Awardee List for the 131 FAC Flt

A total of 3 Awards are listed.
Shaurya Chakra : 2 | Vishist Seva Medal : 1 |
Shaurya Chakra
Sqn Ldr Manjit Singh Sekhon 6756 F(P)Unit : No.131 FAC Flight  Award Date 25 Feb 75 Announced 26 Jan 76
Details :

On the 25th February, 1975, Squadron Leader Manjit Singh Sekhon was doing night flying training in a helicopter. He was asked to carry out reconnaissance of the area West of an Airfield in Western Sector for a crashed aircraft. In spite of limited experience of night flying, he undertook this mission, carried out a search and confirmed an aircraft crash and reported its location. After refuelling, he got airborne again and located the pilot. With intelligent use of his landing light and Radio Telephony, he skillfully landed in a paddy field and rescued the first pilot and flew him back to base. He repeated the same performance and rescued the second pilot also.

In this action, Squadron Leader Manjit Singh Sekhon displayed exemplary courage, devotion to duty and professional skill of a high order.

Reference: Gazette of India , 29th May 1976 - No.?? - Pres/76 dated 26th January 1976 

Shaurya Chakra
Wg Cdr Ravinder Singh Mann 15434 F(P)Unit : No.131 FAC Flight  Award Date 12 Sep 95 Announced 26 Jan 96
Details :

Wg Cdr RS Mann (15434) F (P) is on the posted strength of 131 FAC Flight since 17 Jul 1995 as the Commanding Officer.

On 06 Sep 95 he was tasked to operate a detachment of three helicopters from Manali to carry out rescue and relief duties for the stranded personnel of SASE which had been severely damaged due to floods. He along with his other pilots of the unit undertook the task in a professional manner. During the detachment period, on 12 Sep 1995 at 1330 hrs Wg Cdr Mann received a message from Deputy Commissioner, Kulu that there had been a massive landslide 4 km north of Kulu and that there was a requirement to carry out a aerial recce to assess the damage to life and property. Wg Cdr Mann realized the gravity of the situation and got airborne in Cheetah helicopter with Wg Cdr Natt. On reaching the site he found that the landslide had taken place in a bowl due to the river changing its course. There were electric and telephone cables criss crossing the entire bowl. During the recce he observed two survivors in the river on submerged boulders. He attempted to land the helicopter on a small island between the fast flowing rivers to rescue them but could not do so due to large boulders, tall trees and wires. He quickly assessed the situation and decided that the only way was to physically pull out the two stranded persons for which the helicopter doors had to be removed. Wg Cdr RS Mann picked up Wg Cdr Natt from the island and flew towards the survivors. The helicopter was very carefully and precisely hovered near the survivors and then slowly inched forward and lowered with its skid touching the water. Wg Cdr Natt stood on the skid holding the pilot's seat and pulled up the survivors into the helicopter from the fast flowing river. This was achieved in the third attempt. Another circuit was carried out and the second survivor was pulled out in a similar manner.

Wing Commander Ravindera Singh Mann thus displayed high level of professional competence and courage of high order beyond the call of duty.

Reference: Gazette of India , 9th March 1996 - No.16 - Pres/96 dated 26th January 1996 

Vishist Seva Medal
Sqn Ldr Manavendra Singh 16983 F(P)Unit : No.131 FAC Flight  Award Date 26 Jan 99 Announced 26 Jan 99
Details :

Squadron Leader Manavendra Singh, Vir Chakra (16983) Flying (Pilot), has been on the posted strength of a helicopter unit as Flight Commander since 08 Apr 96. He is an accomplished pilot and a QFI with over 5300 hours of accident/incident free flying to his credit. He is fully operational in roles like Airborne Forward Air Controller, Anti Tank Guided Missile & holds the highest Category/ Instrument Ratings A/MG.

Squadron Leader Manavendra Singh has won international appreciation for the difficult evacuation of South Korean mountaineers from Gangotri glacier in September 95 and the rescue of an American mountaineer in October 96 from Nanda Devi Hills. In December 97 he was tasked to undertake casualty evacuation mission from high altitude helipad in snowy and adverse weather conditions. In spite of marginal weather he led a two aircraft mission and evacuated 17 ITBP personnel to a lower helipad. However, during this, the aircraft got caught in a severe snow storm and he spent the night at high altitude along with the casualties. Next day he evacuated all casualties to lower altitude. During the mission he displayed a very high degree of dedication and professionalism. The timely rescue not only saved many lives but also elevated the image of the Service.

In the absence of a regular CO he held the command of the unit from 05 August 1997 to 23 November 1997. During this period the unit flew the highest number of hours in a month. Unit also carried out three VIP and one four ac VVIP commitment for HM the King of Nepal with utmost safety and professionalism. With his personal interaction with technical staff, the unit maintained over 90% serviceability. His personal example and close supervision have ensured accident/ incident free record along with very high operational status for the unit.

For his exceptional flying skills, exemplary devotion to duty, professional excellence and dedication the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Sqn Leader Manavendra Singh.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1999 Number: 

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.