Vayu Sena Medal Awardee List for the year 1978


A total of 10 Awards are listed.
Vayu Sena Medal : 10 |
Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Surjit Singh Malhotra 4831 F(P)Unit : AirHQ Communications Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 78
Details :

Group Captain Surjit Singh Malhotra was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in November, 1954. He has been serving as the Commanding Officer of Air Headquarters Communication Squadron since March, 1976. During the very first year of his command, he brought about appreciable improvements in all round performance and efficiency of the Squadron. The Squadron flew a total of 5,292 accident­free hours maintaining a high state of serviceability. He also ensured that the aircrew training was vigorously progressed. This enabled the Squadron to achieve hundredpercent aircrew categorisation and remain fully operational. Under his able guidance, the Squadron also completed its tasks connected with the transportation of dignitaries and undertook all the transport support missions assigned to it. Group Captain Malhotra has over 7,300 hours of unblemished accidentfree service flying to his credit. He has flown six types of operational aircraft and has held highest transport category 'A' on no less than four types. At present, he holds 'A' category on two types of aircraft in current use. This is commendable achievement particularly when he has been on ground tenure for nearly seven years during his service.

Group Captain Surjit Singh Malhotra has thus displayed high professional skill, determination and devotion to duty of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd December 1979 - No.67- Pres/79 dated 26th January 1978 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Daya Krishan Dhiman 5180 F(P)Unit : No.20 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 78
Details :

Wing Commander Daya Krishan Dhiman was serving as Commanding Officer of a fighter squadron. While on duty as flying supervisor in the Air Traffic Control, he was called upon to assist an aircraft Pilot who was involved in a grave situation of loss of power controls and all hydraulic services, failure of both generators with impending total loss of electric supply and loss of speed control due to throttle being stuck at 98% RPM. It was a unique and challenging situation and to avoid a serious accident, it was necessary to land the aircraft immediately. The advice tendered by Wing Cdr Dhiman to the pilot of the aircraft at that moment, which enabled the latter to accomplish safe recovery of the aircraft, is a proof of his sound professional competence. This also subsequently led to the discovery of the cause of the aircraft failure. As Commanding Officer, Wing Commander Dhiman raised by his hard work, the operational potential of the unit both on the ground and the air. Although his unit is equipped with old aircraft with enormous maintenance and operational problems, he overcame all the handicaps and enabled his unit to achieve outstanding operational training standards.

Wing Commander Daya Krishan Dhiman has thus displayed professional competence, leadership and devotion lo duty of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd December 1979 - No.67- Pres/79 dated 26th January 1978 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Srinivasapuram Krishnaswamy 6338 F(P)Unit : Tactics and Combat Development Establishment  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 78
Details :

Wing Commander Srinivaspuram Krishna swamy served in Tactical and Air Combat Development Establishment for one year. During this period, he performed the duties of a Flight Commander and a staff pilot and conducted Fighter Combat Leaders' course. As Flight Commander, he carried out the difficult tusk of running the Daily Servicing Section, often working round the clock with a view to ensuring a high standard of performance. He used his professional knowledge as a test pilot to guide airmen/ technicians working under him and motivate them, by personal example, to work hard. It was because of his deep involvement with the maintenance activities of the Daily Servicing Section and also the Repair and Servicing Section, that the establishment was able to meet its commitments. In the air also, he was able to assist in the wide range of complicated operational flying tasks of the establishment. His contribution has not been confined to this establishment alone, he has often been called upon to carry out special test flights on such aircraft as had developed peculiar snags and were unsafe for flying even by experienced Squadron Pilots. Despite the hazards involved in such flights and considering that he is not employed on test flying duties, he has always accepted these commitments willingly and executed the flights ensuring maximum safe by both to the pilot and the aircraft. Because of his deep knowledge, he was asked to give special lectures on aerodynamics to all pilots, even at other bases and thus promoted among them a higher consciousness of flight safety.

