IAF Gallantry Awards for the 1971 Air War


By far the IAF operations in the 1971 War were the most intensive operations till that time. 7000 plus sorties flown in a span of 14 days. It's causalities too were high. More than 42 pilots were killed or missing. No wonder the IAF received more than 55% of all its gallantry awards, to date, in this war. One Param Vir Chakra went posthumously to Fg. Off. N.J.S. Sekhon. 11 Maha Vir Chakras and 104 Vir Chakras were received by the IAF. The most decorated units being the No.20 Squadron, receiving two MVCs and five VrCs, and surprisingly the No.122 Squadron, which received eight VrCs for the Longewala Battle. For the first time after the 1962 War, transport squadrons were decorated (No.44) too.

All Links open the Citation of the awardees in new windows. Our thanks to Nakul Shah for his mammoth effort in preparing the citations and photgraphs for his site at Sam's Indian Air Force Down Under

*Denotes Posthumous Award


Param Vir Chakra

Fg. Off. Nirmaljit Jit Singh Sekhon* No.18 Sqn Gnat

Maha Vir Chakra

Gp Capt Chandan Singh

Jorhat AFB -

Wg Cdr Padmanabha Gautam

No.16 Sqn Canberra

Wg Cdr Ramesh Sakharam Benegal

No.106 Sqn Canberra

Wg Cdr Allan Albert D'Costa

No.222 Sqn Sukhoi-7

Wg Cdr Swaroop Krishna Kaul

No.37 Sqn Hunter

Wg Cdr Harcharan Singh Mangat

No.32 Sqn Sukhoi-7

Wg Cdr Cecil Vivian Parker

No.20 Sqn Hunter

Wg Cdr Man Mohan Bir Singh Talwar

No.5 Sqn Canberra

Wg Cdr Vidya Bhushan Vasisht

No.44 Sqn Antonov-12

Sqn Ldr Madhavendra Banerji

No.101 Sqn Sukhoi-7

Sqn Ldr Ravinder Nath Bhardwaj

No.20 Sqn Hunter

Vir Chakra

Gp Capt Robert Arnold Weir - - -
Gp Capt Manmohan Singh No.15 Sqn Gnat EP, Operated from Agartala
Wg Cdr Arun Kanti Mukherjee TACDE - -
Wg Cdr Keshev Chandra Aggarwal No.10 Sqn HF-24 -
Wg Cdr Bhupendra Kumar Bishnoi No.28 Sqn MiG-21 EP, Raid on Tejgaon, Governors House
Wg Cdr Donald Melvyn Conquest No.122 Sqn Hunter Karachi Raid
Wg Cdr Harser Singh Gill* No.47 Sqn MiG-21 WP. Lost in raid over Badin
Wg Cdr Krishan Kumar Badhwar No.35 Sqn Canberra Karachi Raid
Wg Cdr Murari Lal Trehon No.31 Sqn Mystere -
Wg Cdr Narinder Chatrath No.17 Sqn Hunter EP, Sabre Kill
Wg Cdr Ramanathan Sundarsan No.14 Sqn Hunter EP, Sabre Kill
Wg Cdr Ravindar Nath Dogra - - -
Sqn Ldr Arya Bhushan Lamba - - -
Sqn Ldr Allan David Alley No.7 Sqn Hunter Interdiction
Sqn Ldr Anil Kumar Bhadra No.101 Sqn Sukhoi-7 -
Sqn Ldr Ashok Prataprao Shinde - - -
Sqn Ldr Charanjit Singh No.5 Sqn Canberra -
Sqn Ldr Dinesh Chandra Bhandari - - -
Sqn Ldr Dilip Kumar Dass No.122 Sqn Hunter Longewala Battle
