Number Name Branch Died in Service? Picture?

Squadron Leader Suhas Biswas

Service No & Branch 2883 GD(P)
Date of Birth: 09 Sep 1924 Commissioned: 24 Apr 1944 Course: 23 Course
Service End: Died in Service 12 Sep 1957 (33 Years age) Aircraft Loss Nick Name :
Qualifications Held :
Remarks :
Promotions Gazetted
Plt Offr : 24 Oct 1944Fg Offr : 24 Apr 1945Acting Flt Lt : 22 Feb 1951Flt Lt : 24 Apr 1949
Sqn Ldr : 01 Jun 1955
Training and Other Courses Attended
93 CFS (Fg Offr) - 11 Sep 1946
Badges Qualified
Google the Bharat Rakshak Website for : "S Biswas"
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 - 14 Apr 19442 EFTSJodhpur Trainee Pilot
04 Sep 1943 - 06 Jan 1944Off CdtInitial Training WingPoona Trainee
24 Apr 1944 - 25 Aug 1944Acting Plt OffrNo.1 Service Flying Training School (India)Ambala Trainee Pilot
01 Sep 1944 - 01 Dec 1944Plt Offr151 OTUPeshawar Trainee Pilot
18 Dec 1944 - 07 Jan 1945Plt OffrSpecialist Low Attack Instructors SchoolRanchi Trainee Pilot
19 Jan 1945 - 27 Apr 1946Plt OffrNo.9 Squadron Squadron Pilot
12 Sep 1946 - 07 Oct 1946Flt LtAir Head QuartersDelhi 
08 Oct 1946 - 28 Feb 1947Flt Lt2 EFTSJodhpur Flying Instructor
01 Mar 1947 - 31 Dec 1949Flt LtElementary Flying Training SchoolJodhpur Flying Instructor
05 Jan 1949 - 09 Sep 1949Flt LtInitial Training WingCoimbatore Instructor
13 Sep 1949 - Flt LtAdvanced Flying School (India)Ambala Flying Instructor
01 Jan 1952 - Flt LtAirHQ Communications SquadronPalam Squadron Pilot
Incomplete Information? Additions? Corrections? Please download Template File and follow instructions.

Awards and Decorations

Number of Awards: 1
Ashok Chakra
Flt LtSuhas Biswas2883 GD(P)Award Date 03 Feb 1952Announced 26 Jan 1953
Details :

On Sunday, the 3rd February 1952, a Devon Aircraft carrying six passengers, which included the Army Commander, Western Command, the Chief of the General Staff, the QuarterMaster General, one Divisional Commander, the Military Secretary and the Deputy Director of Supplies and Transport, Army Headquarters, was piloted by Flight Lieutenant Suhas Biswas on a flight from Lucknow to Delhi. Soon after the aircraft left Lucknow at about 1800 hours, the port engine developed serious trouble and caught fire. Flight Lieutenant Biswas tried hard to extinguish the fire but without success; so he immediately decided to force land. It was then getting dark but there was just sufficient light to choose a flat piece of ground. During the descent from 6,000 feet, the burning port engine fell out and the aircraft got out of control but Flight Lieutenant Biswas soon succeeded in bringing the aircraft under control. He then switched off the only engine functioning, and made a successful belly landing under the worst conditions, thus averting a major disaster.

Fully realising the gravity of the situation and in the face of certain disaster, Flight Lieutenant Biswas’s demeanour and behaviour in the plane was inspiring. At no time did he show that he was not in complete control of the situation. His presence of mind when the plane caught fire, skillful navigation of the plane when the engine had fallen out and his courage in landing the plane on unreconnoitred ground in twilight showed leadership of the highest order and set a magnificent example of extreme devotion to duty.

Full Story: On the 3rd of February, 1952, The U. P. Area command of the Indian Army was holding a tactical Exercise in Lucknow. To Witness this Exercise, High ranking Army Officials decided to fly down to the Exercise to observe. The Then GOC-in-C Western Command Lt Gen S. M Shrinagesh (Later COAS) , The Quarter Master General Maj-Gen K. S . Thimayya (later COAS), The Chief of General Staff Maj Gen S. P. P. Thorat (later GOC-inC East), The Military Secretary Maj Gen Sarda Nand, Maj Gen Mohinder Singh Chopra and Brig Ajaib Singh boarded the IAF HQ and Communications Flight De Havilland Devon (HW 516) which was being flown by Flt Lt Suhas Biswas. The Devon reached Lucknow and after the exercises were completed, the Officers returned for the return flight to Delhi. The Devon took off at 1800 Hrs and moments after the aircraft took off, the Crew observed the port engine was spewing smoke and soon a fire broke out. The Devon became difficult to control and as the fire kept creeping towards the main fuselage, Biswas, the pilot put the Devon in a dive in an attempt to reduce altitude and attempt a crash landing before the aircraft fuel reserves caught fire and blew up. As the Devon was put into the dive, The Aircraft shuddered in the airflow and The Engine mounting broke away, resulting in the burning engine seperating from the wing and falling off. Biswas levelled the Aircraft and belly landed sucessfully at a village near the Sandilla Railway Station. All the occupants walked out of the crashed aircraft unhurt with the pilot being the last to leave.

Flt Lt Suhas Biswas awarded the First Ashoka Chakra to the Indian Air Force for the presence of mind, Skill and cool courage in maintaining the Stricken aircraft and saving the lives of many Senior Army Officers. Which included Two Future Army Chiefs and an Army Commander. The Air Force Chief, Air Marshal Subroto Mukerjee, had had the passenger chairs removed from the wrecked Devon and presented it individually to each of the survivors of the crash with a Brass Plate mentioning the circumstances of the crash.

Unit : Air HQ and Comm
Reference : Notification No. 21-Pres/52 dated 22nd February, 1952 in Part 1, Section 1, Gazette of India.

Accidents and Incidents: 4

DateAircraft TypeTail NoPilot/CrewUnitRemarks
09 Dec 1944Hurricane IICJS416Plt Offr Suhas Biswas
151OTUfl 3 miles SW of Ris
24 May 1945Spitfire VIIINH620Plt Offr S Biswas
9 SqnStarboard tyre burst
03 Feb 1952DevonHW-516Flt Lt Suhas Biswas
AHQ Comm SPort engine caught f
12 Sep 1957DevonHW-524Sqn Ldr Suhas Biswas +
Flt Lt William Avil Serrao +
ac cr in niligiris.
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.