Awardee List for the 501 SU

A total of 9 Awards are listed.
Shaurya Chakra : 1 | Vayu Sena Medal : 2 | Vishist Seva Medal : 6 |
Shaurya Chakra
Sgt Sher Singh Kadian 260583 ORUnit : 501 Signal Unit  Award Date 11 Feb 80 Announced 26 Jan 81
Details :

On the 11th February, 1980, at about 7.45 p.m. a fire broke out in Tower A of a Signal Unit where extremely sophisticated and expensive equipment had been stored. Within minutes, the entire deck of the tower was engulfed in thick smoke with toxic fumes. While the intense heat made it almost impossible to enter the deck, the thick smoke made it difficult to locate the source of fire.

Sher Singh Kadian, who was off duty, reached the tower within minutes of hearing the fire alarm. Undaunted by heat and smoke, he picked up a fire hose, entered the deck and located the source of fire within a cabinet with panels secured by screws. Realising that the water jet could not be effectively directed at the source of fire, he ran down and brought a screw driver. Although he was almost overcome by thick swirling smoke and toxic fumes on opening the cabinet, he ultimately succeeded in bringing the fire under control.

In this action, Sher Singh Kadian displayed courage, determination and devotion to duty of a high order.

Reference: Gazette of India , 18th April 1981 - No.28 - Pres/81 dated 26th January 1981 

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Kottavathukal Thomas Abraham 3600 F(P)Unit : 501 Signal Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 72
Details :

During the operations against Pakistan in December, 1971, Group Captain Kottavathukal Thomas Abraham was commanding a Signals Unit in the Western Sector. He was in control of an Air Defence Direction Centre and a number of Ground Control Interception and Early Warning Units. A number of Air Defence Artillery Brigades and Surface to Air Guided Weapons Squadrons were also placed under his functional control. In addition, a completely new system, including a chain of Observation Posts were inducted into the existing system. With sound planning, hard work and inspiring leadership, Group Captain Abraham accomplished all the tasks creditably. The ground work laid down by him prevented the enemy Air Force from carrying but any productive strike. When enemy aircraft attached and damaged some equipment of his unit, he made it possible for the unit to resume operations with commendable speed and also to handle the heavy volume of operational traffic.

Throughout, Group Captain Kottavathukal Thomas Abraham displayed professional skill, leadership and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 7th October 1972 - No.108 - Pres/72 dated 23rd September 1972 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Shailesh Kumar 5520 ADMUnit : 501 Signal Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 72
Details :

During the operations against Pakistan in December, 1971, Squadron Leader Shailesh Kumar was serving as Sector Operation Officer with a Signals Unit. He introduced new and original ideas and training schemes which led to considerable improvement in the working of the Air Defence system. The induction of a large number of operational units of various types during the operations required intelligent planning and meticulous coordination which he achieved with commendable efficiency. In addition, he was always concerned with the safe return and recovery of our offensive missions which saved a number of our aircraft under emergency conditions. On many occasions, he directed the successful interception of enemy aircraft by our fighters.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Shailesh Kumar displayed leadership, professional skill and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 7th October 1972 - No.108 - Pres/72 dated 23rd September 1972 

Vishist Seva Medal
Sqn Ldr Thummalura Janardhan Reddy 7525 ADMUnit : 501 Signal Unit  Award Date 26 Jan 76 Announced 26 Jan 76
Details :

Squadron Leader Reddy is currently holding fighter controller's category 'A'. While on the strength of an operational Signals Unit, he was entrusted with the challenging job of Unit Training Director. He was able to impart theoretical and practical knowledge to all fighter controllers posted to the Western sector as also a number of fighter controllers from other sectors and Commands. Thus he has brought about a marked improvement in the operational standard of all the fighter controllers in the sector. He has also been actively associated as Sector Operations Officer, Sector Director or Intercept Director in all the Air Defence exercises conducted since his posting to the unit.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1976 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Ayinapudi Vijay Pal 9190 ADMUnit : 501 Signal Unit  Award Date 26 Jan 85 Announced 26 Jan 85
Details :

Wing Commander Ayinapudi Vijay Pal was commissioned in Dec 64. During his service career, the officer has held important field and instructional appointments. For his exceptional work in training foreign students, he was commended by the Chief of Air Staff.

Since Mar 81, Wg Cdr Pal has been posted to a major Signal Unit. During his stay at this unit, this officer has displayed a very high sense of responsibility, trustworthiness and unwavering devotion to duty. He has always shouldered responsibilities with cheerfulness and resourcefulness.

His dedication and diligence have led to the unit winning the Best in Operation Trophy for three years in succession. With meticulous planning bolstered by his excellent organising ability, he set up a new THD Ops Room in record time. Also to his credit is the recovery of several friendly fighter aircraft and training of 82 outstation controllers. He has, in addition, made a significant contribution to improving the operational status of many Air Defence units.

For his diligence, outstanding professional competence, knowledge and distinguished service of a high order, the President is pleased to grant Vishisht Seva Medal to Wing Commander Ayinapudi Vijay Pal.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1985 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Raman Kumar Bhandari 9947 AE(L)Unit : 501 Signal Unit  Award Date 26 Jan 87 Announced 26 Jan 87
Details :

Wing Commander Raman Kumar Bhandari has been the Chief Technical Officer of a Radar Station since 08 Oct 84.

