Vayu Sena Medal Awardee List for the 112 HU

A total of 3 Awards are listed.
Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) : 3 |
Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Rajendra Dev Pant 4737 GD(P)Unit : No.112 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 19 Jul 68 Announced 26 Jan 69
Details :

Squadron Leader Rajendra Dev Pant is the Officer Commanding of a Helicopter Unit and has flown 1,079 operational hours on helicopters, including 450 hours in his present assignment, in the Eastern Sector, NEFA, Nagaland, Mizo Hills etc. He has evacuated over 150 casualties. On 19th July 1968, when a message was received that a very serious casualty required evacuation from a difficult helipad at high altitude, Squadron Leader Pant, despite hazardous terrain and adverse weather conditions, volunteered to undertake the evacuation. Immediately on his landing at the helipad the weather deteriorated, but Squadron Leader Pant, with his professional knowledge and courage, skillfully took off observing a little gap in the clouds, and brought back the serious casualty to the hospital and thus saved his life.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Rajendra Dev Pant displayed courage, professional skill 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)
Sqn Ldr Gulbag Singh Padda 18303 F(P)Unit : No.112 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 24 Aug 00 Announced 15 Aug 01
Details : Squadron Leader Gulbag Singh Padda (18303) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a helicopter unit since 25 May 1998. He is a Fully Ops staff pilot of the unit. On 24 Aug 2000 the unit was tasked to launch two helicopters for flood relief in Hyderabad. Sqn Ldr Padda, along with his crew, got airborne from Yelahanka at 1300 hrs within an hours notice. Information was received that approximately 150 persons were stranded atop a building, which was mid stream in Musi river. The river was in full spate and had damaged the foundation, which could have led to collapse of the building. Lives of 150 persons were in danger if they were not evacuated before night fall. After reaching Hyderabad, Sqn Ldr Padda got airborne for the rescue mission nearing the sunset time. On reaching the spot he found that the building was surrounded by tall obstructions and winds were gusty. Considering the gravity of the situation he decided to winch up the people from the rooftop one by one. The helicopter was made to hover at 5-7 meters, the only reference being a small portion of parapet of the building roof. Sqn Ldr Padda winched up 127 adults and 15 infants In a little more than 1.45 hrs. The task was completed in eight shuttles without refueling. Sqn Ldr Padda displayed tenacity of purpose and professionalism under very demanding situation. For displaying a high degree of courage and professionalism, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Squadron Leader Gulbag Singh Padda.
Reference: Gazette of India dated 19th January 2002 - No.123-Pres/2001 dated 15th August 2001 & AFD 2002 Investiture Booklet 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Prashant Mukund Vithalkar 17855 F(P)Unit : No.112 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 06
Details : Wing Commander Prashant Mukund Vithalkar (17855) Flying (Pilot) has been posted to a Helicopter Unit, as Commanding Officer since 18 Aug 2003.The Unit conducts pilot conversion, ab-initio training of Flight Engineers, Flight Gunner's and Right Hand Seat Check Pilot courses on Mi-8 helicopter and undertakes operational requirements assigned hy Air HQ/ HQ TC, IAF To achieve these tasks, the quantum of flying besides being almost twice that of any other helicopter Unit in IAF, is extremely demanding. Under his dynamic leadership, Wg Cdr Vithalkar has consistently ensured timely completion of all the courses conducted in the Unit with high quality of training, which was endorsed by the Aircrew Examining Board. His proactive approach and outstanding management ability has ensured that the Unit was able to sustain accident/ Incident free flying for two consecutive years and was awarded the Flight and Maintenance Safety trophy for the year 2003-04.In Dec 2004, the Unit was tasked to provide succour for the Tsunami relief operations. Wg Cdr Vithalkar, as a commanding officer was able to muster six helicopters in less than 24 hours, fully equipped to undertake relief operations both in India and Srilanka. At the end of Op Sea Wave, the Unit had airlifted total of 82,800 kg of relief load, 213 casualties/passengers in 154 sorties amounting to 101 hours. The task undertaken by IAF helicopters was highly commended by the Sri Lankan Air Force,During Aero-India-2005, he was designated as the Chief Security Officer. The international airshow of this magnitude required enormous Involvement from planning till execution encompassing security arrangements, traffic circulation and parking arrangements. He successfully mobilised the resources to provide flawless security and uninterrupted traffic flow for safe conduct of the airshow, which was attended by over three lakh people and dignitaries from all walks of life. He was also the project manager to oversee the renovation of old HU building and construction of allied infrastructure for foreign aircrew coming to the airshow. The officer displayed utmost involvement and ensured timely completion of the work services and subsequent preparation of the venue befitting the foreign aircrew.For his exceptional devotion to duty, exemplary leadership and consistent endeavour to achieve excellence, The Hon'ble President Is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Prashant Mukund Vllhalkar.
Reference: Gazette of India dated 18th March 2006 - No.30-Pres/2006 dated 26th January 2006 & AFD2006 Investiture  

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.