Vayu Sena Medal Awardee List


A total of 1329 Awards are listed.
Vayu Sena Medal : 1329 |
Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Ramesh Balkrishnan 16587 F(P)Unit : No.109 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 11 Oct 87 Announced 14 Apr 88
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Ramesh Balkrishan is posted to a Helicopter unit and has been operation from Jaffna in support of the Indian Peace Keeping Force.

Flt Lt. B Ramesh was detailed as Co-Pilot with Sqn Ldr DR Doraiswamy on special helicopter operation in the night of 11/12 Oct 87. This crew was responsible for successfully landing the troops for three missions at the helipad which was under heavy fire. The helicopter received heavy damage. Flt Lt B Ramesh gave valuable support to his Captain and thereby ensured that the helicopter was flown back to base successfully.

For his commendable dedication to duty and professional competence of a high order, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Flt Lt B Ramesh.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 13th August 1988 - No.78-Pres/88 dated 15th April 1988 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Sanjay Bishnoi 16213 F(P)Unit : 125 Sqn  Award Date 11 Oct 87 Announced 14 Apr 88
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Sanjay Bishnoi is posted to a Helicopter Unit and has been operating in support of the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Jaffna.

He was detailed was co­pilot with Sqn Ldr TK Vijay Raj in helicopter on a Special Heliborne Operation on the night of 11/12 Oct 87. He was made responsible for successfully landing the troops for three missions at the helipad which was under heavy fire. The helicopter received heavy damage.

Flt Lt Bishnoi contributed valuables support to his Captain and thereby ensured that the helicopter was flown back to base successfully.

For his exemplary dedication to service and display of professional competence of a high order, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Flt Lt Sanjay Bishnoi.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 13th August 1988 - No.78-Pres/88 dated 15th April 1988 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Gp Capt Brijendra Mohan Bali 8438 F(P)Unit : No.102 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Group Captain Brijendra Mohan Bali (8438) Flying (Pilot) is posted as the officer commanding of a fighter Reconnaissance Squadron since Sep 86.

He has over 3400 hrs of flying to his credit. He is graduate of Defence Service Staff College and has vast experience of staff and operational appointments. He had taken part in 1965 and 1971 indo-Pak conflict and had flown a number of Air Defence Close Support and Counter Air Operational missions.

To ensure his effectiveness in the Squadron, he converted himself onto the new type of aircraft and attained fully operational status within two months as against a normal time frame of six months. Through meticulous planning and personal involvement he raised the performance of his squadron to unprecedented levels not withstanding the constraints of manpower and equipment. During his tenure the Squadron had been tasked for maximum operational deployment.

During 1987-88, he personally led several photo reconnaissance and Elint Missions deep into operational areas with significant results. Gp Capt Bali and his Sqn undertook these missions with total disregard of the inherent risks and thus provided invaluable information for ensuring national security.

For his professionalism, exceptional qualities of keenness, determination and a very high degree of leadership displayed by him in the face of enemy, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to GP Capt BM Bali.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd April 1988 - No.39-Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Ranjit Kumar Pal 8666 F(P)Unit : No.11 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Group Captain Ranjit Kumar Pal (8666) Flying (Pilot) took over the command of a transport squadron on 26 May 86. He has held Transport aircrew category and instrument rating A/Master Green since Sep 73 and is at present command examiner for Chitra aircraft of an Operational command.

He has on several occasions captained aircraft carrying VVIPs and VIPs including visiting head of states. During this tenure he flew 955 hrs on TU-124 and 3073 hrs on HS - 748 aircraft.

As Commanding Officer of the transport squadron since May 86, GP Capt Pal motivated all his offices and airmen to achieve all round improvement. A keen flier himself, the officer has set an excellent personal example for his subordinates to emulate.

Under Gp Capt Pal's Stewardship the Squadron achieved a service ability state which is higher than the average fleet serviceability of the IAF for Chitra aircraft. The Squadron achieved 100% serviceability for a total of 36 days. During "OPERATION PAWAN" the unit flew a total of 967 hours from Jul to Dec 87.

Gp Capt Pal's able leadership also resulted in the Squadron winning the second position in the Command for the flight Safety achievements in 1987-88. During the same period the Squadron was adjudged the second best transport squadron of the command.

