Vayu Sena Medal Awardee List for the 107 HU

A total of 12 Awards are listed.
Vayu Sena Medal : 12 |
Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Bikram Singh Jaswal 4440 GD(P)Unit : No.107 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 63
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Bikram Singh Jaswal has been employed as a helicopter pilot since 1960 in the Ladakh area. He was one of the first few pilots to operate the newly acquired Mi-4 helicopters in this area. He undertook trials and carried out landings at advance landing grounds located at high altitudes with skill and courage. The series of trial flights undertaken by him, with loads and at various altitudes culminated in landing the Mi-4 for the first time at an airfield situated over 16000 feet above sea level.

While at Leh, in December 1960, he evacuated a jawan who was dangerously ill in one of our forward posts. He has carried out as many as 40 casualty evacuations. He has flown more than 1400 operational hours on helicopters over Ladakh and NEFA and displayed professional skill and courage of a high order.

Reference: Gazette of India 26th January 1963 - No. 10-Pres/63 dated 26th January, 1963 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Satnam Singh Sodhi 5181 GD(P)Unit : No.107 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 04 Oct 62 Announced 26 Jan 63
Details :

On 4th October 1962, one of our helicopters was stranded in Galwan outpost. In order to rescue its crew, it was essential to send a relief helicopter with a servicing party. No pilot was competent to undertake this difficult task was immediately available. Flight lieutenant Satnam Singh Sodhi, who was being trained for operations in the Ladakh area volunteered to carry out this hazardous mission though he had only 78 hour of flying experience on this type of aircraft and was not familiar with the area. Tough considerable risk was involved, Flight Lieutenant Sodhi was permitted to proceed on this mission. He landed at Galwan successfully at approximately 1630 hours in fading light. Immediately after th e servicing party had alighted, he flew out the stranded crew to a safer place.

In voluntarily undertaking this task, for which he was not fully qualified, Flight Lieutenant Satnam Singh Sodhi displayed a great sense of responsibility and a high degree of professional skill.

Reference: Gazette of India 16th February 1963 - No. 21-Pres/63 dated 26th January, 1963 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Bhagat Singh Bakshi 4597 GD(P)Unit : No.107 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 01 Jan 66
Details :

Squadron Leader Bhagat Singh Bakhshi took over as officer in charge of a helicopter detachment drawn from three units. The detachment carried out 567 sorties and flew 433 hours within a period of thirty six days from 18th August, 1965 to 22nd September, 1965.

The aircraft operated immediately behind the lines carrying out supply-dropping, bombing and strafing. They evacuated eight hundred and thirty two casualties. They dropped a large number of bombs and fired many rounds of ammunition and conveyed large quantities of ammunition and supplies. This was a vital help to our advancing forces to sustain the newly captured picquets in Jammu and Kashmir.

On 31st August, 1965, Squadron Leader Bakhshi carried out three offensive sorties against the infiltrators, flying at low-levels while attacking the targets. He also carried out thirty logistic sorties and thirteen sorties to evacuate the casualties from quickly fabricated helipads within the range of enemy fire. These sorties were flown from an airfield which was under constant threat of enemy air raid without any warning. Undeterred by such grave dangers, the officer accomplished his difficulty tasks with great determination and zeal and displayed a high degree of professional skill and ability which were in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 12th February 1966 - No.14-Pres/66 dated 1st January 1966 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Harold Clement Demos 6891 GD(P)Unit : No.107 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 08 Apr 68 Announced 26 Jan 69
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Harold Clement Demos has been a helicopter pilot since 1963 and has flown over 900 operational hours which involved over 1,000 operational sorties in the forward areas. He has always volunteered for operational missions. He carried out supply dropping missions in Nagaland. In September 1967 when the Nanak Sagar Dam burst causing havoc to the surrounding civilian population, livestock and property, he carried out many sorties under severe and trying conditions. On another occasion, he evacuated 2 casualties at the risk of his own life from an area covered with 15 feet of snow. On 8th April 1968 when an Air Force Officer ejected from an aircraft 30 miles south east of Kanpur and was seriously injured, he disregarding his personal safety, took off from Kanpur in darkness and reached the scene of the accident, picked up the Air Force Officer and brought him safely to Kanpur airfield.

Throughout, Flight Lieutenant Harold Clement Demos displayed courage and devotion to duty in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 12th April 1969 : No.18 - Pres/69 dated 26th January 1969 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Prakash Nath Sharma 9412 F(P)Unit : No.107 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 72
Details :

During the operations against Pakistan in December, 1971, Flight Lieutenant Prakash Nath Sharma, as a pilot of a Helicopter Unit, operated from forward helipads in support of our ground forces. He flew fifty missions deep inside enemy territory carrying food, water and ammunition for our ground forces in Nayachor, Chhachor and Khinsar areas and bringing back battle casualties. Sometimes, he had to land at completely unprepared desert surface, well within the range of enemy fire. On the 11th December, 1971, while returning from a mission, he was attacked by four enemy aircraft about six miles from Nayachor. He immediately landed his helicopter between two sand dunes and ordered his crew to take cover under the thick dust raised up by the rotor. The enemy aircraft straffed the helicopter and the crew and one of the aircraft dropped a 500 lbs bomb also, but their attacks failed to find the mark. The only damage caused was that the perspex of the Helicopter got shattered and the reductor bay cowling was blown apart. Undeterred, he took off again and landed at a forward helipad and thus not only saved the helicopter but also the lives of the crew members.

