Vayu Sena Medal Awardee List for the 119 HU

A total of 4 Awards are listed.
Vayu Sena Medal : 4 |
Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Krishan Kumar Sangar 7017 F(P)Unit : No.119 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 75
Details :

Squadron Leader Krishan Kumar Sangar was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in January, 1963. He has been posted to a Helicopter Unit since June, 1972. During the period of July-August, 1973, he rescued 532 persons from the flooded areas of Haryana, Punjab and J&K. All these rescues were carried out in conditions of extremely bad weather and at great personal risk. He has to his credit a total of 4,039 accident­free hours, out of which he has flown 2,600 hours as a first pilot during his operational tenures in the hills of Eastern and Western sectors.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Krishan Kumar Sangar displayed courage, professional skill and exceptional devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 21st February 1975 - No.16 - Pres/75 dated 26th January 1975 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sgt Jatindra Nath Pradhan 695654 ORUnit : No.119 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 15 Aug 95
Details :

695654 Sergeant Jatindra Nath Pradhan, Flight Gunner is on the posted strength of a Mi-8 Helicopter Unit of Indian Air Force since 14 Dec 93.

On 22 Jul 94, Sgt Pradhan was detailed as the second Flight Gunner for rescuing the occupants of a truck that had been stranded in the middle of Kalisindh River which was in spate.

One of the two occupants of the truck had earlier been washed away in the turbulent, surging flood waters. The ill-fated truck lay almost submerged some 75 m from the nearest bank with the water level just below the roof. The cascading waters were shaking the truck violently, making for a very precarious unstable perch. The truck was just 10 feet way from a cataract where the foaming and swirling water was threatening to wash it away any moment.

Despite the frightening circumstances, Sgt Pradhan descended via the winch to the top of the truck to rescue the sole survivor. He did so knowing that he would have to wait on the truck in its perilous position, till the winch was lowered a second time. Having secured the helpless survivor Sgt Pradhan awaited his turn with great fortitude knowing fully well that at any moment he himself could be washed away. Thus, in keeping with the best traditions of the Air Force, Sgt Pradhan risked his own life to save another.

For exceptional courage, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Sergeant JN Pradhan.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 7th October 1995 - No.184-Pres/95 dated 15th August 1995 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Ravi Krishnan 13807 F(P)Unit : No.119 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 19 Jun 96 Announced 15 Aug 96
Details :

Wing Commander Ravi Krishan (13807) Flying (Pilot) is Commanding a Helicopter Unit since 28 Mar 93. He has got 6200 hours of total service flying, out of which 3200 hours are on type.

Consequent to cyclone storm hitting Saurashtra area on 17 Jun 96, a request was received from Civil authorities on 19 Jun 96 to rescue three seamen from a sinking barge in the Gulf of Kutch. Existing weather was not fit for this rescue operation, but following the highest tradition of the Air Force, Wing Commander Ravi Krishan as a commanding officer decided to lead from the front and took on this task.

Surface winds were exceeding 70 kmph, incessant rain had reduced the visibility and the sky was covered with 6 Octa of low clouds at 90 mtrs AMSL & the sea was very choppy. Inspite of these unfit and dangerous conditions, not caring for his own safety and beyond the call of duty, Wing Commander Ravi Krishan displayed exceptional courage to undertake the mission.

After getting airborne, a thorough search was carried out in poor visibility and the seamen were spotted. Hovering itself in the prevailing adverse weather conditions was an impossible task. In addition, carrying out winching operation to rescue three untrained civilians, panicking to get to safety, ignorant of winch limitations was a mission which required extreme courage, skill, devotion and coordination. Wing Commander Ravi Krishan, without caring for his own safety, not only flew his helicopter in these dangerous conditions as the captain of the aircraft, but also led his team in an exemplary manner. This resulted in successful winching operations rescuing the seamen from a certain disaster, which would have certainly led to their loss of life. This act of gallantry above and beyond the normal call of duty displayed by him speaks volumes of his exceptional courage and professionalism.

For this act of exceptional gallantry, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Ravi Krishan.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 30th November 1996 - No.92-Pres/96 dated 15th August 1996 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Pankaj Vishnoi 17347 F(P)Unit : No.119 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 00
Details :

Squadron Leader Pankaj Vishnoi (17347) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Helicopter Unit since Mar 97. He has flown more than 4600 hrs and is a Type Qualified Flying Instructor.

On 19 May 99, a severe cyclone storm hit near the Kutch coast causing heavy devastation and destruction in the high seas around the coastal areas of Porbandar. A message was received to rescue a country vessel "Al Quasmi" which was incapacitated due to engine problems in the mid seas. Sqn Ldr P Vishnoi was detailed to under take this arduous task to winch out the passengers from the disabled ship to safety. Inclement weather and gusty sea conditions made it harder to achieve this mission. He took off from Porbandar and located the ship after searching relentlessly for an hour in conditions of low clouds and thundershowers. He commenced winching under strong wind conditions and low clouds and was able to pick up five persons. Thereafter the visibility started reducing making it more and more difficult to operate over sea as the waves rose to a height of 3-5 mtrs. Sqn Ldr P Vishnoi continued with the task, with great courage and determination and successfully managed to rescue a total of eight persons after which the wealthier did not permit him further operations.

Sqn Ldr P Vishnoi was also responsible for recovery of the Atlantique aircraft debris which was shot down over the Bundela Rann of Kutch on 10 Aug 99. The task was carried out in a difficult terrain and under very hostile conditions.

For his professionalism and courage, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Sqn Ldr P Vishnoi.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 1st July 2000 - No.85-Pres/2000 dated 26th January 2000 

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.