Vayu Sena Medal Awardee List for the 48 Sqn

A total of 7 Awards are listed.
Vayu Sena Medal : 7 |
Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Rajaram Jayaram Ambegaonkar 4622 F(P)Unit : No.48 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 72
Details :

During the operations against Pakistan in December, 1971, Wing Commander Rajaram Jayaram Ambegaonker was commanding a Transport Squadron which was deployed In the Eastern Sector. He increased the output of his squadron and toned up the operational efficiency of aircrew and groundcrew. He also improved the serviceability state of his aircraft by organizing aircraft maintenance on a 24 hours basis. He led a section of aircraft in the airborne operation over Bangladesh on the 11th December, 1971, and the restraining strap on his aircraft gave way causing the premature extraction of a part of his load, he maintained control over the aircraft and completed the missions.

Throughout, Wing Commander Rajaram Jayaram Ambegaonkar displayed courage, leadership, professional skill and devotion to duty.

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

Vayu Sena Medal
Flt Lt Minoo Ruci Wadia 9006 F(P)Unit : No.48 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 72
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Minoo Ruci Wadia has been serving with an Operational Squadron since October 1969. He has 2,000 flying hours to his credit out of which 1,400 hours are on operational flying. On the 11th September, 1970, he was detailed to fly from Allahabad to Bangalore. After becoming airborne, when approximately 135 miles south of Begumpet, he experienced loss of propeller control on the starboard engine. The aircraft which was fully loaded began to lose height rapidly. He controlled the aircraft on asymmetric power and reduced the loss of height to the minimum by ejecting the jettisonable load and diverted the aircraft to Cuddappah airfield for an emergency landing. This airfield was inadequate for landing the aircraft, but there was no alternative. During the landing run at Cuddappah, the engine reverse pitch did not function in time. After rolling for about 600 yards, he found that the nose wheel steering had also failed with the resultant loss of directional control. Inspite of these mechanical failures, he remained cool, and skillfully brought the aircraft to a safe halt within the short space available.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 12th May 1973 - No.28 - Pres/73 dated 26th January 1972 

Vayu Sena Medal
WO Asha Mukul Sarkar Aux 30228 Unit : No.48 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 72
Details :

Warrant Officer Asha Mukul Sarkar has been serving with, an operational Squadron as a Flight Engineer since January 1962. He has attained the highest transport category "A" in his aircrew duties. He has to his credit over 3000 flying hours. His capacity for intelligent analysis of aircraft defects is excellent. He has always evinced keen interest in flying and has discharged his duties as Flight Engineer with zeal and enthusiasm. He has faced many a grave situation in the air calmly and with confidence. Twice his aircraft developed engine trouble in flight and on both the occasions, his timely detection of the faults and sound advice to the pilots on remedial measures helped in landing the aircraft safely.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 12th May 1973 - No.28 - Pres/73 dated 26th January 1972 

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Om Kumar Chabbra 5675 F(P)Unit : No.48 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 82
Details :

Group Captain Om Kumar Chhabra was commissioned in the Indian Air Force on 7th February, 1959. He has to his credit over 7300 Hours of accident-free flying, out of which over 2500 hours have been in maritime role and over 3000 hours on instructional flying. He had the distinction of being awarded Master Green rating as a young pilot in less than six years of service on super constellation aircraft. He has, today, the distinction of being one of the few A­1 instructors in the Air Force. In addition, he holds 'A' Master Green on Dakotas, Super Constellations and HS-748 which, in the Air Force, is the highest achievement, a pilot can aspire for.

Group Captain Chhabra has been commanding one of the transport squadrons since July, 1979. Since October, 1979, shortage of aviation gas of 100/130 octane began to have an adverse effect. It was therefore decided to induct HS-748 for air maintenance role. Though the serial trials on this aircraft have been carrying out since 1972, no conclusive data was available to find out the fitness of this aircraft for this purpose. The challenging task of finding out its feasibility for operations in the Eastern Sector was entrusted to Group Captain Chhabra. He carried out the trials flying in narrow valleys and difficult terrain, even in turbulent conditions. It was because of the dedication to duty and flying acumen of the officer that the worthiness of this aircraft is now being effectively utilized for air maintenance operations/role.

