthi Singh was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in 1953. During his distinguished service of 35 years, he has held important command and staff appointments such as Command of the Aircraft and System Testing Establishment, Director Offensive Operations, Director Training, Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Operations) and Deputy Chief of Air Staff at Air Headquarters. He is a graduate of National Defence College.

Air Marshal P Singh is a test pilot who has evaluated advanced supersonic aircraft of widely varying design. As a test pilot he holds the rare distinct having carried out evaluation trials of all combat aircraft presently held in the Air Force Inventory. In 1979, he was appointed Commandant Aircraft System and Testing Establishment where he organised and participated in the testing and development of new equipment. He carried out these tasks successfully and without incurring a single incident involving loss or damage to any aircraft or equipment under development. As Commandant, he had shown extreme devotion and made outstanding contributions to aeronautical development in the country. Due to his initiative, dedication, hard work and foresight, the Test Pilot School at ASTE is rated very high.

As Deputy Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Singh continued to display qualities if extreme dedication and professional excellence. His acumen for planning and dear perception of the long term operational requirements of the Air Force was a strong contributory factor to finalisation of some long term plans.

Air Marshal Pirthi Singh, AVSM, VM & Bar has, thus, rendered distinguished service of the most exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1989 Number: 

Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Mohinder Singh Bawa 4494 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 89 Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Air Marshal Mohinder Singh Bawa was commissioned in the Air Force in April 1953. During his long service career, he has held a variety of command and staff appointments which include the command of one frontline fighter squadron and two major operational bases where he accomplished high rates of aircraft serviceability, enhanced operational preparedness and all round efficiency. He ha also held the assignment of Air Adviser in the Indian High Commission in London, Senior Directing Staff at Defence Services Staff College and Senior Air Staff Officer at one of the operational commands.

In 1979, when in command of a major fighter base in the Western Sector, he created the infrastructure to operate newly acquired fighter bomber aircraft an made the squadron fully operational in the shortest possible time. Air Marshal Bawa's planning skills and dynamism became apparent once again when he was appointed Senior Air Staff Officer of an Operational command.

In his present appointment as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of a operational command, his dynamism, dedication and managerial skills have directly influenced the command's functioning. He has instilled a sense of purpose, pride and dedication in the personnel serving under him.

Air Marshal Mohinder Singh Bawa, AVSM, VM, has, thus, rendered distinguished service of the most exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1989 Number: 

Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air Marshal Gursharan Singh 4263 AEMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 89 Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Air Marshal Gursharan Singh was commissioned in the Air Force on 26 February 1952. Since then he has held a wide variety of command and staff appointments. During his long and distinguished service, he excelled himself not only by professional competence but also outstanding administrative ability. For his outstanding professional abilities, he was selected to undergo the prestigious Cranfield Course in United Kingdom in Aeronautical Science, which he complete with distinction.

During the Indo-Pak Conflict of 1971, his sustained hard work under adverse conditions, resulted in high rate of serviceability of the squadron where he served.

He served as Maintenance Staff Officer of two commands, where he achieved substantial qualitative improvements in maintenance standards. As the Director of Maintenance Plans & Inspection, his methodical, systematic an incisive approach contributed greatly in formulating efficient maintenance planning procedures and servicing schedules for the newly inducted and existing weapon systems. Under his able guidance, an awareness grew in the maintenance organisation of the urgent need to improve the quality of maintenance support while at the same time reducing costs through innovation.

As Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Engineering), despite the immense problems involved, he ensured the smooth induction of new heavy and medium transport aircraft. With his experience in the diverse field of maintenance management, he has streamlined maintenance disciplines and guided his personnel in overcoming the teething troubles associated with the introduction of new weapons systems into the Indian Air Force. Air Marshal Singh has served as Director General of Radar and Communication Project Organisation and has achieved rare distinctions in planning, installation and commissioning of tropo, microwave and radar facilities for the Air Defence Ground Environment System. Through his dedication and untiring effort, he achieved a high state of induction and operationalisation of installations, including those located in far flung areas and inaccessible mountainous terrain.

Air Marshal Gursharan Singh, AVSM VM, VSM has, thus, rendered distinguished service of the most exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1989 Number: 

Param Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Denzil Keelor 4805 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 89 Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Air Vice Marshal Denzil Keelor was commissioned in the Air Force on November 1954 and has held important command and staff appointment including command of a Fighter Squadron, Tactical Air Combat Development Establishment, Air Attaché France and Air Officer Commanding of a fighter base. An outstanding fighter pilot, Air Vice Marshal Keelor qualified as a Pilot Attack Instructor and Fighter Combat Leader and has over 3500 hours of accident-free flying to his credit. He was awarded the Vir Chakra for conspicuous gallantry Indo-Pak Conflict in 1965. In 1978, he was also awarded the Kirti Chakra saving two MiG aircraft under conditions of emergency involving fire in the air. He has commanded the Tactical Air Combat Development Establishment for over four years and helped in developing air combat tactics which are in current use in Indian Air Force.

Air Vice Marshal Keelor whilst functioning as Air Attaché in France, not only projected the image of the Air Force in a superlative manner but also worked great dedication in the acquisition process of the Mirage 2000 aircraft and a equipment. Based on his performance there, he was specially selected for appointment of Air Officer Commanding of the Wing where the Mirage 2000s were based on induction. His achievement and dedication of a high order in completing this project earned him the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal.

As Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Operations) at Air Headquarters, he brought his drive and professional acumen to bear in sharpening the operational capability of the Air Force. His deep understanding of all facets of Air Operations was apparent during the Sri Lanka operations. At very short notice, he was able to plan and effect the massive air induction of IPKF men and their equipment into Sri Lanka, in addition to organising helicopter operations and accomplishing in time the reconnaissance tasks. The success of Air Force operations and the swiftness with which these were carried out clearly indicated a high degree of dynamism, planning and dedication on the part of Air Vice Marshal Keelor. Air Vice Marshal Denzil Keelor, KC, AVSM, VrC has, thus, rendered distinguished service of the most exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1989 Number: 

Uttam Yudh Seva Medal
Air Cmde Man Mohan Singh Vasudeva 6128 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 89 Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Air Commodore Manmohan Singh Vasudeva was detailed to take over the Air Force Cell at the Indian Peace Keeping Force HQ, Madras. Air Cmde Vasudeva did a commendable job in setting up and organising the Air Force Cell within a short period and making it fully operational, inspite of shortage of manpower and insufficient support services available to him.

With considerable diligence and initiative, he successfully created the requisite infrastructure and support services at Jaffna, Trincomalee, Vavuniya and Batticaloa, for operation of transport aircraft, Pratap helicopters and Akbar armed helicopters in support of the IPKF in Sri Lanka. These timely arrangements greatly facilitated the massive induction of troops, tanks and associated fighting equipment of the Indian Army into Sri Lanka.

Air Cmde Vasudeva was responsible for planning and co-ordination of offensive missions by Akbar and missile carrying helicopter and special heliborne missions by Pratap helicopters in support of the IPKF fighting in inhospitable and difficult terrain in Sri Lanka. The success of all the cordon and search operations conducted by the IPKF can be attributed to the timely heli-lift support by Pratap helicopter and the fire cover provided by Akbars and missile carrying helicopters missions, which were personally planned and coordinated by Air Cmde Vasudeva. The battle tested operating procedures worked out by him for offensive missions of helicopter have contributed in achieving maximum mission success, without losing any helicopter or aircraft to the militants' action.

Air Commodore Manmohan Singh Vasudeva, VM thus, rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order during IPKF operation in Sri Lanka.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1989 Number: 

Uttam Yudh Seva Medal
Air Cmde Man Mohan Singh Vasudeva 6128 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 89 Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :
Citation Not Available
Reference:  

Kirti Chakra
Wg Cdr Daljit Singh Minhas 11287 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 05 Apr 88 Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

On the 4th April 1988, Wing Commander Daljit Singh Minhas was flying Hunter Mk 56 aircraft. On the final approach for landing, the aircraft flamed out without warning at the very low and critical height of 200 feet. He realised that he had to eject immediately if he had to have even a very slender chance of survival. Also as a dedicated officer he realised that were he to do so his aircraft would in all probability crash into village Asnabani which was just ahead on the approach. This brave officer chose to stay with the aircraft for a few seconds longer to control it and ensure that the village was safe. He ejected but his aircraft was already too low for any chance of survival.

