On 13th and 14th September, 1965, a massive bomber raid was mounted against Peshawar airfield, Squadron Leader Satish Nandan Bansal was selected to lead and mark the target. The target was so deep in the heart of enemy territory that the aircraft had to operate from a forward base and to follow a direct route so as to ensure enough fuel for return to base.
Though clouds obscure the moon, Squadron Leader Bansal decided to navigate at low level among the hills in order not to disclose the position of the bomber stream.
His navigation was so accurate that it needed only one alteration of course to take the aircraft to the centre of the airfield. When he dropped a flare to light up the area, the enemy put up a very heavy curtain of anti-aircraft fire. With courage and determination, he directed the aircraft through the hail of shells and tracers and placed the target-indicating bomb most accurately. In order to compute the bombing index it was necessary to fly over the airfield again. There was no time to climb above the range of guns. Giving no thought to his own safety, Squadron Leader Bansal directed the pilot to fly through the inferno of shells and tracers again and found out the bombing index. This he passed to the bomber leader along with adequate warning to step up the bombing height. But for this some of the bombers might have been shot down.
During the operations against Pakistan, Squadron Leader Satish Nandan Bansal was a lead navigator in many bomber attacks. In all his missions, he showed courage and single-mindedness of purpose in the best traditions of the Air Force.