Wing Commander Srinivaspuram Krishnaswamy has thus displayed high professional skill, competence and devotion to duty of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd December 1979 - No.67- Pres/79 dated 26th January 1978 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Ajai Kumar Singh 6336 F(P)Unit : Air Head Quarters  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 78
Details :

Squadron Leader Ajai Kumar Singh was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in 1961. He qualified as flying instructor in 1965 and carried out this onerous task with distinction. Because of his flying skill and professional knowledge he was appointed Station Instrument Rating Instructor in 1966. He distinguished himself in his instructional tenure by qualifying for 'A' category in 1967. He subsequently served with distinction on the staff of Flying Instructors' School and at an operational aircraft conversion unit. He has to his credit a record of 3,500 hours of accident-free flying hours. On completion of his Defence Services Staff College Course with distinction, he was selected for assignment in the Directorate of Air Staff Requirements at Air Headquarters. During the tenure, he was called upon to prepare Air Staff requirements for combat aircraft and major systems and carry out subjective analysis and assessment of contemporary weapon system being considered for induction in the Indian Air Force. In addition, he was assigned special concept ional time-bound tasks, which were successfully accomplished by him. He also maintained tactful and effective liaison with various agencies in the Research and Development Organisation and the Aircraft Industry which has helped the Air Force in finalizing major acquisitions and indigenous schemes.

Squadron Leader Ajai Kumar Singh has thus displayed professional competence, diligence and devotion to duty of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd December 1979 - No.67- Pres/79 dated 26th January 1978 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Gopal Krishan Mehta 6752 F(P)Unit : No.49 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 78
Details :

Squadron Leader Gopal Krishan Mehta was on the posted strength of a transport Squadron for two years and was employed in the capacity of Flight Commander. Unmindful of his personal comfort, he ceaselessly worked for long hours in coordinating and supervising the air maintenance task given to the squadron and completed it ahead of schedule. He himself flew a total of over 900 hours, out of which 550 hours were flown on operational missions in Nagaland and Mizoram. He has to his credit, a total of 4,784 hours of flying out of which 2,010 hours have been flown on operational missions over mountainous terrain and under adverse weather condition. He is an 'A' category transport pilot with Master Green instrument rating. With his professional competence and organisining ability, he has brought about all round improvement in the categorisation state of pilots in the squadron. He accompanied them on such flights, trained them and brought them up for categorization. His personal involvement has motivated his subordinates to give their best to the Air Force.

Squadron Leader Gopal Krishan Mehta has thus displayed professional competence, leadership and devotion to duty of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd December 1979 - No.67- Pres/79 dated 26th January 1978 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Rajinder Pal Singh Dhillon 7741 F(P)Unit : No.121 Helicopter Flight  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 78
Details :

Squadron Leader Rajinder Pal Singh Dhillon has been commanding a Helicopter Flight since 5th December, 1975. During his tenure, the unit has undertaken ever-increasing commitments in connection with the Oil and Natural Gas Commission's off-shore tasks, the successful completion of which have brought laurels to the Air Force. Undeterred by the shortage of pilots, Squadron Leader Dhillon himself took the heavy flying commitments and carried out 600 hours of flying on support mission in connection with the drilling operations of the Oil and Natural Gas Commission.

As Unit Commander, Squadron Leader Dhillon ensured all personnel under him worked as a team and completed all tasks assigned to them to the complete satisfaction of the higher authorities. He has flown over 150 sorties on duties connected with the transportation of dignitaries in far-flung areas of the country as well as abroad. He has to his credit a total of 5,200 hours of flying on jets and helicopters.

Squadron Leader Rajinder Pal Singh Dhillon thus displayed professional competence, leadership and devotion to duty of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd December 1979 - No.67- Pres/79 dated 26th January 1978 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Swaran Singh Banga 8100 F(P)Unit : IAF Training Team, Iraq  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 78
Details :

On 21st May, 1977, while on an instruc tional sortie in local flying area on an aircraft, Squadron Leader Swaran Singh Banga experienced a flame out at a height of 2500 meters as a result of technical failure. Relighting efforts were not successful. There was sufficient height for safe ejection by both occupants of the aircraft. But in older to save the valuable aircraft, Squadron Leader Banga decided to force land on a runway under construction at a critical distance. He remained fully composed throughout the emergency and executed a well judged forcedlanding against heavy odds which included manoeuvering skillfully to avoid bulldozers playing on the runway just seconds before touchdown.