He would have been fully justified in ejecting from the aircraft to save his life. His deliberate decision to stay with his crippled aircraft and sacrifice his own life rather than risk those of others point to his immense bravery far beyond the call and honour of duty. The supreme sacrifice so deliberately and coolly made by him in a situation of extreme distress and crisis will for ever be an example for others to emulate.

Wing Commander Daljit Singh Minhas, thus displayed conspicuous courage, a high degree of professionalism and sense of duty in grave distress leading to is making the supreme sacrifice, in the finest traditions of the Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India , 8th April 1989 - No.?? - Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Bar to Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Prithvi Singh Brar 6007 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 89 Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Air Commodore Prithvi Singh Brar was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in December, 1960. Since then he has held various flying and command appointments.

During his tenure as Air Officer Commanding of a wing in South Western Sector, there have been remarkable all round improvements, not only in the operational capabilities of all fighting elements at the Station, but also in the quality of life enjoyed by base personnel. The Station provided safe and very highly organized operational environment for the squadrons to operate in.

In the training field, with the innovative ideas and improved training programmes, he was able to fully optimize the man-power resources. To overcome the shortage of qualified officers in the newly raised Pechora Squadron of his Station, he organized specialized training of some selected airmen to perform the duties of Guidance Officers of the Combat Flight. This singular experiment of his has not only ensured the operational availability of the combat flights but has also become an example to other Pechora Squadrons. Air Cmde Brar has involved himself in every activity of the Station. His innovative ideas have resulted in remarkable economy of manpower utilization. Welfare measures introduced in educational, cultural and other fields have brought about a motivational change in the Station.

Air Commodore Prithvi Singh Brar AVSM VM has, thus, rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1989 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Om Prakash Suri 4784 MEDUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 89 Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Air Vice Marshal Om Prakash Suri was commissioned in the Medical Branch of Indian Air Force. A graduate of both Defence Services Staff College and National Defence College, he has also completed all the courses in Aviation Medicine. He holds a Post­Graduate degree in Hospital Administration from Indian Institute of Medical Sciences as well.

Since 1954, he has worked in different capacities both in Air Force and Army with singular distinction. Twice he held staff appointments at Air Headquarters which capacity he carried out planning and liaisoning of Hospital Services in entire Air Force. His organisational skill and foresight in planning was largely responsible in the growth of commendable hospital services. During his stint with Army as Asstt Director of Medical Services with one of the Infantry Divisions and Mountain Divisions, he carried out the health care facilities for the Divisions both during peace and operational situations with exceptional zeal and dedication. He is presently employed as Principal Medical Officer at HQ Training Command. His present tenure is marked by close supervision of Health Care System in respect of all personnel and families and an all­round improvement quality of patient care with increased facilities for investigation and treatment, excellent rapport with civil medical agencies helped immensely in initiating early and timely preventive action for control of communicable diseases. His innovative ideas and pragmatic approach resulted in streamlining medical evacuation procedures particularly those affecting cadets. The expertise he gained in Hospital Administration found full expression in control and supervision of three major hospitals under his command. His expert guidance and advice on matters relating to Aviation Medicine is well sought after resulting in qualitative and quantitative improvement in training at Flying Stations in respect of Aviation Medicine and Flight Safety.

Air Marshal Om Prakash Suri has, thus, rendered distinguished service of exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1989 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Keshava Chandra Sharma 4932 AEMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 89 Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Air Vice Marshal Keshava Chander Sharma was commissioned in the Technical Branch of Indian Air Force on 4 April 1955. An Honours Graduate in Mechanical Engineering, he passed creditably from the Air Force Technical College and has since held important field and staff appointments both command and Air Headquarters.

He has also undergone the post graduate course in Industrial Engineer and Operational Research at Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur and staff course at Defence Services Staff College, Wellington.

In 1972, he was chosen to be on the Directing Staff in the College of Defence Management as Head of Operational Research Department. As Directing Staff, he guided a number of project studies and was acclaimed as an excellent instructor.

In 1980, he took over as Command Engineering Officer at one of operational commands and after a successful tenure of two years, was posted as Deputy Senior Maintenance Staff Officer, Maintenance Command on promotion. In both these appointments, he directed and controlled the technical activities effectively and exhibited his managerial capability and expertise. In 1984, he was posted to Air HQ as Director Maintenance Plans and Inspections. Backed by his knowledge in the field of quantitative management, a number of plans regarding storage and overhaul of aircraft, setting up of Technical Type Training School etc., were finalised.

On promotion to the rank of Air Vice Marshal in 1986, he took over as Director of Engineering and subsequently moved into the post of Assistant Chief of the Air Staff.

He continues to hold the appointment of Assistant Chief of Air Staff and in this assignment, he has displayed a high degree of leadership and astute analytical ability and managerial competence. His contribution in improving the effectiveness of the Soviet fleet and planning and organising the setting up of the overhaul facilities has significantly improved the operational preparedness of the Russian fleet.

Air Vice Marshal Keshava Chander Sharma has, thus, rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1989 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Pratap Rao 5188 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 89 Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Air Vice Marshal Pratap Rao was commissioned in the Air Force on 2 August 1956. Throughout his career spanning over 32 years, he has held number of important field, staff and instructional appointments which include command of an NCC Air Sqn, Air Force Examiner at Air Crew Examining Board, command of a Fighter Squadron, Deputy Director Air Staff Inspection at Air HQrs Military, Naval & Air Attaché at Bangkok and command of two operational air bases. He has also held the post of Planning Officer (Air) in the Department Defence Production in Ministry of Defence. He has flown over 2100 hrs instructional/examining duties on 10 different types of aircraft. He has also participated in 1965 Indo-Pak Conflict. He is a graduate of Defence Services Staff College.

In July 1977, he was specially selected as Deputy Director Air Staff Inspection at Air Headquarters. During this tenure, he formulated inspection guidelines that, even today, form the basis of inspection procedures and standards at Air For operational wings and squadrons.

In February 1986, Air Vice Marshal Rao was appointed as Air Officer Commanding of a fighter air base. Under his leadership, the Maintenance Wing the station was made more efficient and flying effort of the locally based Fighter Squadrons almost doubled as a result of improved aircraft serviceability. The base, thus, attained a very high standard of operational preparedness.

Air Vice Marshal Pratap Rao, VM has thus, rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1989 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Hamid Muhammed Shahul 5461 F(N)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 89 Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Air Commodore Hamid Muhammad Shahul was commissioned in the Indian Air Force on 24 December 1957. In his long career, the Air Officer has held with credit important assignments both at the command and staff levels. He has to his credit a total of 6,100 hrs of flying. He was commended by the Chief of Air Staff for professional zeal and competence in August, 1966. He was specially select to evaluate the Nimrod and the IL 38 maritime aircraft in 1973-74. He has successfully completed National Defence College Course.

During 1980-83 as Station Commander, Air Force Station, Begumpet, he brought about several improvements which resulted in the Station having a record of safe air operations. In March 1985, the Air Officer took over command of Force Station, Tambaram. His significant achievements were introduction semester system for conversion trainees, maintenance of ab­initio pass percentage at around 90% and preparation of fresh syllabi for new aircraft. In the area of administration, his personal involvement resulted in contentment and high morale. He organised the Air Force Sports Festival at Tambaram in 1986 so well that it was highly appreciated by the then Chief of Air Staff.

Air Commodore Hamid Muhammad Shahul, VSM has thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1989 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Manmohan Waman Desa 5524 ACCTUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 89 Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Air Commodore Manmohan Waman Desai was commissioned in the Accounts Branch in June 1958. During his career spanning over thirty years, he held with distinction varied appointments within the branch and outside. He successfully completed the Long Defence Management Course and the National Defence College Course.