For his continued professional competence and extreme devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Gp Capt Ranjit Kumar Pal.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd April 1988 - No.39-Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Avtar Singh 9040 F(P)Unit : Aviation Research Center  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Wing Commander Avtar Singh (9040) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force on 25 Dec 64. He flew a total of 5427 hours during his service career of which 3042 hours were on AN-12 aircraft alone. During his flying career, Wing Commander Avtar Singh operated over treacherous terrains both in the Ladakh and in the Eastern Sector in difficult weather conditions.

Wing Commander Avtar Singh was posted to the Aviation Research Centre on deputation on 06 May 86. On 08 Mar 88 while Captain-in-command of an AN-12 aircraft, No. 3 engine caught fire shortly after take off. He demonstrated professional skill of an extremely high order in handling the emergency. As shown by recorded evidence on tape, he maintained his usual calm throughout and provided necessary guidance to his crew to fight the fire which was engulfing the aircraft. Though the aircraft was in a very critical state it was entirely due to his leadership that the crew continued to operate as a cohesive team without any trace of panic. For reasons beyond the control of the Captain and the crew the starboard wing of the aircraft disintegrated and the aircraft crashed on approached only about 5 nautical miles from the runway killing all on board the aircraft.

In recognition of his past professio- nal record, his excellent professional skill and the leadership provided by him to his crew under very adverse circumstances in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wing Commander Avtar Singh posthumously.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd April 1988 - No.39-Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Biswajit Mukerjee 10885 F(P)Unit : No.20 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Wing Commander Biswajit Mukerjee (10885) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Air Force on 04 Jan 67. He is a fighter pilot and a qualified flying instructor with approximately 3500 hours of accident free flying to his credit.

He took over the command of Thunder Bolts Squadron in Jul 85. With determined effort, within a short time, he was able to make the entire squadron fully proficient in its operational tasks in the Siachen and Leh areas and was also able to maintain a fully operational permanent detachment of Hunter aircraft at the high altitude Leh airfield for two years. In spite of the Units aircraft almost 30 years old, Squadron attained 100% serviceability of its aircraft during 1986 due to his sustained efforts.

In the formation aerobatic role, Wg Cdr Mukherjee with his inspired leadership, constant training, practice and close personal involvement, built up a composite 9 aircraft team. During the period, the team demonstrated their professionalism and competence in carrying out precision formation aerobatic flying with split second manoeuveres in a number of displays throughout the country.

For his exceptional devotion to duty, total dedication, excellent leadership and professional competence, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wg Cdr Biswajit Mukherjee.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd April 1988 - No.39-Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Sudhir Sah 11648 F(P)Unit : No.111 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Wing Commander Sudhir Sah (11648) Flying (Pilot) is the Commanding Officer of a helicopter Squadron since 07 Dec 87. On 29 Jun 88, Wg Cdr Sudhir Sah was tasked for casualty evacuation of Mrs. Kirti Bala Elies, a pilgrim of Kailash Mansarovar yatra from Tukhlaket, the Tibet region of China. However, owing to continuous bad weather till 07 Jul 77 several attempts for the evacuation proved futile. The weather showed slight improvement on 08 Jul 88. By then the pilgrims had started their return journey and Wg Cdr Sah was informed that Mrs. Elias, who was carried on a stretcher, would be crossing the Lipulekh pass, at a height of approximately 17000 above sea level, on the Sino-Indian border at about 1130 hours. Wg Cdr Sah took off in a Cheetah with Wg Cdr NK Upadhayay as his co-pilot and reconnoitered the Lipulekh pass area to find a suitable place to land. However, owing to steep gradient and extremely hostile terrain the helicopter could not be landed. Keeping in view the nature of injuries received by Mrs. Elias, Wg Cdr Sudhir Sah displaying exceptional professional skill and perfect crew coronation and understanding brought the helicopter to hover above the ground. He then asked his co­pilot to jump out of the helicopter and help the casualty with the assistance of other pilgrims. Such a task demands thorough competence, skilful handling and above all, courage. Evacuation of Mrs. Kirti Bala Elias is yet another land mark in the history of the Indian Air Force.

