Wing Commander Padmanabha Gautam, MVC; VM, Commanding Officer of a bomber squadron [No.16 Squadron, Canberras] led many missions deep into enemy territory. Notable among these are two raids on the night of December 5th and 7th, 1971,when he led attacks on Mianwali airfield. On both these occasions he and his formation were met with intense anti-aircraft fire. Despite that, the target was attacked with great precision, at low level, and heavy damage was inflicted. On other missions, Wg Cdr Gautam carried out rocket and four gun attacks on railway marshalling yards in the Montgomery-Raiwind area with conspicuous success. Through out the period of operations, Wg Cdr Gautam displayed an ability for cool and clear planning, along with unflinching courage, exemplar flying skill and leadership of the highest order in carrying out many hazardous missions. His conduct has been in the finest tradition of the Air Force.
Gazette of India , 12th February 1972 - No.22 - Pres/72 dated 20th January 1972
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