On promotion to the rank of Air Commodore in May 1985, he took over as Joint Director of Accounts at Air Headquarters. Immediately on taking over, he applied himself wholeheartedly to the task of improving the accounting services provided to serving and retired Air Force personnel. By his pragmatic and resultgeared approach, backed by excellent professional competence, he undertook and accomplished the task of review and streamlining of the existing accounting procedures contained in various Air Force orders and policy directives, with a view to revamp the way of working and wipe out avoidable irritants. With his originality of approach and eye on professionalism and efficiency, he initiated plans for computerisation of various accounting areas which are now coming to fruition.

He was the pivotal force behind clearance of large outstanding audit objections and huge airlift recoveries.

Air Commodore Manmohan Waman Desai, VSM has, thus, rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1989 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Harjit Singh Ghuman 5692 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 89 Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Air Commodore Harjit Singh Ghuman was commissioned in the Indian Air Force on 29 May 1959. In recognition of his professionalism, at various stages of his career, he has been commended by Air Officer Commanding­in­Chief and Chief of Air Staff and was also awarded Vayu Sena Medal.

After having ably commanded a prestigious operational transport squadron, he was selected and appointed as Air Attaché in Iran where he performed most competently and professionally. On his return in February 1980, he took over as Air Officer Commanding of one of the largest combat wings. The Wing was passing through a very critical phase when Air Cmde Ghuman assumed its stewardship. The Packets were in the process of being phased out and in their place the most modern transport aircraft, the Gajraj and Sutluj, being inducted. The Wing had the twin responsibility of not only creating the necessary infrastructure for full operations of the new aircraft in a very short time but also keeping the old aircraft flying and meeting the operational commitments. Through his personal supervision, meticulous advance planning and timely decisions, the Air Force was able to quickly assimilate the new aircraft and become ready to take on some of the most important airlift operations which the Air Force was called upon to execute.

In 1987, the flying task of the Wing increased manifold due to Sri Lank operations. Under the leadership of Air Commodore Ghuman, immediate step were taken to gear up servicing and maintenance facilities to keep up the temp of airlift operations.

For providing, healthy and adventurous recreation, he was instrumental starting the first Sky Diving Team in the country. The team, named Akash Ganga has already won high praise for the Air Force on each of its displays.

Air Commodore Harjit Singh Ghuman, VM has, thus, rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1989 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Dalip Singh Dahiya 5866 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 89 Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Air Commodore Dalip Singh Dahiya was commissioned in the Indian Air Force on 28 May 1960. As a young pilot, he saw active service in the 1965 Conflict with Pakistan. He qualified as a flying instructor in January 1967 and was sent on deputation to Government of Iraq for two years. He graduated from Defence Services Staff College in December 1973. He commanded Jet Bomber Conversion Unit from February 1976 to July 1977. He was Directing Staff at Defence Services, Staff College for almost 3 ½ years. He has also worked as Joint Planning Staff in the Cabinet Secretariat for three years.

As Officer Commanding Car Nicobar, he was instrumental in converting this staging post to a full fledged flying station capable of day and night operations. During this period, he planned three amphibious exercises in the A & N Islands which have helped in evolving new tactics for such warfare. As a result of his untiring efforts, Car Nicobar can now offer full protection to these far flung territories.

Air Cmde Dahiya took over as Air Officer Commanding of a transport Wing in January 1987. In a short span of 1½ years, he has transformed this station into a fine fighting outfit. Sutluj aircraft based at this Wing has surpassed all previous air maintenance efforts. The Squadron based at the Wing has won the “Best Transport Sqn Trophy" for two consecutive years. The Wing also won the “Best Administered Wing Trophy" for the command for 1987-88. During his tenure, the operational status of aircrew has shown considerable improvement and the Wing has been readied to undertake all tasks at short notice.

Air Commodore Dalip Singh Dahiya has, thus, rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1989 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Vinod Kumar Verma 6528 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 89 Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Air Commodore Vinod Kumar Verma was commissioned in the Air Force in May 1962. An outstanding fighter pilot, he was specially selected to lead the Air Force team undergoing the Advanced Fighter Weapons Course in the USA. His exemplary performance made him a natural choice to be one of the founder members of Tactical Air Combat Development Establishment. During Indo-Pak War in 1965, he brought back a badly crippled aircraft with total disregard to personal safety. For this, he was awarded 'Vayu Sena Medal'.

On assuming command of a fighter squadron, it was his efforts which resulted in the Squadron getting the best Operational Squadron award for two years in succession. After a deputation in Iraq, he took over command of Tactical Air Combat Development Establishment. It was here that he excelled in developing and disseminating fighter tactics countering state of the art air/ground threat scenarios. These tactics are currently in vogue in our fighter squadrons.

During his present appointment in the key Directorate of Operations (Offensive), initially as the Joint Director and currently as the Director, he has been actively associated with all aspects of the formulation and execution of Op Plans and other allied matters. He has been instrumental in conceiving, planning and coordinating major Air Force exercise that was conducted flawlessly for the very first time in the country, covering all gamut of air operations.

Air Commodore Vinod Kumar Verma, VM has, thus, rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1989 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Philip Rajkumar 6748 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 89 Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Air Commodore Philip Rajkumar was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in November 1962. During his career, span of 26 years, he has held various appointments both in the field and at higher formations. These include command of a fighter squadron and fighter wing as also various tenures as a Test Pilot. During the Indo-Pak War inl965, he was awarded Mention­in­Despatches and later in 1976 he was awarded the Vayu Sena Medal for his contribution to Flight Testing.

Trained as Test Pilot in France, he was appointed as OC, Test Pilots' School and later as Chief Test Pilot at Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE). During his tenure as OC Test Pilots School, he was assigned the responsibility of running two ad hoc courses for training Flight Test Instrumentation Engineers and Flight Test Engineers at ASTE. On taking over as the Chief Test Pilot, he continued to steer the ad hoc courses to successful completion.

In his capacity as Chief Test Pilot at ASTE, he has effectively coordinated the activities AVSM 1989-90 of the Flight Test Squadron and the Maintenance Wing of ASTE to achieve an unprecedented increase in the trial work load, thus, providing a much needed boost to various indigenous development programmes. It was at his behest that Armament Research and Development Establishment developed 250 kg. counter weight bomb which will result in significant cost savings during annual squadron armament training. He also guided and successfully steered large number of weapons and systems integration programmes thereby enhancing the operational capability of front line aircraft of the IAF. He has also bee instrumental in a major avionics update programme of a front line fighter aircraft reaching its final operational standard.

Air Commodore Philip Rajkumar, VM has, thus, rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1989 Number: 

Vir Chakra
Wg Cdr Chandra Dutt Upadhyay 11336 F(P)Unit : No.118 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 19 Oct 87 Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Wing Commander Chandra Datt Upadhyay was deployed as ‘Type Force Commander’ of the Pratap Fleet of Indian Air Force Element of Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka from the 19th October, 1987 to 3rd November 1987, when the IPKF was engaged in fierce battle with Tamil Militants for control of Jaffna town.

On the 19th October, 1987 and again on the 20th October, 1987, Wing Commander Upadhaya carried out sorties to take urgent rations, petrol, oil and ammunition for the advancing Army columns and evacuate casualties. He carried out the mission by landing on an open field which was under fire from all sides.

On the 21st October, 1987, a single helicopter special mission of para commando was dropped at Achuvail and then para commandos and prisoners were picked up from Puttur West. During take off from the ground at Puttur West, his helicopter was fired at by the militants by machine gun & rockets. One rocket damaged the trailing edge of a rotor blade, causing severe vibration. The helicopter went out of control and started descending rapidly. Wing Commander Upadhyay showing great professional skill controlled the helicopter only a few feet above the ground and turned back and landed the stricken helicopter in the same field. All the passengers and crew took shelter in ditches and once the crossfire ceased, he inspected the helicopter. Since the damage was very light, he restarted the helicopter, boarded the passengers and managed to fly it back at low speed to the airfield, thus saving valuable lives and a helicopter.

