Number Name Branch Died in Service? Picture?

Air Marshal Lal Singh Grewal

Service No & Branch 2337 F(P)
Date of Birth: -- --- ---- Commissioned: 29 Mar 1943 Course: 16 Course
Service End: Retired on 31 Dec 1980
Qualifications Held :
Remarks :
Qualified as
Promotions Gazetted
Fg Offr : 29 Mar 1944Sqn Ldr : 01 Apr 1953Acting Gp Capt : 20 Jun 1963Gp Capt : 01 Oct 1965
Acting Air Cmde : 04 Jan 1968Air Cmde : 01 Oct 1968Acting AVM : 04 Jan 1973AVM : 01 Apr 1973
Air Marshal : 24 Apr 1976C-in-C : 24 Apr 1976
Training and Other Courses Attended
6 DSSC (Sqn Ldr) - 30 Jun 19539 NDC (Air Cmde) - 01 Dec 1969
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Air Mshl
Notes:1)Branch is at retirement and may not match with branch at Commission 2)Notional seniority is reflected in dates of substantive rank.

Appointments, Postings & Other Service Particulars

10 Jan 1944 - 19 Apr 1944Plt OffrNo.9 Squadron, RIAFBhopal Fm 151OTU to 10Sqn
02 May 1944 - 12 Nov 1945Acting Plt OffrNo.10 Squadron, RIAF 
31 Oct 1945 - Fg OffrIndian Air Force Display FlightKohat Fm 10Sqn
15 Apr 1946 - 31 Aug 1946Fg OffrNo.9 Squadron, RIAF To 12Sqn
15 Aug 1946 - 23 May 1947Fg OffrNo.12 Squadron, RIAFBhopal 
01 Jun 1947 - 12 Aug 1947Fg OffrNo.6 Squadron, RIAFMauripur 
10 Oct 1955 - 31 Jul 1957Wg CdrNo.12 SquadronAgra Commanding Officer
30 Sep 1957 - 16 Jun 1958Wg CdrOperational CommandDelhi Air-I
02 Aug 1960 - 27 May 1962Wg CdrNo.12 SquadronAgra Commanding Officer
08 Sep 1972 - 01 Jan 1973Air Cmde12 WingChandigarh Air Officer Commanding
01 Jan 1973 - 01 Dec 1973Air CmdeAir Head QuartersDelhi Director, Intelligence
24 Apr 1976 - 12 Aug 1978Air MarshalEastern Air CommandShillong Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief
24 Aug 1978 - 31 Jan 1980Air MarshalAir Head QuartersDelhi Deputy Chief of Air Staff
08 Oct 1979 - No.12 Squadron Commodore Commandant
01 Feb 1980 - 31 Dec 1980Air MarshalAir Head QuartersDelhi Vice Chief of Air Staff
Incomplete Information? Additions? Corrections? Please download Template File and follow instructions.

Awards and Decorations

Number of Awards: 3
Vir Chakra
Flt LtLal Singh Grewal2337 GD(P)Award Date 30 Nov 1948Announced 26 Jan 1950
Details :

Flight Lieutenant (Now Wing Commander) Lal Singh Grewal (2337) distinguished himself by making the maximum number of landings by day and night at Poonch while it was under enemy fire. Further he dropped supplies of ammunitions and rations in inclement weather to our Garrisons in Kotli and Mirpur, when these places were subjected to heavy enemy fire. This officer also captained aircraft during night bombing sorties.

On 21st March 1948, when Poonch was being shelled heavily by the enemy, he made two hazardous landings in Poonch , one by day and the other by night without any landing aids to deliver urgently required heavy guns and ammunition to our troops. He also flew in regularly much needed supplies to LEH. Throughout the Jammu and Kashmir Operations, this officer carried out the duties allocated to him with courage, determination and devotion to duty. His example was a source of inspiration to all the pilots of his Squadron.

