Number Name Branch Died in Service? Picture?

Air Marshal Keith David Kingsley Lewis

Service No & Branch 5109 F(P) Stream :Fighters
Date of Birth: -- --- ---- Commissioned: 01 Apr 1956 Course: 68 Course
Service End: Retired on 30 Sep 1993 Superannuated Flying Hours : 4500
Qualifications Held :
Remarks :
Promotions Gazetted
Wg Cdr : 01 Apr 1977Acting Gp Capt : 17 Apr 1978Gp Capt : 29 Aug 1979Acting Air Cmde : 09 Jan 1984
Air Cmde : 19 Oct 1984AVM : 04 Apr 1988Air Marshal : 25 Apr 1991
Training and Other Courses Attended
9 JSW (Cadet) - 01 Dec 195423 NDC (Gp Capt) - 01 Dec 1983
Badges Qualified
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Wg Cdr
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

17 Feb 1976 - 16 Apr 1978Wg CdrNo.1 SquadronAdampur Commanding Officer
17 Apr 1978 - 21 Aug 1979Wg Cdr8 WingAdampur Chief Operations Officer
22 Aug 1979 - 04 Jul 1982Gp Capt14 WingChabua Station Commander
05 Jul 1982 - 05 Jan 1983Gp CaptWestern Air CommandDelhi Ops 1A
07 Dec 1983 - 02 Feb 1986Air CmdeAir Head QuartersDelhi Director, Offensive Operations
03 Feb 1986 - 24 Mar 1988Air Cmde8 WingAdampur Air Officer Commanding
26 Dec 1990 - No.4 Squadron Commodore Commandant
28 Mar 1988 - 01 Jan 1989AVMAir Head QuartersDelhi Director, Intelligence
02 Jan 1989 - 02 Jul 1989AVMAir Head QuartersDelhi Additional Assistant Chief of Air Staff, Operations
03 Jul 1989 - 24 Mar 1991AVMNational Defence CollegeDelhi Senior Directing Staff (Air)
25 Mar 1991 - 24 Apr 1991AVMWestern Air CommandDelhi Senior Air Staff Officer
25 Apr 1991 - 11 Oct 1991Air MarshalWestern Air CommandDelhi Senior Air Staff Officer
14 Oct 1991 - 30 Sep 1993Air MarshalAir Head QuartersDelhi Inspector General (Inspection & Safety)
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Awards and Decorations

Number of Awards: 3
Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn LdrKeith David Kingsley Lewis5109 F(P)Award Date Announced 26 Jan 1971
Details :

Squadron Leader Keith David Kingsley Lewis has been a Flight Commander in a fighter squadron for over three years. He has carried out a total of over 2,100 hours of flying on jet aircraft of which nearly 450 hours fire on supersonics. He has had an accidentfree record. He has achieved a Master Green instrument rating and has also been awarded the Instrument Rating Instructor's endorsement. He has had the onerous task of training and familiarising pilots of his unit in flying in all-weather conditions. Inspired by his example, the officers and airmen under him have worked cheerfully to maintain the Squadron at a high state of operational readiness.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Keith David Kingsley Lewis displayed professional skill, leadership and devotion to duty,

Unit : 4 Sqn
Reference : Gazette of India dated 4th September 1971 - No.53 - Pres/71 dated 26th January 1971
Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air CmdeKeith David Kingsley Lewis5109 F(P)Award Date 26 Jan 1988Announced 26 Jan 1988
Details :

Air Commodore Keith David Kingsley Lewis was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in April 1956. He has over 4500 hours of flying to his credit and had taken active part in the 1965 and 1971 operations as a fighter pilot. During his effective flying career, he has been a flying instructor, Senior Flight Commander in fighter squadrons, commanded the legendary Tiger Squadron with distinction and was the first Group Captain Chief Operations Officer of a forward base. Subsequently, he graduated from the National Defence College.

As Air Officer Commanding of one of the most potent fighter bases in the Air Force, he applied himself to enhance its operational potential. During the period of “Operation Alert" in 1987 all fighter deployments in/out and operational tasks were undertaken with vigour and enthusiasm. The entire station willingly undertook long periods of continual watch necessary to guard against a pre­emptive enemy attack on the airfield, which would have been a prime target had war broken out. Additionally, he ensured a guaranteed ability to retaliate quickly and with precision using the offensive power of the deep penetration strike forces placed under his command. Also during this period some of the hardest flying training ever conducted was carried out by strike, air defence and missile squadrons in accurately simulated war scenarios. His own personal conduct during this period was exemplary and he strove to his utmost to ensure an instant state of operational readiness.

Air Commodore Keith David Kingsley Lewis VM has thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Unit :
Reference : GoI19880126
Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air MarshalKeith David Kingsley Lewis5109 F(P)Award Date 26 Jan 1994Announced 26 Jan 1994
Details :

Air Marshal Keith David Kingsley Lewis, AVSM, VM Flying (Pilot) was commissioned as a fighter pilot on 01 Apr 56. Out of a service of more than thirty seven years, he spent twenty eight years in the field. He has flown over 4500 hours accident free on single engined aircraft, mostly jets. He successfully held all important field appointments including command of the legendary No.1 Squadron and of two major Air Force Stations. For his professional competence and devotion to duties, he was awarded Vayu Sena Medal in 1971. He actively participated in both the Indo-Pak wars. During 1971 Operation, the detachment of MiG-21 under his able leadership at a Northern airfield, proved crucial to the results of the war. On staff, he has held the most prestigious and demanding air staff appointments, viz, SASO of an Operational Command, Director Operations (Offensive), Director Intelligence, Addl ACAS (Ops) and Inspector General of the IAF at Air Headquarters. He has also been a Senior Directing Staff at the National Defence College. For his distinguished service as Air Officer Commanding of an Operational Wing, he was awarded AVSM in 1988.

Over and above his arduous responsibilities as IG he was appointed in 1991 as Chairman of the IAF's Diamond Jubilee Celebration Committee. He executed this task in an extremely professional manner. The celebration received favourable press coverage, thus brining the IAF closer to the people. Briefly stated, the IAF Diamond Jubilee 1992 was celebrated with the highest standards and in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force.

As SASO, he displayed an uncompromising commitment to the attainment of operational status of clearly evident deterrence to any potential enemy. Through relentless pursuit of this aim, the Command maintained a very potent war fighting capability of guaranteed pre-emptive and reactive capability. Furthermore, as Inspector General of the IAF, it was his perceptive vision of the compelling necessity to institute flight safety measures guaranteed to produce long term and lasting gains that a holistic appraisal was made and the present target for the entire decade of 1992 t0 2001 was set. This raised the IAF horizon from concerns about immediate gains to that of accident reduction of a more lasting nature over the long term. Likewise, in the field of inspections, the level has been elevated from single unit assessment to ascertaining the war fighting abilities of operational of operational commands in the use of air power in the Asian sub-continental scenario.

Air Marshal Keith David Kingsley Lewis, AVSM, VM has thus rendered distinguished service of the most exceptional order.

Unit :
Reference : GoI19940126

Articles from Main Site

In and Out of Cockpit by Air Marshal K D K Lewis -
Plane Tails From The IAF : The Pathankot Raid Of Dec 10 by Air Marshal K D K Lewis -

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.