Wing Commander Chandra Datt Upadhaya thus displayed exceptional professional skill, extreme devotion to duty and courage in the face of the militants in Sri Lanka.

Reference: Gazette of India , 8th April 1989 - No.23 - Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Vir Chakra
Flt Lt Nicodemus Manohar Samuel 17449 F(P)Unit : No.109 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 22 Jun 88 Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

On the 22nd June, 1988, Flight Lieutenant Nicodemus Manohar Samuel was detailed for a special task involving winching down of IPKF reconnaissance party in the most difficult and thickly vegetated terrain in Mullaitivu area in Sri Lanka. This operation involved hovering over an area which was expected to be infested with hard core militants. During the execution of this mission, his helicopter came under heavy ground fire from the surrounding area. However, with utmost dedication and total disregard to personal safety, Flight Lieutenant Samuel continued to hover till the recce party was retrieved by winching. In the resultant ground fire, the helicopter sustained extensive damage and some of the crew members and the troops on board were injured. In spite of being subjected to heavy ground fire, Flight Lieutenant Samuel kept his cool and continued to fly his helicopter in the damaged condition till his mission was completed. He also displayed excellent airmanship by correctly assessing the damage caused to the helicopter and flying this crippled machine safely to the nearest helipad, thereby avoiding further damage to his helicopter and also to render immediate medical aid to the injured troops/crew.

In the whole operation, Flight Lieutenant Nicodemus Manohar Samuel showed courage and professional skill of extremely high order, with total disregard to personal safety in the face of the militants.

Reference: Gazette of India , 8th April 1989 - No.23 - Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Vir Chakra
Flt Lt Abdul Naseer Hanfee 16077 F(P)Unit : No.128 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 08 Apr 89 Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

On the 23rd September 1987, Flight Lieutenant Abdul Naseer Hanfee was launched in Siachen area to assist the Army. Taking off in a short time, he immediately undertook the much-needed Army support missions in the area. At a time when all our forward posts were under attack by enemy and the demand for ammunition and other logistic support came up, Flight Lieutenant Hanfee rose to the occasion and accepted the challenge. Flying from sunrise to sunset in marginal weather conditions with frequent snow blizzards and white out conditions and frequent enemy shelling of the posts, he achieved 14 to 15 sorties a day for three continuous days, with total disregard to him personal safety. He single handedly managed to provide the much-needed logistic support for two days, which was a big morale booster for the troops in Siachen Glacier area, fighting the enemy a hostile terrain.

In a restricted area where the guns were required to fire continuously to meet the enemy challenge, he also showed exceptional professionalism by evacuating 38 casualties in a single day from the area which was in the close proximity of enemy posts with undue disregard to his personal safety.

Thus, Flight Lieutenant Abdul Naseer Hanfee exhibited high degree of professional skill and courage in the face of the adversary.

Reference: Gazette of India , 8th April 1989 - No.23 - Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Yudh Seva Medal
Flt Lt Vidya Sagar Bharati 16611 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 89 Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Vidyasagar Bharti (16611) F (P) is posted t a helicopter unit as staff pilot since Dec 86. The Officer, while officiating as Flight Commander showed excellent organizing ability in consistently accomplishing the massive goals. He carried out versatile flying missions with great efficiency.

On 20 Jul 87, the unit was assigned a task to position two helicopters at Sulur for impending Sri Lanka Operations. The helicopters reached Bombay on 21st evening. On 22 Jul enroute weather between Bombay to Goa was of low clouds, rain and low visibility. Realising the Importance and urgency of mission, the officer took judicious risk and flew through this weather in patches of nil visibility and positioned the helicopter at Sulur on time. In Sri Lanka, the officer showed exceptional skill, mental and physical endurance and remained on alert for 40 days and successfully carried out 102 missions by day and 4 missions by night. On the evening of 7th Nov. 87 while on a special Heliborne operation mission to Marathama to Marathama madam, the helicopter being Captained by Flt Lt Bharti came under heavy rebel fire. Despite being aware of the battle damage to the helicopter and being aware of the hazards, Flt Lt Bharti continued and accomplished the mission at grave personal risk by sheer courage and dedication of duty.

Flt Lt Bharti repeatedly showed selfless devotion to service, exemplary courage and professional excellence in keeping with the highest traditions of the Air Force. For his outstanding efforts and achievements and distinguished service of an exceptional order, the President is pleased to award Yuddh Seva Medal to Flt Lt Bharti.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1989 Number: 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Gp Capt Brijendra Mohan Bali 8438 F(P)Unit : No.102 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Group Captain Brijendra Mohan Bali (8438) Flying (Pilot) is posted as the officer commanding of a fighter Reconnaissance Squadron since Sep 86.

He has over 3400 hrs of flying to his credit. He is graduate of Defence Service Staff College and has vast experience of staff and operational appointments. He had taken part in 1965 and 1971 indo-Pak conflict and had flown a number of Air Defence Close Support and Counter Air Operational missions.

To ensure his effectiveness in the Squadron, he converted himself onto the new type of aircraft and attained fully operational status within two months as against a normal time frame of six months. Through meticulous planning and personal involvement he raised the performance of his squadron to unprecedented levels not withstanding the constraints of manpower and equipment. During his tenure the Squadron had been tasked for maximum operational deployment.

During 1987-88, he personally led several photo reconnaissance and Elint Missions deep into operational areas with significant results. Gp Capt Bali and his Sqn undertook these missions with total disregard of the inherent risks and thus provided invaluable information for ensuring national security.

For his professionalism, exceptional qualities of keenness, determination and a very high degree of leadership displayed by him in the face of enemy, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to GP Capt BM Bali.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd April 1988 - No.39-Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Ranjit Kumar Pal 8666 F(P)Unit : No.11 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Group Captain Ranjit Kumar Pal (8666) Flying (Pilot) took over the command of a transport squadron on 26 May 86. He has held Transport aircrew category and instrument rating A/Master Green since Sep 73 and is at present command examiner for Chitra aircraft of an Operational command.

He has on several occasions captained aircraft carrying VVIPs and VIPs including visiting head of states. During this tenure he flew 955 hrs on TU-124 and 3073 hrs on HS - 748 aircraft.

As Commanding Officer of the transport squadron since May 86, GP Capt Pal motivated all his offices and airmen to achieve all round improvement. A keen flier himself, the officer has set an excellent personal example for his subordinates to emulate.

Under Gp Capt Pal's Stewardship the Squadron achieved a service ability state which is higher than the average fleet serviceability of the IAF for Chitra aircraft. The Squadron achieved 100% serviceability for a total of 36 days. During "OPERATION PAWAN" the unit flew a total of 967 hours from Jul to Dec 87.

Gp Capt Pal's able leadership also resulted in the Squadron winning the second position in the Command for the flight Safety achievements in 1987-88. During the same period the Squadron was adjudged the second best transport squadron of the command.

For his continued professional competence and extreme devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Gp Capt Ranjit Kumar Pal.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd April 1988 - No.39-Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Avtar Singh 9040 F(P)Unit : Aviation Researc Center  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Wing Commander Avtar Singh (9040) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force on 25 Dec 64. He flew a total of 5427 hours during his service career of which 3042 hours were on AN-12 aircraft alone. During his flying career, Wing Commander Avtar Singh operated over treacherous terrains both in the Ladakh and in the Eastern Sector in difficult weather conditions.

Wing Commander Avtar Singh was posted to the Aviation Research Centre on deputation on 06 May 86. On 08 Mar 88 while Captain-in-command of an AN-12 aircraft, No. 3 engine caught fire shortly after take off. He demonstrated professional skill of an extremely high order in handling the emergency. As shown by recorded evidence on tape, he maintained his usual calm throughout and provided necessary guidance to his crew to fight the fire which was engulfing the aircraft. Though the aircraft was in a very critical state it was entirely due to his leadership that the crew continued to operate as a cohesive team without any trace of panic. For reasons beyond the control of the Captain and the crew the starboard wing of the aircraft disintegrated and the aircraft crashed on approached only about 5 nautical miles from the runway killing all on board the aircraft.