Wing Commander Bhandari has incorporated a number of modifications by designing and fabricating critical circuits for various components of a French radar in order to enhance its operational capability. He has also effected as number of repairs of unserviceable items, thereby ensuring a high operational status of the equipment.

His major achievement was in designing and fabricating a circuit for remote display of North Pulse which enabled the crew to know immediately of any misalignment. He also designed a digital diagnostic tool using a common Anode Numeric Display which enhanced the digital fault finding capability of the radar. He also evolved a circuitry for remotely controlling the operation of Identification Friend or Foe transmission from the operations room. This modification enables remote challenging of enemy aircraft which was earlier not possible. The officer has also designed and fabricated a circuit whereby a flashing symbol and label appear on the console to designate a hijacked aircraft in a state of emergency.

His other achievements include rectification of Core Memory Module, Optical Coder and IFF MK X. A noteworthy feature of these repairs is that most of them would have cost thousands of dollars if entrusted to factories abroad.

The officer's total commitment, involvement and constant concern for improving the operational capability of the radar are out of the ordinary.

For his exceptional dedication to duty and outstanding professional competence, the President is pleased to award Vishisht Seva Medal to Wing Commander Raman Kumar Bhandari.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1987 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Daljit Singh 9998 ADMUnit : 501 Signal Unit  Award Date 26 Jan 90 Announced 26 Jan 90
Details :

Wing Commander Daljit Singh has been on the posted strength of a vital radar unit as the Senior Director/Chief Operations Officer since 08 Oct 84.

During his tenure in this unit, the officer played a key role in various Air Headquarters and Command level exercise. In Ex Ranvijay and Eagle 86, his imaginative and creative thinking carried to fore when Type-77 aircraft gained ascendancy over other MiG aircraft through innovative interception tactics. In Ex Live Wire, he achieved the difficult task of integrating five 'Base Air Defence Centres' and two 'Control and Reporting Centres' at an Air Defence Directing Centre thus ensuring smooth flow of Air Defence data between various agencies. During Ex-Brass Tacks IV, the officer set up 'Mobile Air Space Control Cell' which functioned effectively and smoothly.

For his exceptional devotion to duty and professional abilities, the President is pleased to award Vishisht Seva Medal to Wg Cdr Daljit Singh.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1990 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Subhash Chandra Rastogi 8999 F(P)Unit : 501 Signal Unit  Award Date 26 Jan 91 Announced 26 Jan 91
Details :

Gp Capt Subhash Chandra Rastogi was commissioned in the IAF on 25 Dec 64. In Mar 88, he took over command of an opera tional and highly sensitive Air Defence unit equipped with a sophisticated modern radar. His total involvement in the operational functioning of the unit was responsible for his unit being declared the best Signal Unit in Western Air Command for two consecutive years.

Gp Capt Rastogi has willingly accepted all additional tasks assigned to his unit irrespective of their nature and performed them in a commendable manner. During his tenure, the co-operation between Fighter Pilots and Fighter Controllers reached new high due to his personal efforts to enhance the output of the Air Defence System. Gp Capt Rastogi carried out a review of the maintenance practices in the unit and has improved the reliability of the radar to a great extent.

For his result-oriented initiative and sustained efforts to upgrade the operational efficiency of his unit, the President is pleased to award Vishisht Seva Medal to Gp Capt SC Rastogi.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1991 Number: 

Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Satvir Singh Rana 14383 ADMUnit : 501 Signal Unit  Award Date 26 Jan 03 Announced 26 Jan 03
Details :

Group Captain Satvir Singh Rana (14383) Adm/FC was commissioned on 23 Jan 1976 in the Administrative Branch of the IAF. He is a graduate from Defence Services Staff College and Category 'AYE' Controller. The Officer has held important assignments of Commanding Officer of Air Defence College for three years and Dy Director in Dte of Ops (AD) Air HQ for four years. For his contribution in Air HQ he was commended by the CAS in Jan 1998. He is currently posted as Chief Operations Officer of Air Force Station, Barnala since 15 May 2000.

Air Force Station, Barnala occupies a pivotal role in Air Defence of Punjab sector. Gp Capt Rana has, through his supervision, close coordination of activities and personal involvement ensured incident/accident free Air Defence and radar surveillance operations involving flying from various fighter bases affiliated to his Station. Under his guidance, the Station has successfully completed every task assigned to it. His thorough planning has ensured a smooth induction of new Fully Automated Data Handling System (FADHS) project. By maintaining a parallel operation of the FADHS and Automated Data Handling System (ADHS) during the induction phase of FADHS he has provided requisite radar cover in his area of responsibility and saved the costly operational hours for other radars in the sector.

Through his leadership style, dedication and a regular mutual interaction he has achieved synergy amongst all personnel under his command. His personal involvement and emphasis on use of Simulator for training purposes has not only resulted in considerable saving in costly flying effort but has also made operating crew more proficient. The Station carried out close to 1388 interceptions on simulator during last one year. His regular interaction with aircrew of affiliated flying bases has been appreciated by all. His innovative thinking, sound planning and foresight have facilitated smooth conduct of air defence operations and kept the Station in high state of preparedness.

For distinguished service of high order, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Group Captain Satvir Singh Rana.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 2003 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.