Throughout, Flight Lieutenant Prakash Nath Sharma displayed courage, professional skill and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 7th October 1972 - No.108 - Pres/72 dated 23rd September 1972 

Bar to Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Lalit Kumar Datta 6506 F(P)Unit : No.107 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 73
Details :

Squadron Leader Lalit Kumar Dutta, while commanding a Helicopter Unit, was entrusted with the task of Casualty Evacuation, Air Maintenance and Reconnaissance, at a forward base, in the Western Sector. In addition to other tasks at his own base, he himself, flew a number of sorties, and in this, he not only exhibited total dedication to the service with complete disregard to personal safety, but also high professional skill, courage and outstanding qualities of leadership. He thus instilled confidence amongst his officers and men thereby inspiring them to undertake various types of missions in the face of the enemy. In addition, he always found the time to look after the welfare of his officers and men.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Lalit Kumar Dutta displayed courage, leadership and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 23rd March 1974 - No.34 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1973 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Kenneth Rodney Dutton 5873 F(P)Unit : No.107 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 15 Feb 74 Announced 26 Jan 76
Details : Squadron Leader Kenneth Rodney Dutton has been commanding a helicopter unit since 15th February 1974, which has a dual operational and type conversion role. He has been largely responsible for the evolution of safe operating procedures for helicopters in desert terrain and is currently well well advanced in trials for special opcrations by night. He has 4750 accident free flying hours to his credit. On 24th February. 1975, while demonstrating turns in a hover, the tail rotor-cable of his helicopter snapped. It resulted in complete loss of directional control at a very crucial stage of flight. In this grave situation Squadron Leader Dutton acted with remarkable speed and presence of mind by using engine torque to counter the vicious yaw and landed the aircraft safely thus averting a very serious accident. In this action, Squadron Leader Kenneth Rodney Dutton displayed courage, professional skill and devotion to duty of a high order.
Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd January 1977 - No.5- Pres/77 dated 26th January 1976 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Arun Dharamdas Sonpar 13398 F(P)Unit : No.107 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 11 Oct 87 Announced 14 Apr 88
Details : Squadron Leader Arun Dharam Das Sonpar is posted to a helicopter unit. He was detailed as co-pilot with Fg Offr V Prakash on special Heliborne Operation on the night of 11/12 Oct 87. He was made responsible for successfully landing the troops for three missions at a helipad under heavy fire. The helicopter received heavy damage. Sqn Ldr Sonpar gave valuable support to his Captain and thereby ensured that the helicopter was flown back to base successfully.

For his exceptional dedication to duty and professional competence of a higher order, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Sqn Ldr Sonpar.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 13th August 1988 - No.78-Pres/88 dated 15th April 1988 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Pramod Kumar Roy 14100 F(P)Unit : No.107 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 95
Details :

Wing Commander Pramod Kumar Roy was commissioned as a helicopter pilot in the Flying Branch on 11 July 1975. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and has held the appointments of Flight Commander at Mi25 and Mi-35 Helicopter Squadrons. He has also been co-opted at tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment (TACDE) for conducting Helicopter Combat Orientation Course and Attack Helicopter Course. He is a graduate of Defence Services Staff College.

Wg Cdr PK Roy has been commanding a Mi-8 Helicopter Unit since 10 October 1992. He is an 'A' Master Green Pilot and has also been appointed as Command Examiner on Mi-8 Helicopter. He has flown over 4200 hours on all the Helicopter types in the IAF.

During his tenure, the unit was declared the best helicopter/transport unit of command for the year 1993. The unit also bagged the Gunnery Meet trophy for Rocket firing team. Air Staff Inspection Team on their inspection visit in April 1994, assessed the unit as 'Average Plus' in all spheres of activity. He carried out four night exercises with Army as the Type Force Commander. In addition, as the VVIP/VIP helicopter flight of command, the unit has flown dignitaries like the President of India, Chiefs of Army Staff of Bangladesh and Thailand, etc. The crowning achievement of the unit during Wg Cdr PK Roy's tenure has been completion of over 11,000 hours of accident free flying.

For exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wg Cdr Pramod Kumar Roy.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th March 1995 - No.99-Pres/94 dated 26th January 1995 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Anup Kishore Prasad 15566 F(P)Unit : No.107 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Wing Commander Prasad is on the posted strength of a Mi-8 helicopter Unit of Indian Air Force since 02 May 93.

On 13 Jul 94, he was authorised to ferry a Mi-8 helicopter from Jaisalmer to Jodhpur. After ten minutes of flying, he experienced severe vertical vibrations which increased suddenly in amplitude and frequency to a level where control of the helicopter itself was likely to be lost. Both the pilots were required to use their combined force to keep the helicopter under control.