In recognition of his past professio- nal record, his excellent professional skill and the leadership provided by him to his crew under very adverse circumstances in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wing Commander Avtar Singh posthumously.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd April 1988 - No.39-Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Biswajit Mukerjee 10885 F(P)Unit : No.20 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Wing Commander Biswajit Mukerjee (10885) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Air Force on 04 Jan 67. He is a fighter pilot and a qualified flying instructor with approximately 3500 hours of accident free flying to his credit.

He took over the command of Thunder Bolts Squadron in Jul 85. With determined effort, within a short time, he was able to make the entire squadron fully proficient in its operational tasks in the Siachen and Leh areas and was also able to maintain a fully operational permanent detachment of Hunter aircraft at the high altitude Leh airfield for two years. In spite of the Units aircraft almost 30 years old, Squadron attained 100% serviceability of its aircraft during 1986 due to his sustained efforts.

In the formation aerobatic role, Wg Cdr Mukherjee with his inspired leadership, constant training, practice and close personal involvement, built up a composite 9 aircraft team. During the period, the team demonstrated their professionalism and competence in carrying out precision formation aerobatic flying with split second manoeuveres in a number of displays throughout the country.

For his exceptional devotion to duty, total dedication, excellent leadership and professional competence, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wg Cdr Biswajit Mukherjee.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd April 1988 - No.39-Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Sudhir Sah 11648 F(P)Unit : No.111 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Wing Commander Sudhir Sah (11648) Flying (Pilot) is the Commanding Officer of a helicopter Squadron since 07 Dec 87. On 29 Jun 88, Wg Cdr Sudhir Sah was tasked for casualty evacuation of Mrs. Kirti Bala Elies, a pilgrim of Kailash Mansarovar yatra from Tukhlaket, the Tibet region of China. However, owing to continuous bad weather till 07 Jul 77 several attempts for the evacuation proved futile. The weather showed slight improvement on 08 Jul 88. By then the pilgrims had started their return journey and Wg Cdr Sah was informed that Mrs. Elias, who was carried on a stretcher, would be crossing the Lipulekh pass, at a height of approximately 17000 above sea level, on the Sino-Indian border at about 1130 hours. Wg Cdr Sah took off in a Cheetah with Wg Cdr NK Upadhayay as his co-pilot and reconnoitered the Lipulekh pass area to find a suitable place to land. However, owing to steep gradient and extremely hostile terrain the helicopter could not be landed. Keeping in view the nature of injuries received by Mrs. Elias, Wg Cdr Sudhir Sah displaying exceptional professional skill and perfect crew coronation and understanding brought the helicopter to hover above the ground. He then asked his co­pilot to jump out of the helicopter and help the casualty with the assistance of other pilgrims. Such a task demands thorough competence, skilful handling and above all, courage. Evacuation of Mrs. Kirti Bala Elias is yet another land mark in the history of the Indian Air Force.

For his exemplary courage, selfless devotion to duty and display of exceptional professional skill in the finest traditions of the Air Force, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wg Cdr. Sudhir Sah.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd April 1988 - No.39-Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Vishwanathan Pasupathi 10887 F(P)Unit : No.47 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Wing Commander Vishwanathan Pasupathi (10887) Flying (Pilot) was posted as the Officer Commanding of a fighter squadron with effect from 05 Mar 86. The Squadron was then equipped with Badal aircraft and Located in Eastern Sector. The Squadron was subsequently selected to convert into Baaz aircraft in Oct 86 and he was retained as the officer commanding.

On his return from the USSR in Mar 87, he planned and executed move of the Squadron from Eastern Sector to South Western Sector in such a smooth and professional manner that the Squadron was able to commence acceptance of Baaz aircraft from Base Depot in a short period of less than a month. In spite of the fact that all the Standard Operating Procedures and training syllabi had to be prepared under his supervision, he was able to bring up the operational status of the Squadron to a state wherein the first detachment for operational trials could be successfully moved out to another wing.

Under his dynamic leadership the Squadron continued its operational training including integrated training with Vajra, Vikram and Shamsher aircraft.

Wg Cdr Vishwanathan Pasupathi, as the first commanding officer of a Baaz Squadron, was greatly responsible for smooth induction of this modern and high performance interceptor in the IAF and subsequent achievements of the Squadron which were attained without any serious accident.

For his sincere and hard work, dedication to service and professional excellence, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wg Cdr Viswanathan Pasupathi.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd April 1988 - No.39-Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Harjeet Singh Sodhi 11663 F(P)Unit : Indian Scientific Expedit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Wing Commander Harjeet Singh Sodhi (11663) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Air Force on 02 Jun 68 and has carried our more than 5000 hrs of incident/accident free flying.

Considering his exceptional flying performance and effective organizing capabilities as a member of the sixth Indian Scientific expedition to Antarctica, he was selected to lead the IAF team for the Seventh Indian Scientific expedition.

During the expedition, in spite of bad weather the team's flying effort made the Air Force proud by air-lifting 322 tons of load in a record flying effort. Out of the total 156 hrs, Wg Cdr Sodhi alone flew 117 hrs. He carried out all the marginal weather flying himself thus establishing a record not only for himself but showed his subordinates to do the job in the best traditions of service. He brought distinction and honour to the Armed Forces.

For consistently exhibiting excellent professionalism, dedication and devotion to duty under challenging and uncertain conditions and carrying out tasks beyond the call of duty, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wg Cdr Harjeet Singh Sodhi.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd April 1988 - No.39-Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Avdesh Kumar Singh 11005 F(P)Unit : No.5 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Wing Commander Avdesh Kumar Singh (11005) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Air Force on 4 June 67. He was one of the six qualified flying instructors of transport aircraft background, who were selected to convert into fighter aircraft in 1980, he was selected to fly Jaguars which where than the latest aircraft in the inventory of the Air Force Later he took over the Command of a Jaguar Squadron in Jul 86. In spite of manpower constraints the Squadron flew a total of 5000 hrs during his tenure and for the first time since the re equipment of the Squadron with the Jaguar aircraft, over 3000 hrs were flown in a single year.

During Sri Lanka Operation he mounted a detachment at Bangalore at a very short notice and personally flew ten operational fighter Reconnaissance missions over Sri Lanka during "OP Pawan". Throughout, he has led the Squadron from the front by his personal example. He has so far flown 1300 hrs on the Jaguar and his total flying is 4800 hrs all of which is tonally accident free.

For his professional competence, sound leadership, devotion to duty, sustained hard work and his contribution towards enhancement of flight safety and operational efficiency, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wg Cdr Avdesh Kumar Singh.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd April 1988 - No.39-Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Harish Masand 11272 F(P)Unit : No.28 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Wing Commander Harish Masand, VrC (11272) Flying (Pilot) has been the Commanding Officer of a fighter squadron since Jul 86 when the Squadron moved to a new location for conversion on the Baaz aircraft.

During the move of the Squadron and till the squadron received its aircraft in early Oct 87, Wg Cdr Masand's sense of responsibility, devotion to duty and loyalty to the service were once again high­lighted in a major Command exercise in which the Squadron participated within four months of its formation. Despite the inexperience of the personnel and operation from a number of bases the Squadron's performance in the air and on ground was exemplary.

Despite his limited experience on type, he was specially chosen for displaying the performance of the aircraft. Wg Cdr Masand met this commitment with his characteristic Zeal, initiative and skill.

For his exemplary devotion to duty, loyalty, leadership and personal example, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wg Cdr Harish Masand.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd April 1988 - No.39-Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Pramod Kumar Mehra 11581 F(P)Unit : No.32 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Wing Commander Pramod Kumar Mehra (11581) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Air Force in May 68. In 1985 he attended a Test Pilot course where in he stood second. In 1976, he had undergone Attack Pilot Flying Instructor's course and stood first in the course. He is also an experimental Test Pilot from Aircraft and System Testing Establishment Bangalore and he stood first in this course also.