For his exemplary courage, selfless devotion to duty and display of exceptional professional skill in the finest traditions of the Air Force, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wg Cdr. Sudhir Sah.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd April 1988 - No.39-Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Vishwanathan Pasupathi 10887 F(P)Unit : No.47 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Wing Commander Vishwanathan Pasupathi (10887) Flying (Pilot) was posted as the Officer Commanding of a fighter squadron with effect from 05 Mar 86. The Squadron was then equipped with Badal aircraft and Located in Eastern Sector. The Squadron was subsequently selected to convert into Baaz aircraft in Oct 86 and he was retained as the officer commanding.

On his return from the USSR in Mar 87, he planned and executed move of the Squadron from Eastern Sector to South Western Sector in such a smooth and professional manner that the Squadron was able to commence acceptance of Baaz aircraft from Base Depot in a short period of less than a month. In spite of the fact that all the Standard Operating Procedures and training syllabi had to be prepared under his supervision, he was able to bring up the operational status of the Squadron to a state wherein the first detachment for operational trials could be successfully moved out to another wing.

Under his dynamic leadership the Squadron continued its operational training including integrated training with Vajra, Vikram and Shamsher aircraft.

Wg Cdr Vishwanathan Pasupathi, as the first commanding officer of a Baaz Squadron, was greatly responsible for smooth induction of this modern and high performance interceptor in the IAF and subsequent achievements of the Squadron which were attained without any serious accident.

For his sincere and hard work, dedication to service and professional excellence, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wg Cdr Viswanathan Pasupathi.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd April 1988 - No.39-Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Harjeet Singh Sodhi 11663 F(P)Unit : Indian Scientific Expedit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Wing Commander Harjeet Singh Sodhi (11663) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Air Force on 02 Jun 68 and has carried our more than 5000 hrs of incident/accident free flying.

Considering his exceptional flying performance and effective organizing capabilities as a member of the sixth Indian Scientific expedition to Antarctica, he was selected to lead the IAF team for the Seventh Indian Scientific expedition.

During the expedition, in spite of bad weather the team's flying effort made the Air Force proud by air-lifting 322 tons of load in a record flying effort. Out of the total 156 hrs, Wg Cdr Sodhi alone flew 117 hrs. He carried out all the marginal weather flying himself thus establishing a record not only for himself but showed his subordinates to do the job in the best traditions of service. He brought distinction and honour to the Armed Forces.

For consistently exhibiting excellent professionalism, dedication and devotion to duty under challenging and uncertain conditions and carrying out tasks beyond the call of duty, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wg Cdr Harjeet Singh Sodhi.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd April 1988 - No.39-Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Avdesh Kumar Singh 11005 F(P)Unit : No.5 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Wing Commander Avdesh Kumar Singh (11005) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Air Force on 4 June 67. He was one of the six qualified flying instructors of transport aircraft background, who were selected to convert into fighter aircraft in 1980, he was selected to fly Jaguars which where than the latest aircraft in the inventory of the Air Force Later he took over the Command of a Jaguar Squadron in Jul 86. In spite of manpower constraints the Squadron flew a total of 5000 hrs during his tenure and for the first time since the re equipment of the Squadron with the Jaguar aircraft, over 3000 hrs were flown in a single year.

During Sri Lanka Operation he mounted a detachment at Bangalore at a very short notice and personally flew ten operational fighter Reconnaissance missions over Sri Lanka during "OP Pawan". Throughout, he has led the Squadron from the front by his personal example. He has so far flown 1300 hrs on the Jaguar and his total flying is 4800 hrs all of which is tonally accident free.

For his professional competence, sound leadership, devotion to duty, sustained hard work and his contribution towards enhancement of flight safety and operational efficiency, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wg Cdr Avdesh Kumar Singh.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd April 1988 - No.39-Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Harish Masand 11272 F(P)Unit : No.28 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Wing Commander Harish Masand, VrC (11272) Flying (Pilot) has been the Commanding Officer of a fighter squadron since Jul 86 when the Squadron moved to a new location for conversion on the Baaz aircraft.

During the move of the Squadron and till the squadron received its aircraft in early Oct 87, Wg Cdr Masand's sense of responsibility, devotion to duty and loyalty to the service were once again high­lighted in a major Command exercise in which the Squadron participated within four months of its formation. Despite the inexperience of the personnel and operation from a number of bases the Squadron's performance in the air and on ground was exemplary.

Despite his limited experience on type, he was specially chosen for displaying the performance of the aircraft. Wg Cdr Masand met this commitment with his characteristic Zeal, initiative and skill.