Sqn Ldr Dhirendra Singh Jafa No.26 Sqn Sukhoi-7 WP, SD and POW
Sqn Ldr Farokh Jehangir Mehta No.122 Sqn Hunter Sabre kills over Talhar and Nayachor
Sqn Ldr Gursaran Singh Ahluwalia No.44 Sqn An-12 -
Sqn Ldr Charanjit Singh Sandhu - - -
Sqn Ldr Ghanshyam Singh Thapa - - -
Sqn Ldr Iqbal Singh Bindra No.47 Sqn MiG-21 F-104 kill over Uttarlai
Sqn Ldr Jal Maniksha Mistry* No.20 Sqn Hunter SD and killed on raid on Sakesar
Sqn Ldr Jasbir Singh - - -
Sqn Ldr Jasjit Singh No.3 Sqn Mystere -
Sqn Ldr Jiwa Singh* No.26 Sqn Sukhoi-7 WP, SD and killed in raid
Sqn Ldr Krishan Kumar Bakshi No.220 Sqn HF-24 Sabre kill over Nayachor
Sqn Ldr Kalyan Kumar Dutta - - -
Sqn Ldr Kirpal Singh - - -
Sqn Ldr Mohinder Kumar Jain* No.27 Sqn Hunter WP, SD and killed in raid
Sqn Ldr Preet Pal Singh Gill - - -
Sqn Ldr Ramesh Chander Kohli - - -
Sqn Ldr Ramesh Chander Sachdeva* No.14 Sqn Hunter SD and killed over Chittagong hills.
Sqn Ldr Ravindra Nath Bali No.122 Sqn Hunter Longewala Battle
Sqn Ldr Suresh Damodar Karnik - - -
Sqn Ldr Sanjay Kumar Choudhury - - -
Sqn Ldr Sindhaghatta Subbaramu No. 1 Sqn MiG-21 -
Sqn Ldr Vinod Kumar Bhatia No.32 Sqn Sukhoi-7 Shorkot Raid. Dest  F-86 on ground.
Sqn Ldr Vishnu Narain Johri - - -
Flt Lt Aruna Kumar Datta No.29 Sqn MiG-21 F-104 kill over Nayachor
Flt Lt Ashok Kumar Singh - - -
Flt Lt Arun Laxman Deoskar No.20 Sqn Hunter For counter air sorties
Flt Lt Andre Rudolph Da Costa* No.7 Sqn Hunter WP, SD and killed in raid
Flt Lt Aspari Raghunath - - -
Flt Lt Apramjeet Singh No.45 Sqn MiG-21 Flew back damaged aircraft
Flt Lt Aditya Vikram Pethia No.3 Sqn Mystere SD and taken POW
Flt Lt Arun Vasant Sathaye No.32 Sqn Sukhoi-7 Shorkot Raid. Dest B-57 on ground.
Flt Lt Bharat Bhushan Soni No.47 Sqn MiG-21 F-104 kill over Jamnagar
Flt Lt Cherry Hassand Rane No.101 Sqn Sukhoi-7 -
Flt Lt C S Chandrasekaran No.101 Sqn Sukhoi-7 -
Flt Lt Dinesh Chander Nayyar No.101 Sqn Sukhoi-7 -
Flt Lt Dilip Kamalakar Dighe - - -
Flt Lt Govind Chandra Singh Rajwar No.106 SPR Canberra Nav to Wg. Cdr. Benegal
Flt Lt Chandra Mohan Singla - - -
Flt Lt Gurdev Singh Rai* No.27 Sqn Hunter SD and killed during raid on Sakesar
Flt Lt Harbans Perminder Singh No.5 Sqn Canberra -
Flt Lt Hemant Sharat Kumar Sardesai - - -
Flt Lt Syed Iqbal Ali No.101 Sqn Su-7 Interdiction Sorties
Flt Lt Jagdamba Prasad Saklani - - -
Flt Lt J P Singh No.101 Sqn Su-7 Interdiction Sorties Chamb
Flt Lt Kuldeep Singh Sahota - - -
Flt Lt Kukke Sreekantasastry Suresh No.122 Sqn Hunter Sabre kill over Talhar