Till date Wg Mehra has got 3430.00 hrs on twenty different types of aircraft to his credit and has totally accident free personal flying record.

In June 86, he took over command of a fighter Squadron. By his leadership, dedication and hard work he has brought laurels to the Squadrons. It is noteworthy that one junior pilot of the rank of pilot officer was made fully operational within 7 month of his commencing flying. It is an exceptional achievement by every standard.

During 1986-87 the Squadron was declared Winner of the HAL trophy for best performance Squadron HAL build aircraft. During 1987, the Squadron won the over all championship for Inter Squadron Armament meet in an operational Air Command. During this Armament meet, Wg Cdr Mehra personally led the Gunnery and Rocketry events and in both these events the teams stood first.

For his exceptional leadership professional competence of a very high order and dedication to his work, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wg Cdr Pramod Kumar Mehra.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd April 1988 - No.39-Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Prakash Prahalad Dani 12214 F(P)Unit : No.52 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Wing Commander Prakash Pralhad Dani (12214) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Air Force in Dec 69. He took over Command of a fighter Squadron on promotion, Nov 86.

The Squadron had been inspected by directorate of Air Staff Inspection in Jun 86, and was declared "Non Operational". On assuming Command of the Squadron, he accepted this poor inheritance as a challenge and directed his total attention towards the all round upliftment of the unit performance Under his able leadership the training of pilots was conducted and supervised in a highly systematic and professional manner. The overall operational capability of the Squadron was assessed by Inspection team in Nov. 87 and the Squadron was awarded an 'Average Plus' overall grading. This was the third Squadron in Air Force to be assessed as such in the last two years. This success of converting a "Non Ops" Squadron to one of the best Squadrons of the year could be attributed to his professional involvement.

The Squadron was assigned an additional task of training newly commissioned pilots since January. 87. The complete training till date was carried out well within the stipulated time frame for each course. Under his guidance all the trainee pilots were declared 'Fully Operational' and were rated 'White'.

For his professional skill and dedicated hard work, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wing Commander Prakash Pralhad Dani.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd April 1988 - No.39-Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Devender Jeet Singh Kler 11855 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 20 Jun 87 Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Sqn Ldr Devender Jeet Singh Kler (11855) Flying (Pilot) has been on the posted strength of a fighter Squadron since Apr 80.

On 20 Jun 87, he was authorized to carry out a live Rocket Projectile sortie on Ajeet over Dudhkundi range. After an uneventful sortie, while coming into landing, he observed that the throttle could not be reduced as the throttle lever had become free. He operated the throttle lever to obtain some response from the engine but in the process, the RPM rose to 100% and thereafter remanded at this rating despite repeated movements of the throttle lever resulting in loss of control on speed of aircraft. Faced with this critical emergency and with very little endurance left, Sqn Ldr Kler was felt with only two options either to eject or recover the aircraft with a dead stick landing. Judging the situation correctly and having full faith in his professional skill built assiduously by practicing various emergencies over the years, he decided to opt for a dead stick landing even though, slight error in its execution entailed a grave risk to his life.

Sqn Ldr DJS Kler handled this critical emergency in an exemplary manner. Ajeet aircraft is known for its difficult handling characteristics and has resulted in accidents, many of them fatal, under such trying conditions. He displayed great professional skill, fine judgment and airmanship of the highest order. His devotion to duty is in the finest traditions of our service where in he saved a valuable combat aircraft even though this entailed grave risk to his won life.

For his professional skill, fine judgment, airmanship of a high order and efficient handling of a grave emergency, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Sqn Ldr Devender Jeet Singh Kler.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd April 1988 - No.39-Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Anil Chopra 13368 F(P)Unit : No.1 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Squadron Leader Anil Chopra (13368) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a fighter Squadron.

The officer was on amongst the initial batch of pilots to be trained in France on Vajara aircraft in the Squadron he has been a senior supervisor initially and later a Flight Commander. His vast experience and knowledge as a Qualified flying instructor, Test Pilot and an Instrument Rating Examiner was utilized in formulating operating procedures, tactics and aircraft utilization doctrines. He was specifically assigned the task of carrying out in-depth study of aircraft avionics and to formulate Air Defence Standard Operating procedures.

The Officer was selected to undergo Electronic Warfare Operational Course aboard. On return he was assigned the task of flight Commander Electronic Warfare. As the Flight Commander he was assigned the task of inducting and carrying out efficiency trials of the most sophisticated and High Tech Electronic Warfare Equipment in to Electronics Warfare were formulated. He imparted efficient training to other pilots in the Squadron.

For his professional ability, exceptional leadership qualities, managerial skills and devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Squadron Leader Anil Chopra.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd April 1988 - No.39-Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Rajender Khurana 13377 F(P)Unit : No.106 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Squadron Leader Rajendra Khurana (13377) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Air Force on 02 Jun 75 and is on the posted strength of a Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron since 25 Nov 85.

He has 3150 hours of total flying to his credit of which 1850 hrs are operational flying on Canberra aircraft. He is functioning as the Flight Commander of Canberra Flight. During Aug 87, when there were certain indications of enemy intentions in Siachen area, he was called upon to plan and execute Photo reconnaissance mission over the area. Using his thorough knowledge in the field of Photo Reconnaissance operations combined with past experience of coordinating missions involving different types of aircraft, Sqn Ldr Khurana planned Photo Reconnaissance missions with great zeal and dedication. Of the 22 sorties flown for the purpose of planning and execution of these missions, two were flown over the operational area.

The information obtained from these missions was so valuable for our Army element in the field and at Headquarters that it was widely appreciated by the senior Army and Air Force Commanders directly involved with Siachen Operations.

For his exceptional and exemplary professional standards and fearless flying in the face of enemy, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Squadron Leader Rajendra Khurana.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd April 1988 - No.39-Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Kamal Kant Dwivedi 14105 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Squadron leader Kamal Kant Dwivedi (14105) Flying (Pilot) has been on the posted strength of a fighter Squadron since 16 Jun 86. He is a fully operational pilot, a supervisor and the Squadron Pilot Attack Instructor with 120 hrs on Vikram aircraft and 1600 hrs of total service flying.

On 22 Jul 87 on completion of a successful practice interception sortie while turning on to base leg for a landing a screw which was flying loose inside the fuselage got lodged in the control system of his aircraft causing severe restriction in the fore and aft movement of the control column. As against maximum upward deflection of 28º of the tail plane and 18-20º required for a normal round off and touchdown, he had only 6º available to him. Fully aware of and yet totally unruffled by this very serious handicap, he very skillfully controlled the aircraft on the finals by intelligent use of power and airbrakes and executed a safe landing there by averting a major catastrophe not only for himself and his aircraft but also for civilians and their property around the airfield.

For the tremendous calmness and composure shown under severe stress, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Squadron Leader Kamal Kant Dwivedi.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd April 1988 - No.39-Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Vayu Sena Medal
Flt Lt Adarsh Vir 16236 F(P)Unit : 181 Flight  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Adarsh Vir (16236) Flying (Pilot) has been on the posted strength of one of the Air Force Flights since 17 Oct 86.

On 17 Mar 88 he was the captain of a Chitra aircraft on an operational sortie. On completion of the task and during the prelanding checks he noticed that the starboard main wheel indication remained 'RED'. On visual inspection it was found that though the undercarriage doors were partially open the main wheel remained up. He carried out the emergency actions to lower the undercarriage. However, the starboard undercarriage failed to come down.