For his exemplary devotion to duty, loyalty, leadership and personal example, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wg Cdr Harish Masand.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd April 1988 - No.39-Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Pramod Kumar Mehra 11581 F(P)Unit : No.32 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Wing Commander Pramod Kumar Mehra (11581) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Air Force in May 68. In 1985 he attended a Test Pilot course where in he stood second. In 1976, he had undergone Attack Pilot Flying Instructor's course and stood first in the course. He is also an experimental Test Pilot from Aircraft and System Testing Establishment Bangalore and he stood first in this course also.

Till date Wg Mehra has got 3430.00 hrs on twenty different types of aircraft to his credit and has totally accident free personal flying record.

In June 86, he took over command of a fighter Squadron. By his leadership, dedication and hard work he has brought laurels to the Squadrons. It is noteworthy that one junior pilot of the rank of pilot officer was made fully operational within 7 month of his commencing flying. It is an exceptional achievement by every standard.

During 1986-87 the Squadron was declared Winner of the HAL trophy for best performance Squadron HAL build aircraft. During 1987, the Squadron won the over all championship for Inter Squadron Armament meet in an operational Air Command. During this Armament meet, Wg Cdr Mehra personally led the Gunnery and Rocketry events and in both these events the teams stood first.

For his exceptional leadership professional competence of a very high order and dedication to his work, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wg Cdr Pramod Kumar Mehra.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd April 1988 - No.39-Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Prakash Prahalad Dani 12214 F(P)Unit : No.52 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Wing Commander Prakash Pralhad Dani (12214) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Air Force in Dec 69. He took over Command of a fighter Squadron on promotion, Nov 86.

The Squadron had been inspected by directorate of Air Staff Inspection in Jun 86, and was declared "Non Operational". On assuming Command of the Squadron, he accepted this poor inheritance as a challenge and directed his total attention towards the all round upliftment of the unit performance Under his able leadership the training of pilots was conducted and supervised in a highly systematic and professional manner. The overall operational capability of the Squadron was assessed by Inspection team in Nov. 87 and the Squadron was awarded an 'Average Plus' overall grading. This was the third Squadron in Air Force to be assessed as such in the last two years. This success of converting a "Non Ops" Squadron to one of the best Squadrons of the year could be attributed to his professional involvement.

The Squadron was assigned an additional task of training newly commissioned pilots since January. 87. The complete training till date was carried out well within the stipulated time frame for each course. Under his guidance all the trainee pilots were declared 'Fully Operational' and were rated 'White'.

For his professional skill and dedicated hard work, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wing Commander Prakash Pralhad Dani.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd April 1988 - No.39-Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Devender Jeet Singh Kler 11855 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 20 Jun 87 Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Sqn Ldr Devender Jeet Singh Kler (11855) Flying (Pilot) has been on the posted strength of a fighter Squadron since Apr 80.

On 20 Jun 87, he was authorized to carry out a live Rocket Projectile sortie on Ajeet over Dudhkundi range. After an uneventful sortie, while coming into landing, he observed that the throttle could not be reduced as the throttle lever had become free. He operated the throttle lever to obtain some response from the engine but in the process, the RPM rose to 100% and thereafter remanded at this rating despite repeated movements of the throttle lever resulting in loss of control on speed of aircraft. Faced with this critical emergency and with very little endurance left, Sqn Ldr Kler was felt with only two options either to eject or recover the aircraft with a dead stick landing. Judging the situation correctly and having full faith in his professional skill built assiduously by practicing various emergencies over the years, he decided to opt for a dead stick landing even though, slight error in its execution entailed a grave risk to his life.

Sqn Ldr DJS Kler handled this critical emergency in an exemplary manner. Ajeet aircraft is known for its difficult handling characteristics and has resulted in accidents, many of them fatal, under such trying conditions. He displayed great professional skill, fine judgment and airmanship of the highest order. His devotion to duty is in the finest traditions of our service where in he saved a valuable combat aircraft even though this entailed grave risk to his won life.

For his professional skill, fine judgment, airmanship of a high order and efficient handling of a grave emergency, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Sqn Ldr Devender Jeet Singh Kler.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd April 1988 - No.39-Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Anil Chopra 13368 F(P)Unit : No.1 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Squadron Leader Anil Chopra (13368) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a fighter Squadron.