Group Captain Om Kumar Chhabra has thus displayed high professional competence and exceptional devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd January 1983 - No.1-Pres/83 dated 26th January 1982 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Ujwal Ramachandra Dabir 7665 F(P)Unit : No.48 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 85
Details :

Wing Commander Ujwal Ramchand Dabir has been the Flt Cdr of a Transport Squadron since 10 Apr 82. He has a total of 3475 accident-free flying hours to his credit.

During March 1984, he was detailed to commence aircraft operations in the J&K area to give support to the Army for the exercise 'Meghdoot'. He carried out the first landing in a Packet aircraft on the new Thoise runway and thereafter cleared other pilots also for the operation. He planned supply dropping in the area and operated as flying supervisor to provide excellent support to the Army in the Nubra valley. With his professionalism and in-depth knowledge of the area, he was able to instill confidence in other aircrew operating over the most difficult terrain and under adverse weather conditions.

During June, 1984, he provided continuous support to the Army agencies in apprehending deserters from Ramgarh area. His personal example, dedication and efforts, motivated the whole station. As a result, despite limited resources, operations by day and night and fast turn around of reconnaissance and troopcarrying aircraft could be achieved.

During September, 1984, he was specially selected to conduct flood relief operations in Saharsa area. Once again, with only two helicopters, he was able to provide succor to thousands of marooned people. His dedication, personal example and efforts, far above the normal call of duty, highly motivated the flood relief team and earned high praise from the officials of the Government of Bihar.

For his devotion to duty and personal example in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Wing Commander Ujwal Ramchand Dabir.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 6th April 1985 - No.29-Pres/85 dated 26th January 1985 

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Praveen Chander Chopra 10883 F(P)Unit : No.48 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Group Captain PC Chopra is posted as Commanding Officer of an AN-32 Squadron since Aug 92. He is an A-2 Qualified Flying Instructor and has over 7,400 hrs of accident free flying. Gp Capt PC Chopra had an instructional tenure in Iraq and was Chief Flying Instructor at Flying Instructors School, and Chief Instructor at Air Force Station, Yelahanka. The officer was selected for the first batch to USSR for training on AN-32 aircraft and was subsequently responsible for the initial conversion and Operational training of many AN-32 pilots. He had been instrumental in the formulation of Standard Operating Procedures and had evolved techniques for initial AN-32 operations in the Eastern Sector. The officer is a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College, and has also held the appointments of Command Examiner on Kiran and AN-32 aircraft.

As a Commanding Officer he is carrying out extensive training and operational flying in the Siachen Glacier and the unit flew more than 12,000 hours accident free. He successfully completed three major airborne assault exercises during his tenure, which were meticulously planned and flawlessly executed.

For exceptional devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Group Captain PC Chopra.

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

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Ajay Kukreja 16774 F(P)Unit : No.48 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 02
Details : Wing Commander Ajay Kukreja (16774) F (P) was commissioned in the flying branch of the IAF on 04 Jun 82. He is an A2 Qualified Flying Instructor, with over 8000 hours of flying. He has served as a flying instructor at the Air Force Academy and the Flying Instructors School. He has been the Training Officer / Flight Commander of operational transport squadrons for the past four years. The officer has dedicated himself to the cause of aircrew training thereby considerably improving the operational status of flying units. In the aftermath of Bhu) earthquake, leading by example, he motivated the squadron aircrew and maintenance staff ensuring round the clock relief operations by AN-32 aircraft. He achieved the distinction of landing the first AN-32 by night at Thoise in Jan 2000. With innovative planning and sustained effort he was instrumental In achieving a marked increase in supply drop tonnage by AN-32 in the Siachen Glacier without any increase of resources. Wg Cdr Kukreja was the Type Force Commander for major combat exercises in Feb 2000 and May 2001. The officer displayed remarkable foresight and professionalism as he meticulously planned for the selection of route, timing action at constant speed and co-ordination of the activities of all four sections of AN-32. Braving marginal weather, he ensured a safe and accurate drop by 18 AN-32 aircraft in close formation by night. Working till 2 - 3 A.M. during the planning and work-up phase, to resolve various flight safety issues and co-ordinate plans before the next mission, have been the hallmarks of this Type Force Commander. For exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Ajay Kukreja.
Reference: Gazette of India dated 29th June 2002 - No.118-Pres/2002 dated 26th January 2002 & AFD 2002 Investiture Booklet 

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.