Flt Lt Vir was instructed to burn up fuel and execute a two wheel landing at an alternate base to prevent a major international field from being blocked. Flt Lt Vir was airborne for more than four hours after the declaration of emergency. During this period he briefed each of his crew members on landing procedures, feathered the starboard engine and made a perfect approach leading to a smooth land ing. He held the aircraft in firm control and kept the starboard wing up till it became aerodynamically impossible. These actions were primarily responsible for the aircraft sustaining the barest minimum damage. He has 1930 hours of total service flying of which only 230 hours are on Chitra as Captain. Despite his limited experience he displayed exemplary airmanship and professional skill of a very high order in handling the emergency thus keeping the damage to the Airframe and engines to the minimum.

For his professional skill, cool competence in the face of a grave emergency and his exemplary airmanship, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Flt Lt. Adarsh Vir.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd April 1988 - No.39-Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Fg Offr M R Anand 18257 F(P)Unit : No.109 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 22 Jun 88 Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Flying Officer MR Anand (18257) Flying (Pilot) of a helicopter unit has flown over three hundred and fifty five sorties in Op Pawan till date. Most of these missions involved operating over inhospitable terrain and under the most trying operational conditions.

On 27 Jun 88, Fg Offr Anand was detailed as co-pilot for an important but highly dangerous task in the jungle areas south of Alampil, where active ground operations were in progress, However, during the execution of this vital task, the helicopter was hit by ground fire, in which of Fg Offr Anand also sustained minor injuries. Unmindful of it all, this officer in the best traditions of the Air Force, continued with the mission and ably assisted his Captain in dealing with the situation and recovering the helicopter at the closest helipad without further damage to his helicopter or injury to the troops.

Despite his relative inexperience and injury, Fg Offr Anand displayed courage, determination and professionalism of the highest order.

Fg Offr Anand, during his tenure in the Op Pawan area, has always accepted willingly and cheerfully and mission assigned to him.

For his courage in the face of enemy, determination and display of professionalism under operational conditions, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Fg Offr MR Anand.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd April 1988 - No.39-Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Vayu Sena Medal
WO Raja Ram Yadav 271557 ORUnit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

271557 Warrant Officer Raja Ram Yadav Flight Gunner is on the posted strength of a helicopter unit Air Force with effect from 24 Feb 86. He is fully operational on Mi-8 and Mi-17 Helicopters and has flown a total of 2500 hours during his brief flying career.

WO RR Yadav is one of the first Flight Gunners posted to the unit on its formation. WO Yadav with his intense zeal and enthusiasm quickly took over as the Flight Gunner leader of a newly formed helicopter unit.

WO Yadav has the rare experience of flying over 600 sorties on the Saichen Glacier. He has been associated with most of the important dropping / landing trials in OpMeghdoot area.

The unit took active part in various Special Heliborne Operation exercises and undertook famous rescue operation like Zojila and many others in J & K and WO Yadav was detailed by name to be crew member on these high risk operations. His performance has been extremely praiseworthy on these missions. WO Yadav has been responsible for saving lives of two seriously ill Belgium ladies, who where rescued during the Zojila tragedy of Nov 86. He saved those ladies by giving them much needed oxygen by depriving himself of the oxygen while flying at the height of 15000 feet. This itself speaks for his personal conduct and selfless attitude.

For his exemplary dedication, professionalism and devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Warrant Officer Raja Ram Yadav.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd April 1988 - No.39-Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Vayu Sena Medal
WO Himmat Singh  Kundal 258738 ORUnit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

285738 Warrant Officer Himmat Singh Kundal Flight Gunner, is on the posted strength of a helicopter unit, AF since 01 Dec 85. He has an excellent record as a flight gunner and has flown over 2500 hrs in various roles like logistic support, heliborne operation, armament and VVIP commitments. He had also been commended by Chief of the Air Staff in Jan 84 for the professional competence and devotion to duty.

WO Himmat Singh was selected as a flight gunner with the Air Force team for the 6th Antarctica expedition. During the expedition, as a senior flight gunner, he was responsible for the entire loading operations of the helicopters. Undeterred by the inclement weather he worked untiringly for long hours and helped the expedition scientists in transporting their loads from ship to various sites which often called working beyond the normal call of duty.

Out of 140 hours flown by Pratap helicopter at Antarctica, WO Himmat Singh flew 130 hours. Due to his personal example, capacity for sustained hard work and methodical approach, he established harmonious and affective support among the team members, which had direct bearing on the output of the AF team.

For exceptional flying skill, devotion to duty and dedication to service, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Warrant Officer Himmat Singh.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd April 1988 - No.39-Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sgt Balwinder Singh 641079 ORUnit : Indian Scientific Expedit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

641079 Sergeant Balwinder Singh Engine Fitter was enrolled in the IAF as an engine technician on 18 Jan 72 and has got 16 years of meritorious service to his credit. He has been working on Pratap Helicopter for eight years and for his exceptional record he was posted to Base Repair Depot as a Supervisor.

For his Superior technical knowledge and exemplary performance, Sgt Balwinder Singh was selected for the Seventh Scientific Expedition to Antarctica. During the expedition, the used his knowledge in guiding and supervising the activities of engine maintenance in a systematic and efficient manner. With his dogged determination initiative and untiring zeal he made sure that the turn round servicing and refueling was kept to bare minimum to avoid loss of most valuable flying time on ground.

During the expedition consistent bad weather spell resulted in accumulation of snow in the engine. The task of cleaning the engine and the cowling every day required mammoth effort and work. This towering challenge was taken up by Sgt Balwinder Singh and he worked day and night on aircraft to save the pipeline and other engine parts from deterioration.

He ensured successful completion of the task and made the helicopter ready for flying within hours. It was due to his determination and hard work that valuable sorties could go through to replenish the stores.

For his hard work, determination and exceptional professional ability, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Sgt Balwinder Singh.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd April 1988 - No.39-Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Cpl Venumadhavan Talappil 668428 ORUnit : Indian Scientific Expedit  Award Date 22 Jun 88 Announced 26 Jan 89
Details : 658428 Corporal Venumadhavan Talappil Airframe Fitter was enrolled in the Indian Air Force as an Air Force technician on 20 May 76 and has been working on Pratap helicopters for the last ten years.

A young, energetic, hard working and dedicated airman who for his outstanding performance was selected for Seventh Scientific Expedition to Antarctica. He possesses remarkable qualities of dealing with problems and during the expedition he made commendable contribution towards the creditable performance of the Air Force Contingent.

Due to heavy blizzard, accumulation of snow on the Airframe was great hindrance to servicing and the removal of hardened snow was an extra burden on Airframe tradesman. During one blizzard with winds gusting up to 100 knots and ambient temperature dropping to -10°C, Cpl Venu went on check on the helicopter. With his ever observant eye he noticed a locking pin from one of the control locks had come out and the blade had started flapping viciously. Cpl Venu realized that the blade would be damaged if the control lock was not put back immediately, put himself to the task. After a great struggle, he managed to put the lock in position thereby saving the blade from complete damage. This act of part of Cpl Venu was shining example of his courage and devotion to duty.

For his initiative, courage, hard work and complete dedication to service, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Corporal Venumadhavan Talappil.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd April 1988 - No.39-Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Sudarshan Kumar Nijhawan 6223 AE(M)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 89 Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Group Captain Sudershan Kumar Nijhawan (6223) Aeronautical Engineering (Mechanical) has been on the posted strength of a transport wing and is working as Chief Engineering Officer since 01 Apr 87. Within 17 days of his taking over as Chief Engineering Officer, there was a serious belly landing accident of AN-32 aircraft on one of the Advanced Landing Grounds and the runway was blocked. Group Captain Nijhawan collected his men, materials and landed at the Advance Landing Ground. Without and loss of time, he started the operation and by working round the clock, against adverse weather conditions, could remove the aircraft and cleared the runway for flying within the shortest possible time.

On 13 Feb 88 there was another serious landing accident at another Landing Ground in which nose section, including nose undercarriage of an aircraft was extremely damaged. Gp Capt Nijhawan developed and manufactured special trusses in the Station Workshop for supporting track jack so that the aircraft could be removed to another safe location to clear the runway for normal operations of Sutluj aircraft.