The officer was on amongst the initial batch of pilots to be trained in France on Vajara aircraft in the Squadron he has been a senior supervisor initially and later a Flight Commander. His vast experience and knowledge as a Qualified flying instructor, Test Pilot and an Instrument Rating Examiner was utilized in formulating operating procedures, tactics and aircraft utilization doctrines. He was specifically assigned the task of carrying out in-depth study of aircraft avionics and to formulate Air Defence Standard Operating procedures.

The Officer was selected to undergo Electronic Warfare Operational Course aboard. On return he was assigned the task of flight Commander Electronic Warfare. As the Flight Commander he was assigned the task of inducting and carrying out efficiency trials of the most sophisticated and High Tech Electronic Warfare Equipment in to Electronics Warfare were formulated. He imparted efficient training to other pilots in the Squadron.

For his professional ability, exceptional leadership qualities, managerial skills and devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Squadron Leader Anil Chopra.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd April 1988 - No.39-Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Rajender Khurana 13377 F(P)Unit : No.106 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Squadron Leader Rajendra Khurana (13377) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Air Force on 02 Jun 75 and is on the posted strength of a Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron since 25 Nov 85.

He has 3150 hours of total flying to his credit of which 1850 hrs are operational flying on Canberra aircraft. He is functioning as the Flight Commander of Canberra Flight. During Aug 87, when there were certain indications of enemy intentions in Siachen area, he was called upon to plan and execute Photo reconnaissance mission over the area. Using his thorough knowledge in the field of Photo Reconnaissance operations combined with past experience of coordinating missions involving different types of aircraft, Sqn Ldr Khurana planned Photo Reconnaissance missions with great zeal and dedication. Of the 22 sorties flown for the purpose of planning and execution of these missions, two were flown over the operational area.

The information obtained from these missions was so valuable for our Army element in the field and at Headquarters that it was widely appreciated by the senior Army and Air Force Commanders directly involved with Siachen Operations.

For his exceptional and exemplary professional standards and fearless flying in the face of enemy, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Squadron Leader Rajendra Khurana.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd April 1988 - No.39-Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Kamal Kant Dwivedi 14105 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Squadron leader Kamal Kant Dwivedi (14105) Flying (Pilot) has been on the posted strength of a fighter Squadron since 16 Jun 86. He is a fully operational pilot, a supervisor and the Squadron Pilot Attack Instructor with 120 hrs on Vikram aircraft and 1600 hrs of total service flying.

On 22 Jul 87 on completion of a successful practice interception sortie while turning on to base leg for a landing a screw which was flying loose inside the fuselage got lodged in the control system of his aircraft causing severe restriction in the fore and aft movement of the control column. As against maximum upward deflection of 28º of the tail plane and 18-20º required for a normal round off and touchdown, he had only 6º available to him. Fully aware of and yet totally unruffled by this very serious handicap, he very skillfully controlled the aircraft on the finals by intelligent use of power and airbrakes and executed a safe landing there by averting a major catastrophe not only for himself and his aircraft but also for civilians and their property around the airfield.

For the tremendous calmness and composure shown under severe stress, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Squadron Leader Kamal Kant Dwivedi.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd April 1988 - No.39-Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Vayu Sena Medal
Flt Lt Adarsh Vir 16236 F(P)Unit : 181 Flight  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Adarsh Vir (16236) Flying (Pilot) has been on the posted strength of one of the Air Force Flights since 17 Oct 86.

On 17 Mar 88 he was the captain of a Chitra aircraft on an operational sortie. On completion of the task and during the prelanding checks he noticed that the starboard main wheel indication remained 'RED'. On visual inspection it was found that though the undercarriage doors were partially open the main wheel remained up. He carried out the emergency actions to lower the undercarriage. However, the starboard undercarriage failed to come down.

Flt Lt Vir was instructed to burn up fuel and execute a two wheel landing at an alternate base to prevent a major international field from being blocked. Flt Lt Vir was airborne for more than four hours after the declaration of emergency. During this period he briefed each of his crew members on landing procedures, feathered the starboard engine and made a perfect approach leading to a smooth land ing. He held the aircraft in firm control and kept the starboard wing up till it became aerodynamically impossible. These actions were primarily responsible for the aircraft sustaining the barest minimum damage. He has 1930 hours of total service flying of which only 230 hours are on Chitra as Captain. Despite his limited experience he displayed exemplary airmanship and professional skill of a very high order in handling the emergency thus keeping the damage to the Airframe and engines to the minimum.