Wing Commander AK Prasad with a cool mind carried out an in-flight check that revealed that a landing was possible only at about 100 Kmph speed. In bushy sandy terrain with loss of the aircraft almost a certainty, Wg Cdr AK Prasad displayed exceptional courage and quickly made a decision to land on a field touching down at high forward speed. Thereafter, he manoeuvered the helicopter on ground with deft reflexes to prevent it hitting the trees and managed to stop the aircraft safely.

Wing Commander AK Prasad displayed exceptional courage in keeping with the highest tradition of the IAF in handling the emergency which resulted in saving the machine and valuable lives.

For exceptional courage, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander AK Prasad.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 9th March 1996 - No.23-Pres/96 dated 26th January 1996 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Sartaj Bedi 21024 F(P)Unit : No.107 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 09 Aug 06 Announced 15 Aug 07
Details :

Wing Commander Sartaj Bedi (21024) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Mi-17 unit since 05 Jun 06, where he is functioning as the unit Flight Commander.

In Aug 06, the state of Gujarat experienced incessant rainfall leading to a deluge that left countless people marooned and bereft of any food or water. Consequently, the unit was tasked to provide four helicopters to provide succour to those affected, with Wing Commander Bedi as the Detachment Commander. The officer led his team from the front by carrying out relief operations from Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Surat. Braving incessant inclement weather he flew 33 hours, rescued 156 people and dropped 56 tonnes of relief material. All these survivors were rescued from their low-lying perches that were perilously surrounded by fast flowing and rising flood waters leaving them with no other means of escape. Displaying an acute sense of empathy, coupled with astute professionalism, which required hovering over the swirling flood waters, he winched up 139 persons, including 79 in a single day, on 09 Aug 06. Most of these rescues were executed in spite of the close proximity of tall obstructions and were carried out from as varied locations as vehicle tops, roof tops as well as from a collapsed building in Surat.

On 10 Aug 06, upon receiving information about the collapsed building, the officer reached the spot with all alacrity and found it to be amidst high rise buildings and other obstructions like tall trees and poles which were very close to the site. Knowing the importance of rescuing the survivors, but not being in visual contact with the survivors, Wing Commander Bedi instructed the crew of his helicopter to guide him over the spot and proceeded to winch up as many as 22 injured persons from the rubble. In spite of close obstacles and gusting wind conditions, he very ably used the crew's verbal inputs to maintain his hover position for a safe winching of the survivors. Given the marginal conditions, there was no scope of error and Wg Cdr Bedi had executed the task with unwaveri ng determination and professionalism. He further flew the survivors, some of them with serious injuries to a city hospital, a fact also commended by the local media. These singular acts of valour by the officer in the face of all possible odds, helped in the saving of more than 150 lives while also projecting a humane face of the service to the nation.

For his acts of exceptional courage, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Wing Commander Sartaj Bedi.


Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Rajesh Ranwan 21812 F(P)Unit : No.107 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 23 Aug 06 Announced 15 Aug 07
Details :

Wing Commander Rajesh Ranwan (21812) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Mi-17 Helicopter Unit since 27 Feb 06.

Barmer district of Rajasthan experienced unprecedented rainfall in the month of Aug 06. Very heavy rainfall on 21 Aug 06 resulted in flooding of Kawas, Malwa and Barkha. Wg Cdr Ranwan was the Det Cdr of the helicopter detachment that undertook the arduous task of providing succor, rescue and relief to the affected areas. Wg Cdr Ranwan, being the most qualified and experienced pilot in the detachment, flew missions in the face of the very trying weather conditions, ensuring that the marooned people were rescued and the stranded persons received food and water. On 22 Aug 06, he skillfully rescued 80 persons from Kawas and adjoining villages.

On 23 Aug 06, he was again tasked for rescuing the people marooned on roof tops of submerged huts in Malwa village. The weather, continued to pose severe limitations on the aircrew undertaking the relief operations. Flooding conditions was such that marooned people could only be rescued by a hover. Surrounding obstacles and heavy weather conditions had put severe limitations on rescue by hover. However, displaying courage, determination and professionalism, Wg Cdr Ranwan persisted with the rescue operations. Undeterred by the risks involved, he rescued 107 people, 80 of them, by low hover and 27 by winching, who, but for his brave, daring and professional flying, would have lost their lives. In similar fashion he had saved another 22 people from surrounding areas. Additionally, he also carried relief material for stranded villages in the affected areas, dropping more than 15 tonnes of food and relief material, thereby providing food and shelter to innumerable helpless citizens. The rescue missions carried out by the officer speak volumes of his courageous efforts displayed during the adverse weather and trying flying conditions, which resulted in rescuing stranded people from dangerous flood waters.

Before carrying out relief work at Barmer, Wg Cdr Ranwan was involved in relief operation in Gujarat sector wherein he rescued 63 persons and dropped over 33 tonnes of relief material. His efforts during these flood relief operations helped in rescuing 272 people who otherwise would have lost their lives. The Chief Minister of Rajasthan, during her visit to Air Force Station, Uttarlai, personally commended and thanked Wg Cdr Ranwan for his bravery and valour.

For displaying exceptional courage and professionalism under adverse circumstances, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Wing Commander Rajesh Ranwan.


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.