Awardee List for the 26 AOP Flight

A total of 1 Awards are listed.
Shaurya Chakra : 1 |
Shaurya Chakra
Capt Ranjit Singh Dev IAUnit : 26 AOP Flight  Award Date 25 May 81 Announced 26 Jan 82
Details :

On 24th May, 1981, information was received that some members of a Japanese mountaineering expedition were in a precarious condition, a few hundred feet short of Nun Kun Peak at a height of 6300 metres. On 25th May, 1981, several attempts to land a helicopter had to be abandoned due to very high density altitude.

Captain Ranjit Singh Dev was detailed to carry out the task on the 26th May, 1981. Along with Captain P. C. Bhandari as copilot, he took off at 0530 hours from Srinagar airfield for Nun Kun. On reaching the area, Captain Dev saw that he would have to land in a totally unprepared and restricted snow surface between two peaks at 23,800 feet which is 800 ft. above the service ceiling of the aircraft. The place was interspersed with deep crevasses and covered with lose snow. Aware of this and assessing that he would have only marginal reserve of power even if the helicopter was flown single pilot, he landed at the Advance base camp and dropped the co-pilot. He took off alone for challenging mission fully aware of the risks involved to rescue the mountaineers, who were in a serious condition.

The cloud and turbulent weather and snow covered made the mission extremely dangerous. Having located the casualties after many attempts, Captain Dev landed in a small area between the two peaks. As the helicopter was landed the exhausted mountaineers came out of their tent dragging their unconscious companion. With considerable effort the first casualty was kept in the helicopter. He then took off and picked up the co-pilot from Advance Base Camp and landed at Kargil with marginal fuel.

Captain Dev again got airborne to rescue the remaining mountaineers. The rise in temperature at the site had raised the density altitude and increased the already high turbulence level. He landed at the same spot on two subsequent sorties and evacuated the remaining mountaineers with all their equipment.

Captain Ranjit Singh Dev thus displayed a very high degree of professional competence, determination, courage and devotion to duty.

Reference: Notification No. 19-Pres/82 dated 26th January, 1982 published in Part 1, Section 1, Gazette of India dated 10th April, 1982.


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.