Vayu Sena Medal Awardee List for the 117 HU


A total of 3 Awards are listed.
Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) : 3 |
Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Bhupinder Singh Subhlok 13795 F(P)Unit : No.117 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 15 Aug 96
Details :

Wing Commander Bhupinder Singh Subhlok was commissioned on 07 Dec. 74 in F (P) Helicopter stream. At about 1400 hours on 5th September, 1995 an emergency message was received for immediate evacuation of men stranded on an island in the area engulfed by the fast rising Beas river near Tihra Sujanpur. On receipt of the message Wg Cdr Subhlok who was commanding 117 HU Chetak/Cheetah Helicopter Unit, got airborne in a Cheetah helicopter. He was followed by Sqn Ldr A Gode in a Chetak helicopter. On reaching the site, they could spot 6 men huddled on a tiny island with no way of escaping. Time was at a premium as water was rising rapidly threatening to engulf the survivors. The local condition precluded rescue by winching. The lead helicopter flown by Wg Cdr Subhlok first made an approach and pulled in 3 survivors. This act of saving lives in the face of imminent danger to the aircraft and the lives of the aircrew has been in keeping with the highest traditions of the Indian Air Force.

For the act of exceptional courage, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wg Cdr Bhupinder Singh Subhlok.

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

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Anand Gode 16231 F(P)Unit : No.117 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 05 Sep 95 Announced 15 Aug 96
Details :

Squadron Leader Anand Gode was commissioned on 13 Dec 80 as Flying (Pilot) in Helicopter stream.

At about 1400 hours on 5th September, 1995 an emergency message was received for immediate evacuation of men stranded on an island in the area engulfed by the fast rising Beas river near Tihra Sujanpur. On receipt of the message Wg Cdr Subhlok who was commanding 117 HU Chetak/Cheetah Helicopter Unit, got airborne in a Cheetah helicopter. He was followed by Sqn Ldr A. Gode in a Chetak helicopter. On reaching the site, they could spot 6 men huddled on a tiny island with no way of escaping. Time was at a premium as water was rising rapidly threatening to engulf the survivors. The local condition precluded rescue by winching. The lead helicopter flown by Wg Cdr. Subhlok first made an approach and pulled in 3 survivors. This act of saving lives in the face of imminent danger to the aircraft and the lives of the aircrew has been in keeping with the highest traditions of the Indian Air Force.

For the act of exceptional courage, the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Sqn Ldr Anand Gode.

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

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Mukesh Rawat 17453 F(P)Unit : No.117 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 21 Nov 03 Announced 15 Aug 04
Details : Wing Commander Mukesh Rawat (17453) Flying (Pilot) is commanding a Helicopter Unit at Air Force Station, Sarsawa since 05 August 2002.

In the evening of 21 November 2003 the station was tasked to undertake casualty evacuation of 13 civilians stranded in critical conditions due to heavy snowfall across Rohtang Pass at about 14,000 ft. Aborted attempts by civil helicopters earlier had made the task even more daunting. Considering the degree of difficulty, Wg Cdr Rawat was detailed to carry out this mission. The next day, two helicopters got airborne for the mission. An aerial recce of the site was not much of help due to acute white out and turbulent conditions. The combined effect of high altitude, loose snow, lack of visual reference, turbulent wind and dipping low temperature made the task treacherously difficult. He made three attempts to land, which had to be aborted just prior to touchdown due to loose snow creating a snow bowl. Not deterred by this, he decided to make one more attempt. Harnessing his vast experience and after careful analysis of his previous attempts, this time he could make a partial landing, as the loose snow was unable to take the weight of the helicopter. While he skillfully hovered the helicopter with nearly nil reference, the copilot pulled in the first set of casualties. Successive attempts.

With his indomitable spirit, dauntless courage, and scant regard to personal safety, he saved 13 precious lives. For this act of conspicuous courage and selfless service, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal' (Gallantry) to Wing Commander Mukesh Rawat.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 13th November 2004 - No.131-Pres/2004 dated 15th August 2004 & AFD2005 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.