Vir Chakra Awardee List for the year 1999

A total of 2 Awards are listed.
Vir Chakra : 2 |
Vir Chakra
Sqn Ldr Ajay Ahuja 17864 F(P)Unit : No.17 Squadron  Award Date 27 May 99 Announced 15 Aug 99
Details :

Squadron Leader Ajay Ahuja (17864-A) Flying (Pilot) was the Flight Commander of a MiG–21 Squadron inducted Srinagar for the Kargil Operations. On 27th May 1999, he was planned to lead a two aircraft mission for Photo reconnaissance of enemy positions in the Batalik Sector. As he was getting airborne he was informed that Flight Lieutenant Nachiketa had ejected in the vicinity of Muntho Dhalo. Squadron Leader Ahuja immediately realized the necessity of locating and recovering the downed pilot. He changed his mission profile and set course towards Muntho Dhalo. Despite being told that surface to air missiles were being fired in the area, Squadron Leader Ahuja carried out orbits to try and pinpoint the location of the crashed aircraft and pilot. He sent his No. 2 back to base but himself continued the search, ignoring the threat to his own life.

By sheer perseverance, he was able to locate the crash site and transmitted this information to the rescue helicopters. Unfortunately, at this stage, his own aircraft was hit by a surface to air missile. With exemplary presence of mind and cool professionalism, he attempted to nurse the aircraft towards a safer area. But when the aircraft engine flamed out Squadron Leader Ahuja had no choice but to eject. He ejected safely and had the presence of mind to transmit his last recorded ground position.

On 28th May 1999 the body of Squadron Leader Ahuja was handed over to Indian authorities. The body bore two bullet injuries.

Squadron Leader Ahuja displayed exceptional courage in going beyond the call of duty while searching for a downed brother officer.

Reference: Gazette of India , 26th January 2000 - No.18 - Pres/2000 dated 11th March 2000 

Vir Chakra
Wg Cdr Anil Kumar Sinha 16074 F(P)Unit : No.129 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 28 May 99 Announced 15 Aug 99
Details :

Wing Commander Anil Kumar Sinha (16074) F(P), has been the Commanding Officer of a Mi-17 helicopter unit since 27th May 1997.

On 28th May, 1999, Wing Commander Sinha was the leader of a four aircraft formation, which was tasked to fly a live air to ground rocket attack, on feature 5140 located on the Tololing ridge. The enemy, located on this ridge, was bringing down accurate fire on the highway linking Srinagar with Leh.

The enemy was armed with shoulder fired Stinger air to surface missiles and were firing these missiles at the formation. Two of the missiles missed Wing Commander Sinha’s helicopter and was seen in a video recording. It was during this attack that the number three aircraft of the formation was shot down, killing all four crew members. The rocket attack was successful and inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy.

The leadership and sense of commitment, displayed by the officer in the face of danger to himself and his aircraft was in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India , 26th January 2000 - No.18 - Pres/2000 dated 11th March 2000 

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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Note: All the data available here is publicly available in the Gazette of India, published by the Indian Government, or from public domain sources, press releases about Awards and Right-To-Information (RTI) Requests. Additionally data shared by veterans is added to the page with permission. No data with respect to serving officers below the rank of AVM is displayed. Information in Gazette of India and Award citations and photographs as released by the Indian Air Force are the only details displayed.