Flt Lt Lawrence Fredric Pereira* 8 TAC - Forward Air Traffic Controller
Flt Lt Nandepanda Appachu Ganapathy No.22 Sqn Gnat Sabre kill over Boyra
Flt Lt Mahabir Prasad Premi - - -
Flt Lt Manjit Singh Dhillon No.109 HU Mi-4 Casevac Jaurian Sector
Flt Lt Melvinder Singh Grewal No.32 Sqn Su-7 Shorkot raid. Dest a/c on ground.SD
Flt Lt Mohinder Singh Sandhu - - -
Flt Lt Manjit Singh Sekhon - - -
Flt Lt Manbir Singh No.28 Sqn MiG-21 EP. Runway Busters Raid.
Flt Lt Nitin Gajanan Junnarkar - - -
Flt Lt Niraj Kukreja No.29 Sqn MiG-21 F-104 Kill over Nayachor
Flt Lt Roy Andrew Massey No.22 Sqn Gnat Sabre kill over Boyra
Flt Lt Prem Bhushan Kalra - - -
Flt Lt P D Gupta - - -
Flt Lt Pushpa Kumar Vaid - - -
Flt Lt Parminder Paul Singh Kwatra No.123 Sqn Vampire Interdiction sorties from Srinagar
Flt Lt Parvez Rustom Jamasji - - -
Flt Lt Pradip Vinayak Apte* No.220 Sqn HF-24 SD and Killed
Flt Lt Ramesh Chander Gosain No.122 Sqn Hunter Longewala Battle
Flt Lt Robindra Kumar Sinha No.101 Sqn Sukhoi-7 -
Flt Lt Rajendra Singh Wahi No.26 Sqn Sukhoi-7 -
Flt Lt Samar Bikram Shah No.29 Sqn MiG-21 MiG-19 kill over Nayachor
Flt Lt Sukrutaraj Jayandra - Hunter Sabre kill over Dacca
Flt Lt Shivinder Singh Bains - - -
Flt Lt Syed Shahid Hussain Naqvi No.120 Sqn Mystere -
Flt Lt Surinder Singh Malhotra No.26 Sqn Sukhoi-7 MiG-19 kill over Rohri
Flt Lt Vinod Kumar Neb No.17 Sqn Hunter Sabre kill over Dacca
Flt Lt Vijay Kumar Wahi* No.101 Sqn Sukhoi-7 Close Support Missions Chamb
Flt Lt Winston Rabinder Sanjeeva Rao FAC - Forward Air Traffic Controller
Flt Lt Partha Dasgupta - - -
Flt Lt Chidambaran Sargangapani - - -
Flt Lt Yogendra Prasad Singh - - -
Fg Off Balchandra Chengapa Karumbaya No.20 Sqn Hunter For counter air sorties
Fg Off Bartan Ramesh - - -
Fg Off Donald Lazarus No.22 Sqn Gnat Sabre kill over Boyra
Fg Off Harish Masand No.37 Sqn Hunter Sabre kill over Dacca
Fg Off Jai Singh Gahlawat - - -
Fg Off Kariyadil Cheriyan Kuruvilla No.222 Sqn Sukhoi-7 SD and Taken POW
Fg Off Kishan Lakhimal Malkani* No.27 Sqn Hunter SD and killed during raid on Sakesar
Fg Off Mohan Dikshit No. 7 Sqn Hunter Interdiction Sortie Suleimanke
Fg Off Sankaranarayanan Balasubramanian No.20 Sqn Hunter For counter air sorties
Fg Off Satish Chandra Sharma - - -
Fg Off Sukhdev Singh Dhillon - - -
Fg Off Sudhir Tyagi* No.27 Sqn Hunter Sabre kill Murid, SD and killed in turn.

Note:  Lt. Arun Prakash, Indian Navy, served on deputation with No.20 Squadron. He took part in the raids regularly with that Squadron, for which he received the Vir Chakra.


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