Vir Chakra Awardee List for the 49 Sqn


A total of 2 Awards are listed.
Vir Chakra : 2 |
Vir Chakra
Flt Lt Winston Rabinder Sanjeeva Rao 10191 F(P)Unit : No.49 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 72
Details :

During the operations against Pakistan in December, 1971, Flight Lieutenant Winston Rabinder Sanjeeva Rao (10191) was attached to a Brigade in the Rajasthan area for duties as a forward Air Controller in the Air Contact Team of the Brigade. The duty of an Air Contact Team requires its members to position themselves at vantage points in the battle zones, from where they can see enemy targets, and to guide the pilots of attacking aircraft on to the desired targets by radio. On the 5th December, 1971, a platoon patrol of the Army came under heavy enemy artillery, mortar and machine gun fire. A company of troops was rushed to help the patrol, and Flight Lieutenant Rao was detailed to accompany them. He rushed to the area on a camel and took up a position on a dominating sand dune, exposed to enemy fire, from where he could direct our aircraft on to the enemy positions. Again on the 7th December, 1971, a company of the Army was under heavy enemy fire at Saidan and asked for an air strike to take place at 1715 hours. Flight Lieutenant Rao volunteered to proceed to the spot to carry out FAC duties, although he knew that Saidan was 52 kilometers away across the desert, including 12 kilometers through enemy territory, and that it was already 1200 hours. He succeeded in reaching the road head at 1400 hours and then having organised a patrol led it himself, carrying his radio set along with him on a camel. He succeeded in reaching Saidan well in time to direct the air strike very successfully and returned to the Battalion Headquarter on the 11th December, 1971. On the 14th December, 1971, at about 1000 hrs, the Saidan defended position was surrounded by an enemy battalion, and by 1400 hours it came under heavy enemy pressure. Once more, Flight Lieutenant Rao volunteered to go to the area to dire strike aircraft against the besieging enemy troops. He left the Battalion Headquarters in a jeep with his radio set and after linking with a patrol from one of the companies, managed to get through to the surrounded Saidan position. The enemy attack was beaten back, but during the night, they built up again for another attack. An air strike was called for at 0830 hours on 15th December 1971, and this was excellently directed by Flight Lieutenant Rao as a result of which the enemy was forced to withdraw having suffered heavy casualties in men and equipment.

Throughout, Flight Lieutenant Winston Rabinder Sanjeeva Rao displayed gallantry, professional skill and devotion to duty of a high order.

Reference: Gazette of India , 29th July 1972 - No.92 - Pres/72 dated 18th July 1972 

Vir Chakra
Fg Offr Satish Chandra Sharma 12244 F(N)Unit : No.49 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 72
Details :

During the operations against Pakistan in December, 1971, Flying Officer Satish Chandra Sharma was attached to a Brigade in the Eastern Sector for duties as a Forward Air Controller in the Air Contact Team of the Brigade. On the 7th December, 1971, Flying Officer Sharma was detailed to accompany a Company which was airlifted by helicopter to a site behind the enemy occupied area at Sylhet. He landed at the helipad at 1700 hours with a small party and signal sets, under heavy enemy fire. He immediately took control fo the situation and brought his men safely to vantage point from where he directed the incoming helicopters sorties to strike enemy postions at the branch on river Surma and enemy Headquarters at Circuit House. This strike was so effective that the enemy did not fire for quite sometime. The enemy resumed its fire pressure at the subsequent landings on the morning of 8th December 1971. Flying Officer Sharma again went to a vantage point under heavy enemy shelling and successfully directed our bombers on the enemy positions and targets. These strikes were so accurate that the enemy firing ceased immediately. On the night of 8th/9th December, 1971, the enemy occupied positions around two of our forward block companies and engaged then with heavy MMG and mortar fire. Flying Officer Sharma again went to a vantage point and effectively directed our air strike. Undeterred by the enemy fire all around him, he led his escort party towards the forward company location. Enroute, he encountered a small enemy patrol, who fired at his party from a nearby grove. Though unfamiliar with infantry tactics, Flying Officer Sharma ordered his small party to attack the enemy, and personally led the charge on the enemy patrol. This spontaneous and swift action resulted in the death of two enemy personnel. Flying Officer Sharma and his party moved forward with confidence and reached a suitable vantage point close to the forward block company. From that position, he directed air attacks on the enemy occupied area. The air strikes were so accurate and effective that they disorganized enemy’s preparation for a possible attack on the forward block company.

Throughout, Flying Officer Satish Chandra Sharma displayed gallantry, leadership and professional skill of a high order.

Reference: Gazette of India , 16th December 1972 - No.125 - Pres/72 dated ??? 

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.