No.33 Squadron Himalayan Geese

Motto : Shramo Dadati Siddim ( Through hardwork comes Glory)
Date Raised : 1963-01-09 Location : Sulur (Coimbatore)
No. 33 Squadron was initially formed as a unit on 09 Jan 1963 at 19 Wing Air Force at Guwahati with two Caribou aircraft. Subsequently it was re-designated as a squadron in Sep 1963 with 16 Caribou aircraft. Since unit’s formation in Jan 63, 33 Squadron moved to Mohanbari Air Field in Jan 72 and subsequently back to Guwhati Air force base. The Squadron was the sole operator of the type and extensively operated in the Advanced Landing grounds and forward airfields of the North East as well as Northern India. fter more than twenty-seven years of dedicated service under the Eastern Air Command, 33 Squadron left the hills and valleys of the East and migrated to its present location at Sulur in Jun 1991. The squadron was number plated on 31 Jul 1992. The squadron was resurrected on 27 Mar 2000 at Air Force Station Sulur and, till date, maintains the air bridge between the mainland and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. This squadron took part in a big way in the Indo-Pak conflicts of 1965 and 1971. The squadron aircraft carried out effective day and night bombing, supply drop of ammunition and rations, para trooping, psychological warfare, air maintenance of front line units as well as reconnaissance and communication duties. With their inherent capability to carry out short take offs and landings, the squadron aircraft could operate at various advanced landing grounds in the hills of the north eastern regions of India. The squadron also carried out transport support tasks in counter-insurgency operations in the Mizo hills during Operation Zonga in 1965 and dropping of food for refugees during Operation Annapurna in 1971. The squadron had the distinction of spearheading the biggest ever formation of 56 aircraft in the history of the IAF. On 11 Dec 1971, two Caribou aircraft of 33 Squadron led the famous para drop at Tangail by dropping dummies a little distance away from the actual dropping zone, in order to confuse the enemy. The squadron had the distinction of flying out General Niazi, commander of the defeated Pakistani forces, from Dacca to Calcutta, and flying in Sheikh Mujibur Rehman, the erstwhile President of independent Bangladesh, from Calcutta to Dacca, after cessation of hostilities. In Nov 1986, the powerful An-32 aircraft were inducted into the squadron, which heralded a new era of rapid and efficient air transportation. The squadron was predominantly involved in Operation Pawan in support of the IPKF in Sri Lanka during 1987-88.Apart from the Andaman and Nicobar couriers, the squadron undertakes communication flights along with other routine route transportation commitments. For its dedicated service to the IAF, the President of India was pleased to award the ‘President’s Standard’ to No 33 Squadron Air Force in the month of Mar 2012. 19 Sqn was merged with 33 Sqn as well.

Aircraft Types operated over the years:

Commanding Officers

View in Grid

DatesRank & NameNumberRemarksLocationPhoto
09 Jan 63 to 09 May 65Wing Commander John Charles Plomer3299 GD(P)COGuwahati
10 May 65 to 31 Mar 67Wing Commander Vishnu Pratap Singh Chauhan3875 F(P)COGuwahati
01 Apr 67 to 26 Jan 69Wing Commander Chaman Lal Gupta4227 GD(P)COGuwahati
27 Jan 69 to 30 Nov 72Wing Commander Suresh Sitaram Sane4501 F(P)COGuwahati
01 Dec 72 to 29 Dec 74Wing Commander Kashi Nath Johry4834 F(P)COGuwahati
30 Dec 74 to 07 Feb 77Wing Commander Gurdip Singh Bakshi4999 F(P)COGuwahati
08 Feb 77 to 13 Jan 80Wing Commander Samarendra Chakravarty5189 F(P)COGuwahati
14 Jan 80 to 20 Dec 81Wing Commander Jogendra Chandra Hazarika5869 F(P)COGuwahati
21 Dec 81 to 17 Oct 83Wing Commander Narindar Pal Singh Sahota6151 F(P)COGuwahati
18 Oct 83 to 16 Dec 84Wing Commander Dinesh Chander Bhardwaj9545 F(P)COGuwahati
17 Dec 84 to 13 Oct 85Group Captain Gopal Krishan Mehta6752 F(P)COGuwahati
14 Oct 85 to 10 Oct 86Group Captain Jogendra Chandra Hazarika5869 F(P)COGuwahati
20 Oct 86 to 18 Oct 88Group Captain Hardish Singh Sodhi9000 F(P)COGuwahati
19 Oct 88 to 09 Jun 91Group Captain Druba Jyoti Sarma9822 F(P)COSulur
10 Jun 91 to 31 Jul 92Group Captain Kuttippuzha Joseph Mathew10894 F(P)COSulur
27 Mar 00 to 01 Sep 00Wing Commander Shishir Yashwant Koshe16400 F(P)COSulur
02 Sep 00 to 27 Oct 02Group Captain Rana Biswas15009 F(P)COSulur
11 Nov 02 to 11 Jul 04Group Captain Jankiraman Balasubramanian15558 F(P)COSulur
12 Jul 04 to 27 Apr 06Group Captain Vipin Indira Panabhan Nayar16829 F(P)COSulur
28 Apr 06 to 02 Nov 08Group Captain Shishir Yashwant Koshe16400 F(P)COSulur
03 Nov 08 to 13 Jun 10Group Captain Anup Kumar Sen18278 F(P)COSulur

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.