In this action, Squadron Leader Swaran Singh Banga displayed outstanding courage, professional skill and devotion to duty of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd December 1979 - No.67- Pres/79 dated 26th January 1978 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Thakur Ramanuj Singh 10593 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 78
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Thakur Ramanuj Singh was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in October. 1966. He has to his credit a total of 2,740 hours of accident-free flying. On 14th October, 1977, Flight Lieutenant Singh was ordered to evacuate Sir Edmund Hillary, the Everest Hero and the leader of the "Ocean to Sky Expedition", who was reportedly lying critically ill near Manna helipad. Flight Lieutenant Singh immediately got airborne and, using his professional skill and immaculate planning, reached the helipad in a record time. On arrival at the helipad, be was told that Sir Edmund Hillary was lying at the base camp, located at approximately 17,5000 feet above mean sea level on Nar Parbat. The weather was extremely turbulent and the whole area between 11,500 and 19,000 feet was covered with clouds. In utter disregard to his own safety, he got airborne and made an attempt to reach the base camp. He exhibited exceptional skill in this search but his efforts were thwarted due to clouds near the base camp. He continued to make efforts to rescue Sir Edmund Hillary till the last light when he was forced to return.

On 15th October, 1977, Flight Lieutenant Singh was detailed to fly as a co-pilot for the same mission. The helicopter got airborne at first light. Weather condition by now had slightly improved and the crew reconnoitered the area. After 15 minutes of flying, it was Flight Lieutenant Singh, who first located Sir Edmund Hillary at a height of 17,500 feet above mean sea level. With a continuous commentary, he assisted the captain in bringing the helicopter to hover close to the casualty. The terrain did not permit a landing or winching. Disregarding his personal safety, Flight Lieutenant Singh jumped out of the hovering aircraft and assisted Sir Edmund Hillary to board the hovering aircraft and got in after him. Thereafter, he made Sir Edmund Hillary comfortable and also helped the Captain in flying the aircraft back to base.

Flight Lieutenant Thakur Ramanuj Singh displayed high standard of flying skill, exemplary courage and devotion to duty of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd December 1979 - No.67- Pres/79 dated 26th January 1978 

Vayu Sena Medal
Flt Lt Mirza Murtuza Ali 11340 F(P)Unit : No.109 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 78
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Mirza Murtuza Ali is posted as Flight Commander of a Helicopter Unit since 5th January, 1975. He has been responsible for execution of all flying task of the unit as well as training or aircrew. This being a type conversion unit of the Air Force, it fell on Flight Lieutenant Ali, to organise and execute conversion of the pilots. Besides supervision, this entailed a tremendous amount of instructional work, both in the air and on the ground. He devoted himself, whole-heartedly to the task and with his professional skill, perseverance and sustained hard work was able to train 25 pilots on type, which is an exceptionally high number by any standards. He involved himself closely with all aspects of flying activities in the unit. With his effective supervision, he contributed significantly towards the unit's performance of 2214 hours of accident free flying in 1976. He set an example to his colleagues and juniors by flying 631 hours himself during the same period. He holds a current B/ Master Green category.

Flight Lieutenant Mirza Murtuza Ali has thus displayed professional competence, leadership and devotion to duty of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd December 1979 - No.67- Pres/79 dated 26th January 1978 

Vayu Sena Medal
MWO Jagdish Chandra Munjal 200072 ORUnit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 78
Details :

Master Warrant Officer Jagdish Chandra Munjal has been working as a Flight Signaller in a transport squadron of the Air Force since June, 1973. He has a total of 9800 hours of flying to his credit, out of which 2320 hours are on operational flying. He has always been in forefront in carrying out all arduous and difficult missions and has set a very high standard of airmanship. It is mainly due to his relentless efforts and untiring zeal that he achieved the rare distinction of flying a total of over 720 hours in one year and of' over 2100 hours on transport aircraft in three years.

Waster Warrant Officer Jagdish Chandra Munjal has thus displayed professional competence and devotion to duty of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd December 1979 - No.67- Pres/79 dated 26th January 1978 

The Awards Database presented here was made possible by the kind generosity of Air Marshal Bharat Kumar, author of Courage & Devotion to Duty : A Chronicle of IAF's Honours and Awards (1932-2008). Air Marshal Bharat Kumar had very graciously given permission to reproduce the citations from the book on this website.
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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.