Vayu Sena Medal Awardee List for the 130 HU


A total of 4 Awards are listed.
Vayu Sena Medal : 4 |
Bar to Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Harbans Singh Bath 12008 F(P)Unit : No.130 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 90
Details :

Wing Commander Harbans Singh Bath VM was posted on 15 Feb 88 as the first Squadron Commander of a newly raised Mi-17 Squadron. The unit became fully operational within one week of its formation.

On 21 Jun 88, the unit was assigned the task of undertaking drop sorties at Sia La, a strategic Army post situated at a height of 5.7 Kms on the glacier. It was a Dropping Zone (DZ) where Mi-17 helicopter had never operated before. Wg Cdr Bath not only carried out successful drops at Sia-La but also utilized this opportunity to train his pilots while on-the-job. Subsequently, he repeated similar feats at "Bahadur" (DZ) and "Sonam" (DZ). In Apr 89, our ground forces holding 'Thapa' ridge were critically low on rations and ammunition and were under heavy fire from enemy. This post was hazardous for helicopter operations in view of its topography and very restricted flying space. Wg Cdr HS Bath, flying through zones of enemy fire, carried out 5 missions on a single day and delivered the much needed supplies to the beleaguered contingent of our Army.

For his personal example and selfless devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award Bar to Vayu Seva Medal to Wg Cdr Harbans Singh Bath.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 12th May 1990 - No.38-Pres/90 dated 26th January 1990 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Vyakaranam Venkata Surya Subbarao 16633 F(P)Unit : No.130 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 11 Jun 91 Announced 26 Jan 92
Details :

Sqn Ldr VVS Subba Rao has been on the posted strength of one of the Helicopter units with effect from 15 Feb 88. He has had the distinction of flying in "OP MEGHDOOT' sector for the past four years and has flown more than 1500 hours spread over 3500 sorties. On 11 Jun 91, Sqn Ldr Subba Rao was on air maintenance sortie for "OP MEGHDOOT' to a helipad which is at a height of 4650 mtrs AMSL. The sortie involved paradrop of 600 Kgs of load followed by a landing to offload 400 Kgs landing load. The helipad is bound by hills and has very rough and rugged terrain. After carrying out paradrop he landed and offloaded the aircraft as per the SOP. Thereafter he took off with 100 Kgs load and one passenger. When the ac had gained about 60 kmph speed and 60-70 ft height, Sqn Ldr Subba Rao suddenly heard a loud thud and experienced loss of height. He glanced at the engine instruments and noticed that the port engine RPM and TGT were rapidly going down. He displayed exceptional skill in handling the emergency and manoeruvred his aircraft even at that critical height and carried out a safe landing. The emergency had occurred at a very critical phase of flight and it was only because of Sqn Ldr Subba Rao's professionalism and competence as a pilot that helped him remain absolutely cool and react to the emergency in an exemplary manner which otherwise would have been a disaster. This successful single engine landing is perhaps, the first of its kind in Mi-17 aircraft which had been carried out at a height of 4650 mtrs (15500 ft) AMSL. This feat is all the more laudable because it occurred at the very extreme of the aircraft's flight envelope where the scope for error is absolutely negligible.

For his contribution to "ÓP MEGHDOOT", display of exceptional professional compe tence in handling a very critical emergency in an extremely hostile terrain, dedication to duty and courage, the President is pleased to award

Reference: Gazette of India dated 11th April 1992 - No.29-Pres/92 dated 26th January 1992 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Pranay Dixit 22726 F(P)Unit : No.130 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 06 Feb 99 Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Pranay Dixit (22726) Flying (Pilot) has been on the posted strength of a Helicopter Unit since 02 Feb 98.

On 06 Feb 99 an emergency SOS message was received by the Air Force. A team consisting of two French and five Belgian nationals were stranded near Padam area in the Zanskar Valley due to an unprecedented snow blizzard. Hypothermia, an acute respiratory trauma, critically affected several members of the team. The officer was on a detachment at Thoise and was entrusted upon with the casualty evacuation task. On receiving the task, he was airborne within a short time after modifying an aircraft for casually evacuation. The weather was deteriorating fast in the upper reaches of the Zanskar Valley. He flew through the treacherous and unforgiving confines of the narrow snow bound Zanskar Valley and located the site of the stranded trekkers.

Despite whiteout, poor visibility conditions and precarious obstructions, the officer landed at the snow-covered site. The timely rescue saved the perilled trekkers from a near certain calamitous fate. This laudable act of courage and valour was acknowledged by All India Radio, Television and local Newspapers. His display of exceptional courage in averse and trying circumstances was in keeping with the best traditions of the IAF.

For this act of courage and professionalism, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' (Gallantry) to Flight Lieutenant Pranay Dixit.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 26th May 2001 - No.68-Pres/2001 dated 26th January 2001 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Anil Tiwari 17160 F(P)Unit : No.130 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 03
Details :

Wing Commander Anil Tiwari (17160) F(P) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force on 28 May 1983 and presently commanding a Helicopter Unit in operational area with effect from 01 Aug 2001.

On 20 Jun 2001 Wg Cdr Tiwari received an SOS message from the Divisional Commissioner that two trucks with ten civilians on board were marooned in middle of Tawi river due to flash floods. Incessant rains in the upper reaches had caused the water level in the river to rise suddenly and submerge half the trucks. The water level was rising continuously and no other surface means to rescue the marooned persons had been possible. The risk of the trucks getting washed away in swift current endangering the lives of the personnel was imminent.

In true traditions of the IAF, Wg Cdr Tiwari took the lead and took charge of the rescue operation. The rescue helicopter got airborne and promptly reached the spot to carry out aerial recce. Analyzing the gravity of the situation and seeing the men huddled over top of the truck, he decided to winch up the marooned. Taking care of the heavy down wash of the helicopter did not disturb the truck or the personnel huddled on top, the helicopter was brought to a high hover the truck cabin. Continuous light drizzle, overcast skies and non-availability of visual clues over the fast flowing river made steady hover a professional challenge. Displaying steady composure and high professional skill, Wg Cdr Tiwari maintained steady hover and lowered the Flight Gunner on to the truck cabin and with precision and composure, one by one, all the ten men were winched up. Finally the Flight Gunner was winched up to accomplish a rescue mission which required continuous winching for about an hour. This operation received wide publicity and kept the flag of the IAF flying high.

For this display of courage, perseverance and professional skill, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Seva Medal' to Wing Commander Anil Tiwari.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd March 2003 - No.43-Pres/2003 dated 26th January 2003 

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.