Group Captain Shyamal Kumar Banerjee was commissioned as a pilot in the flying branch on 04 June 1967. He has held the appointment of Flight Commander at Elementary Flying School Bidar, the Chief Flying Instructor at Transport Training Wing Yelahanka and Deputy Director Air Staff Inspection at Air Headquarters. As an experienced Qualified Flying Instructor he assumed the command of an AN-32 Squadron on 29 Jun 92, three months after a fatal Cat I accident in which both the Flight Commander and Navigation leader were killed.
The Squadron aircrew categorization state and the operational clearance state for different roles were low. With his untiring efforts, unflinching determination and perseverance, he tackled this task in an exemplary manner. Under his close supervision, 25 pilots, 13 navigators and 09 Flight Engineers upgraded their aircrew category/Instrument rating. Also 10 pilots and 08 navigators achieved fully operational status. In addition, three Qualified Flying Instructors were cleared for the instructional duties in air maintenance role and two pilots were trained to perform the duties of Right Hand Seat Check Pilot. The aircraft serviceability state of the Squadron improved. The average night flying effort of the Squadron and the average tonnage per hour for air maintenance sorties also increased.
Group Captain SK Banerjee has to his credit 7600 hours of accident free flying. Under his leadership the Squadron has been adjudged the Best Transport and Helicopter Squadron of EAC for two consecutive years 1992-93 and 1993-94. For exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Gp Capt Shyamal Kumar Banerjee.