Vayu Sena Medal Awardee List for the 31 Sqn

A total of 5 Awards are listed.
Vayu Sena Medal : 5 |
Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Manayanthara Kunjanpillai Raghava Menon 8766 F(P)Unit : No.31 Squadron  Award Date 16 Dec 71 Announced 26 Jan 72
Details :

During the operations against Pakistan in December, 1971, Flight Lieutenant Nayanathara Kunjan Pillai Raghava Menon was attached to a Fighter Bomber Squadron. He flew a number of operational missions deep inside enemy territory despite heavy ground and air opposition. On the 16th December, 1971, while on a bombing and strafing mission, his aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire. The shell shattered the canopy and fragments of the shell got embedded in his body injuring him seriously and hampering his vision. Though be was more than seventy nautical miles away from his base, he brought the aircraft back to base safely instead of abandoning it.

Throughout, Flight Lieutenant Nayanathara Kunjan Pillai Raghava Menon displayed courage, determination and professional skill.

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

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Saravjit Singh Hothi 12215 F(P)Unit : No.31 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 91
Details :

Wg Cdr Sarvajit Singh Hothi has been commanding an operational squadron with effect from 10 Jun 88. His systematic approach, quest for excellence and the stress laid on training of Sqn pilots enhanced the operational status of the Sqn. His planning and approach to operational status ensured that all night strike qualified pilots successfully undertook live heavy armament stores firing at a range.

The task of planning and co-ordinating of night exercises was entrusted to Wg Cdr Hothi. His meticulous planning and effective co-ordination involving different fleet was exemplary.

Wg Cdr Hothi has flown nearly 1000 hrs on MiG-23 BN ac, all accident free. He has a total of 4055 hrs to his credit on single engine jet aircraft.

For his professional excellence, zeal, contribution towards operational preparedness, leadership, devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Wg Cdr SS Hothi.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th August 1991 - No.3-Pres/91 dated 26th January 1991 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Sanjay Bose 12757 F(P)Unit : No.31 Squadron  Award Date 19 Sep 91 Announced 26 Jan 92
Details :

Late Wing Commander Sanjoy Bose was the Commanding Officer of one of the Squadrons of Air force, from 13 Aug 90 to 19 Sep 91. He has undergone the Staff Course in UK.

On 19 Sep 91, Late Wing Commander Bose was airborne for a live RP strike over a Range. While pulling out from the dive, he experienced a severe engine surge followed by engine overheat and thermo-regulator warning indications. While dealing with this multiple emergency, with very little height at his disposal, Wg Cdr Bose realized the gravity of the situation and informed the ground control of his intention to eject. At this stage there was enough height for him to abandon the aircraft successfully, but his aircraft was pointing towards a village. He piloted his stricken aircraft away from this populated area and in doing so delayed his ejection to a critically low altitude. The aircraft crashed in an open field near the village but Wing Commander Bose was fatally injured. Late Wing Commander Bose, thus averted a major catastrophe by sacrificing his own life in keeping with the best traditions of the IAF.

Late Wg Cdr Bose was an extremely dedicated and capable officer. With his rare acumen and sound leadership, he ensured that the Squadron was operationally geared up to meet any eventuality. He was frank and forthright officer, whose humane behavior towards his men made him an outstanding commander.

For the supreme sacrifice made by him in saving invaluable lives and for his selfless devotion to duty, spanning more than twenty years in the Indian Air Force, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal (POSTHUMOUSLY) to Wg Cdr Sanjoy Bose.

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

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Mohinder Pal Singh Gill 13604 F(P)Unit : No.31 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 95
Details :

Wing Commander Mohinder Pal Singh Gill was commissioned as a fighter pilot on 22 December 1973. A Qualified Flying Instructor and a Fighter Combat Leader, he commanded a MiG-23 BN Squadron (Sqn) from Oct 92 to Sep 93. He is also an alumni of Defence Services Staff College. Wg Cdr MPS Gill took over command of Sqn after the tragic loss of previous Squadron Commander in a fatal flying accident. The morale of the Sqn was low. However, Wg Cdr MPS Gill, with great perseverance and skill rejuvenated the squadron. After taking over he paid special emphasis on raising the operational standard of the Sqn. Due to his efforts the Sqn enjoyed a very high operational status. Under his able guidance the squadron prepared for an exercise wherein the performance of Sqn came up for praise from every quarter including the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Air Command who flew with the Sqn. During the Command Gunnery Meet 92-93, the squadron did extremely well overall, particularly in bombing and won the overall championship for the year. During Air Staff Inspection in March 1993 the Sqn was assessed as 'Average Plus' in flying and 'Above Average' in ground subjects. The Sqn was declared the best fighter Sqn in Western Air Command for the year 1992-93. These achievements were possible due to Wg Cdr Gill's exemplary leadership, professional competence, and organisational ability. During his tenure the aircraft serviceability was also sustained 75% despite many restraints faced due to the shortfall in aeroengines and other spares.

For exceptional devotion to duty the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wg Cdr Mohinder Pal Singh Gill.

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

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Pramjit Singh Gill 14097 F(P)Unit : No.31 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 98
Details :

Group Captain Paramjit Singh Gill (14097) F (P) assumed command of No. 31 Sqn (MiG23 BN), AF on 12 Jun 95. In the 22 months of his command tenure the officer brought in remarkable changes in every field of endeavour of a frontline ground attack squadron.

In terms of training he achieved 100% operational status of all his aircrew by 06 May 96 by according his priority of U/T ops training. At the same time he ensured that the fully ops pilots consolidated in varying modes of weapon delivery, the role of the squadron. He also successfully undertook four flight trials on the MiG-23 which inter alia also included blind LDA using the GPS. There were no accidents during his tenure.

In the field of maintenance his unit achieved 100% serviceability on all ac on three separate occasions and sustained this serviceability for long periods on each occasion. This was largely possible due to his involvement and demand for excellence. Significant achievements of the officer in this field included a superbly crafted tool crib which was appreciated by the AOC-in-C during his recent inspection. Also remarkable was the achievement of the Sqn in ops TRS of loading 4 x 500 Kgs bombs in an impressive time of less than five minutes. In addition to all this, the officer paid a lot of attention to administration and welfare of his men by providing amenities from the Sqn resources.

For his significant contribution in managing an efficient frontline fighter squadron by his leadership, devotion to duty and thirst for change, the President is pleased to award "Vayu Sena Medal" to Group Captain Paramjit Singh Gill.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 14th March 1998 - No.29-Pres/98 dated 26th January 1998 

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.