For his dedication to duty and professional skill and hard work, the President is pleased to award Vishisht Seva Medal to Gp Capt Sudarshan Kumar Nijhawan.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1989 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Ramesh Singh Sehgal 6792 F(N)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 89 Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Group Captain Ramesh Singh Sehgal (6792) F (N) was commissioned in Nov 1962. Since then he has held various flying assignments and has 4771 hrs of flying experience of his credit.

In May 1986, as the Star Sapphire radar at his unit had become obsolete, a new radar was allotted as replacement for this urgent operational requirement. However, Radar Communication Project Office, the erection agency, felt that in view of the mountainous road, the trailer mounted radar shelters and other heavy equipment could not be moved to the unit. Since the operational requirement was most urgent, Gp Capt Sehgal, judging this situation correctly, took upon himself the task of transportation of the radar from the valley to hills and installing it on top of tower.

Group Captain Sehgal surveyed the entire length of the road and in close cooperation and coordination with the civil engineers moved all the trailers to the radar site on schedule. Thus, a project which would have taken approximately two years and cost the exchequer millions of rupees was ready in 3½ months with no cost to the state.

For his exemplary leadership, resourcefulness, innovation and uncasing efforts, the President is pleased to award Vishisht Seva Medal to Gp Capt Sehgal.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1989 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Avinash Chander Chopra 7604 F(P)Unit : Southern Air Command  Award Date 26 Jan 89 Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Group Captain Avinash Chander Chopra, VM (7604) Flying (Pilot) has been posted as Air-II at Headquarters Southern Air Command for the last three years.

As Air-II, Gp Capt AC Chopra is responsible for planning coordinating and executing of transport and helicopter operations in the geographical jurisdiction of HQ SAC.

Sometimes in May 87 it became apparent that large scale transport/helicopter operations will be required in Sri Lanka. The officer was entrusted with this task and he worked diligently to achieve the requisite infrastructure to support such large scale envisaged operations. Facilities were crated at Thanjavur and Trichurapally. These two locations were such where no Air Force elements existed. His efforts enabled the initial induction and operations of large scale helicopter and transport operations in a very satisfactory manner.

He maintained close liaison with maintenance personnel to ensure that all the twenty five helicopters placed at the disposal of HQ SAC are serviced promptly to ensure

availability of maximum number of helicopters at all times.

For unflinching devotion to duty, meticulous planning continuous prolonged involvement the President is pleased to award Vishisht Seva Medal to Gp Capt A C Chopra VM.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1989 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Surender Singh Chauhan 7853 AE(M)Unit : 40 Wing  Award Date 26 Jan 89 Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Group Captain Surinder Singh Chauhan (7853) AE (M) has been functioning as the Chief Engineering Officer of an operational wing since 20 Nov 86. This wing is the base for two Vajra Squadrons, one Chitra Sqn and a Chetak Flight.

Gp Capt Chauhan took over charge which the Vajra force was in the process of consolidation. To ensure that the force was able to carry out its frequently operational and training commitments outside its home command, it was essential that the second line maintenance back up at base for the airframe, engine and other components was geared up for immediate response for the needs of the detachments. He played a key roll in improving the serviceability of Vajra & Chetak aircraft based at his base. In addition, he has carried out modification roll on all Vajra aircraft and its engine in a most professional manner.

Gp Capt Chauhan has been a dynamic Chief Engineering Officer who has, through deep involvement, correct direction and excellent man management, established an exceptional standard of maintenance at the wing.

For his exceptional devotion to duty, outstanding dynamism and professional competence of the highest order, the President is pleased to award Vishisht Seva Medal to Gp Capt Surinder Singh Chauhan.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1989 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Kuldip Singh Bhatty 8206 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 89 Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Wing Commander Kuldip Singh Bhatty (8206) Flying (Pilot) has been on the posted strength of a Pechora Squadron since 09 Feb 87 and has been Commanding Officer of the Squadron since then.

The Squadron was declared Non-Operational by Director of Air Staff Inspection in Oct 86 with adverse comments on all aspects of its functioning. Wg Cdr KS Bhatty was in an unenviable position of taking over such a non-operational Squadron, that too during Red Alert. Wg Cdr KS Bhatty, having taken over the Squadron, brought it operationally to a level befitting the prevailing Alert Situation in a very short time.

With his exceptional level of professional knowledge, high stamina, zeal and enthusiasm, Wg Cdr KS Bhatty regardless of his personal problems and interests, concen trated on the Squadron operation preparedness from all angles and inspired all officers and men placed under highly successful live firing by the Squadron Combat Team in 1987. Further, under his guidance and supervision the serviceability state of squadron specialist vehicles and Common User Vehicles improved to their highest, having been graded as 'Exceptional' and 'Very Good' respectively by Command Inspection Teams.

For his sincerity, dedication to service, exemplary performance and good administrative skills, the President is pleased to award Vishisht Seva Medal to Wing Commander Kuldip Singh Bhatty.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1989 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Arokiasami Balamohan 8533 ADMUnit : 40 Wing  Award Date 26 Jan 89 Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Wing Commander Arokiasami Balamohan (8533) Administrative/Air Traffic Controller has been on the posted strength of a Ground Control Approach Squadron since Apr 85.

As an Air Traffic Inspector of Directorate of Air Staff Inspection, and Air Force examiner between May 1980 and May 1984, he was responsible for setting new objective standards for testing and inspection, and in establishing procedures and practices which were instrumental in enhancing the operational efficiency of IAF bases. Through months of tireless hard work beyond the normal call of duty he single handedly completed the new Manual of Air Traffic Services.

As Commanding Officer of the unit he provided his immense organizational capabilities and dedication, in getting the radar system operational in a record time of 15 days after he moved the Squadron to a new Wing location. Subsequently, under severe constraints of shortage of spares and makes shift working conditions, he has been able to organize and motivate the personnel under him to achieve almost 100 percent availability of radar for flying.

For his outstanding achievements, professional competence of a very high order, leadership and exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award Vishisht Seva Medal to Wing Commander Arokiasami Balamohan.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1989 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Satya Pal Daulay 8616 METUnit : 7 Wing  Award Date 26 Jan 89 Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Wing Commander Satya Pal Daulay was commissioned in the Air Force on 27 Jun 64. He has been on the posted strength of operational as Wing as Senior Meteorological Officer Since Oct 83.

Wg Cdr Daulay has always excelled in his professional field right from the beginning of his career. In the Professional courses for Junior and Senior Forecasters the obtained A-2 level grading.

With his excellent knowledge he has evolved new procedures and skills in weather forecasting and prognosis of weather systems which has enhanced accuracy of weather predictions manifold. He has also written a paper of the subject which was published in 'VATAVARAN' the Air Force meteorological magazine. Throughout his tenure his timely and accurate weather warnings have time and again prevented diversion of aircraft and prevented any incident due to weather and has thus contributed substantially towards flight safety.

In recognition of his exceptional achievements, professional competence, dedication and devotion to duty of a high order, the President is pleased to award Vishisht Seva Medal to Wing Commander Satya Pal Daulay.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1989 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Kulbhushan Raj Bali 9582 AE(L)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 89 Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Wing Commander Kulbhashan Raj Bali has functioned as the Chief Technical Officer of a Signal Unit from 24 Oct 83 to 03 Apr 88.

This unit was first to be equipped with a new type of Radar and it went in for its first major overhaul in Aug 87. As the overhaul started in Aug 87 it was evident that the unit would have to shoulder the major portion of the overhaul task.

The potain Crane used to lift various components of the antenna drive system was not available for the overhaul. Wg Cdr RK Bali, and his technical officers of the unit designed and fabricated a lifting device that served the purpose extremely well. The heaviest component that the device lifted was weighing 2.3 tonnes. This igneous invention eliminates that total dependence of such units on the expensive imported cranes.

Wg Cdr Bali has been instrumental in saving foreign exchange and weeks in the availability of such an important radar.

For his professional competence, rare degree of innovative skill and a very high level of human endurance and devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award Vishisht Seva Medal to Wg Cdr Bali.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1989 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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