For the valuable services rendered by him during Jammu and Kashmir Operations, he has been awarded the Vir Chakra

Unit : 12 Sqn
Reference : Gazette of India , Extraordinary, No. 2-Pres., dated 26th January, 1950
Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Wg CdrLal Singh Grewal2337 GD(P)Award Date 26 Jan 1963Announced 26 Jan 1963
Details :

Up to June, 1960 airlift into Ladakh to enable our Army to safeguard our frontiers was sustained by a squadron of Dakotas and a few Packets operating on Detachment basis. It was appreciated that to meet the Chinese aggression, we would have to induct a very large number of troops and such induction would automatically result in enormous increase in tonnage to be airlifted. The above resources could not meet the tonnages planned to be airlifted. Therefore, it was decided to commit the whole of No.12 Packet Squadron in support of airlift operations. Wing Commander Lal Singh Grewal was given command of this Squadron in July, 1960. Prior to his arrival the Packet Squadron detachment was operating on a very limited basis i.e. carrying out a few drops and only landing at Leh Advance Landing Ground.

Soon after his arrival, Wing Commander Lal Singh Grewal appreciated that carrying out these limited drops and landings only at Leh would in no way suffice in airlifting the increased tonnage required by our Army. Wing Commander Lal Singh Grewal, an exceptional pilot and an outstanding officer, knowing fully that the Packet aircraft was ordinarily designed to operate at altitudes less than 12,000 ft. calculated the risks involved in extending the use of Packet aircraft over a higher altitude and on diverse tasks which would result in considerable increase in the airlift capacity of the Packet aircraft. For this purpose, he had to consider the use of high blowers fitted in the Packet aircraft engine. These high blowers had been used to a very limited extent since the manufacture of these engines many years ago. He was of the opinion that bringing these high blowers into use would put enormous stress and strain on the other parts of the engine thereby causing engine failures. He was also aware that such engine failures over the Himalayan terrain meant serious risks of loss of life and in any case definite injury to the all crew and any passengers that may be carried in the even of a forced landing or bailing out. To safeguard the crew's life and to minimize the extent of injury that may result in case of engine failure which may lead to forced landing of the aircraft was the primary concern of Wing Commander Lal Singh Grewal. He studied many methods and came to the conclusion that safety heights must be introduced and new Emergency Landing Grounds constructed en route.

In carrying out these trials Wing Commander Lal Singh Grewal was always the first to experiment on any new method or procedure. Thereby he set an example to all others and in these trials he experienced quite a few engine failures and in every case brought his aircraft safely to either an Advance Landing Ground or back to the base. Such an effort of his increased the capacity of the Packet aircraft to carry increased load as also permitting it to go on diverse tasks. Most Dropping Zones were served in the past by Dakota aircraft, and Dakota aircraft due to many limitations could only deliver at the most one ton of load on ground per sortie. Wing Commander Lal Singh Grewal's experimentation resulted in the Packets taking over practically every known Dropping Zone. Such an effort increased our capacity to build up over a wide region.

Throughout Wing Commander Lal Singh Grewal has rendered service of an exceptional order.

Unit :
Reference : GoI19630126
Param Vishist Seva Medal
AVMLal Singh Grewal2337 F(P)Award Date 26 Jan 1971Announced 26 Jan 1971
Details :

Air Commodore Lal Singh Grewal was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in 1943. He has held several important staff and command appointments. He attended Heavy Bomber Course in the U.K. in 1949, the Defence Services Staff College Course in 1952-53, Familiarisation Course in the USA in 1953 and the National Defence College Course in 1969. He started his aviation career on Fighters and later on heavy bombers and transport aircraft. He has flown 33 types of aircrafts. He was associated with the proving flights of certain types of civil aircrafts. During the Chinese aggression in 1962, he rendered distinguished service. In August 1963, he was given an assignment in which he has done commendable work.

Unit :
Reference : GoI19710126

Accidents and Incidents: 2

DateAircraft TypeTail NoPilot/CrewUnitRemarks
11 Dec 1943HurricaneL1935Plt Offr Grewal
151OTUBL after Uc failure
07 Mar 1944Hurricane IICPlt Offr L S Grewal
9 SqnFormation flight wit
The data in the header section of this page comes from the Gazette of India - Click here to see the source
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.