5 Wing

Date Raised : 1956-12-14 Location : Kalaikunda
Air Force Station Kalaikunda is one of the premier fighter bases of the Indian Air Force. It is one of the oldest airfields in the Eastern Air Command and is located in West Medinipur district of West Bengal, 121 Km from Kolkata. Air Force Station Kalaikunda was set up during World War Il as a forward airfield against the Japanese offensive in Burma and Malaya. The base was originally designed for the B-24 Liberator, an American heavy bomber. In 1943, Air Force Station Kalaikunda was designated as the “XX Bomber Command' for the operation of B-29 Super Fortress bomber aircraft of the US Air Force. It was one of the four B-29 Super Fortress bases established by the Americans in India. The XX Bomber Command took shape with the first batch of B-29s at Kalaikunda on March 28, 1944 under the command of General K B Wolfe. It was a major airfield in the supply route for the Nationalist Army of China in its fight against the Japanese forces. Aircraft from the RAF and USAF flew regularly to China via Chabua, Johrat and Vijayanagar across the infamous ‘Hump Route' over Arunachal and East Tibet. This airfield and other nearby airfields such as Dudhkundi, Salua, Digri, Salboni, Amarda and Chakulia formed a complex of airfields created by the Allies as part of their response to stem the Japanese advance in the East. On June 5, 1944, the 468th Bombardment Group flew its first operational mission from Kalaikunda against railroad yards at Bangkok, Thailand. Ten days later, the Group opened Air Offensive Phase against Japan with B-29 Super Fortress bomber aircraft by bombing the Imperial Iron & Steel Works, Yawata, Japan. Within a year, it participated in eight campaigns and earned three Distinguished Units Citations - one of the highest American gallantry awards. From June 1944 until May 1945, operating at maximum range, the 468th group of 'XX Bomber Command' launched Operation Matterhorn. It conducted aerial reconnaissance and bombing operations from Kalaikunda and bases in China against Japanese targets in Japan, Manchuria, Taiwan, Burma, the Malay Peninsula, Singapore and Sumatra. Sixteen- hour combat missions were common with the longest stretching to 21 hours. Air Force Station Kalaikunda was later put under the control of EAC. The Station was base for three Mystere squadrons. Canberras were also stationed in Kalaikunda. In 1960s, one more squadron with Toofani aircraft (French Ouragan) was added. In 1963, Dudhkundi was converted to air-to-ground armament firing range. In the 1980s, the Station was expanded with the inclusion of 4 Air Force Hospital, 4 AF Dental Centre, Operational Conversion Unitss, TTF and 28 Sqn. In 1982, the Golden Jubilee of Indian Air Force saw the inception of nine Hunter aircraft formation team called thunderbolts. Kalaikunda later became the home for MiG-27. As the IAF modernised, it graduated from Ajeet to MiG- 27. TTF continued to fly Hunters before the aircraft was phased out on Air Force Day Flypast at Palam, New Delhi in 2002.

Commanding Officers

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DatesRank & NameNumberRemarksLocationPhoto
14 Dec 56 to 05 May 57Wing Commander Zafar Ahmed Shah1805 GD(P)Stn CdrKalaikunda
06 May 57 to 18 Apr 60Group Captain Maurice Barker1691 GD(P)Stn CdrKalaikunda
15 Jun 60 to 11 Jun 61Group Captain Devaiah Subia1866 GD(P)Stn CdrKalaikunda
12 Jun 61 to 08 Sep 62Group Captain Jagdish Chandra Varma1646 GD(P)Stn CdrKalaikunda
04 Oct 62 to 14 Mar 63Group Captain John Ivor McKenzie1806 GD(P)Stn CdrKalaikunda
06 May 63 to 30 Jan 65Group Captain Leslie Richard Dickinson Blunt1994 GD(P)Stn CdrKalaikunda
31 Jan 65 to 01 Aug 66Group Captain Madhav Bhawrao Naik1874 GD(P)Stn CdrKalaikunda
10 Aug 66 to 25 Jun 67Group Captain Regionald Louis Sayce3086 GD(P)Stn CdrKalaikunda
26 Jun 67 to 08 Jun 69Group Captain Emanuel Raymond Fernandes3577 GD(P)Stn CdrKalaikunda
30 Jun 69 to 30 Jun 74Group Captain Narendra Bahadur Singh2971 GD(P)Stn CdrKalaikunda
01 Jul 74 to 15 Feb 76Group Captain Brijpal Singh Sikand3947 GD(P)Stn CdrKalaikunda
16 Feb 76 to 25 Mar 79Group Captain Kshirode Krishna Sen4495 GD(P)Stn CdrKalaikunda
26 Mar 79 to 11 Feb 80Air Commodore Kshirode Krishna Sen4495 GD(P)AOCKalaikunda
12 Feb 80 to 16 Oct 82Air Commodore Man Mohan Sinha4408 GD(P)AOCKalaikunda
17 Oct 82 to 25 Jun 85Air Commodore Amia Kumar Sen4717 GD(P)AOCKalaikunda
26 Jun 85 to 31 Jul 86Air Commodore Tapas Kumar Sen4475 GD(P)AOCKalaikunda
01 Aug 86 to 22 Jan 89Air Commodore Kamal Khanna5795 GD(P)AOCKalaikunda
23 Jan 89 to 19 Dec 90Air Commodore Satish Govind Inamdar7189 GD(P)AOCKalaikunda
20 Dec 90 to 24 Dec 92Air Commodore Srinivas Anand Bhaskar Naidu7230 GD(P)AOCKalaikunda
24 Dec 92 to 14 Sep 94Air Commodore Prakash Sadashivrao Pingale6755 GD(P)AOCKalaikunda
15 Sep 94 to 08 Jan 96Air Commodore Akshay Kumar Thakur9724 GD(P)AOCKalaikunda
09 Jan 96 to 31 Jul 97Air Commodore Kamlesh Singh Mandla9827 GD(P)AOCKalaikunda
01 Aug 97 to 29 Jul 98Air Commodore Ramesh Vishwanath Phadke10895 GD(P)AOCKalaikunda
30 Jul 98 to 04 Jan 01Air Commodore Dhanwant Singh Guram10916 GD(P)AOCKalaikunda
04 Jan 01 to 15 Dec 02Air Commodore Nirdosh Vatsyayan Tyagi12765 GD(P)AOCKalaikunda
16 Dec 02 to 28 Nov 04Air Commodore Gurdip Singh Kochar13149 F(P)AOCKalaikunda
29 Nov 04 to 01 Jan 07Air Commodore Atul Saikia13585 F(P)AOCKalaikunda
02 Jan 07 to 30 Mar 08Air Commodore Paramjit Singh Gill14097 F(P)AOCKalaikunda
30 Mar 08 to 30 Jun 09Air Commodore Perumpillabil Narayanan Radha Govind15019 F(P)AOCKalaikunda
01 Jul 09 to 21 Nov 10Air Commodore Dinesh Kumar Vashisht16565 F(P)AOCKalaikunda
22 Nov 10 to 25 Aug 13Air Commodore Radhakrishnan Radhish17853 F(P)AOCKalaikunda
26 Aug 13 to 17 Aug 15Air Commodore Rakesh Sinha18797 F(P)AOCKalaikunda
29 Dec 17 to Air Commodore Saji Antony19211 F(P)AOCKalaikunda
Unknown to 04 Jul 21Air Commodore Tarun Chaudhry20452 F(P)AOCKalaikunda

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.