For his professional skill, cool competence in the face of a grave emergency and his exemplary airmanship, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Flt Lt. Adarsh Vir.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd April 1988 - No.39-Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Fg Offr M R Anand 18257 F(P)Unit : No.109 Helicopter Unit  Award Date 22 Jun 88 Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

Flying Officer MR Anand (18257) Flying (Pilot) of a helicopter unit has flown over three hundred and fifty five sorties in Op Pawan till date. Most of these missions involved operating over inhospitable terrain and under the most trying operational conditions.

On 27 Jun 88, Fg Offr Anand was detailed as co-pilot for an important but highly dangerous task in the jungle areas south of Alampil, where active ground operations were in progress, However, during the execution of this vital task, the helicopter was hit by ground fire, in which of Fg Offr Anand also sustained minor injuries. Unmindful of it all, this officer in the best traditions of the Air Force, continued with the mission and ably assisted his Captain in dealing with the situation and recovering the helicopter at the closest helipad without further damage to his helicopter or injury to the troops.

Despite his relative inexperience and injury, Fg Offr Anand displayed courage, determination and professionalism of the highest order.

Fg Offr Anand, during his tenure in the Op Pawan area, has always accepted willingly and cheerfully and mission assigned to him.

For his courage in the face of enemy, determination and display of professionalism under operational conditions, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Fg Offr MR Anand.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd April 1988 - No.39-Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Vayu Sena Medal
WO Raja Ram Yadav 271557 ORUnit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

271557 Warrant Officer Raja Ram Yadav Flight Gunner is on the posted strength of a helicopter unit Air Force with effect from 24 Feb 86. He is fully operational on Mi-8 and Mi-17 Helicopters and has flown a total of 2500 hours during his brief flying career.

WO RR Yadav is one of the first Flight Gunners posted to the unit on its formation. WO Yadav with his intense zeal and enthusiasm quickly took over as the Flight Gunner leader of a newly formed helicopter unit.

WO Yadav has the rare experience of flying over 600 sorties on the Saichen Glacier. He has been associated with most of the important dropping / landing trials in OpMeghdoot area.

The unit took active part in various Special Heliborne Operation exercises and undertook famous rescue operation like Zojila and many others in J & K and WO Yadav was detailed by name to be crew member on these high risk operations. His performance has been extremely praiseworthy on these missions. WO Yadav has been responsible for saving lives of two seriously ill Belgium ladies, who where rescued during the Zojila tragedy of Nov 86. He saved those ladies by giving them much needed oxygen by depriving himself of the oxygen while flying at the height of 15000 feet. This itself speaks for his personal conduct and selfless attitude.

For his exemplary dedication, professionalism and devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Warrant Officer Raja Ram Yadav.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd April 1988 - No.39-Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Vayu Sena Medal
WO Himmat Singh  Kundal 258738 ORUnit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

285738 Warrant Officer Himmat Singh Kundal Flight Gunner, is on the posted strength of a helicopter unit, AF since 01 Dec 85. He has an excellent record as a flight gunner and has flown over 2500 hrs in various roles like logistic support, heliborne operation, armament and VVIP commitments. He had also been commended by Chief of the Air Staff in Jan 84 for the professional competence and devotion to duty.

WO Himmat Singh was selected as a flight gunner with the Air Force team for the 6th Antarctica expedition. During the expedition, as a senior flight gunner, he was responsible for the entire loading operations of the helicopters. Undeterred by the inclement weather he worked untiringly for long hours and helped the expedition scientists in transporting their loads from ship to various sites which often called working beyond the normal call of duty.

Out of 140 hours flown by Pratap helicopter at Antarctica, WO Himmat Singh flew 130 hours. Due to his personal example, capacity for sustained hard work and methodical approach, he established harmonious and affective support among the team members, which had direct bearing on the output of the AF team.

For exceptional flying skill, devotion to duty and dedication to service, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Warrant Officer Himmat Singh.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd April 1988 - No.39-Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sgt Balwinder Singh 641079 ORUnit : Indian Scientific Expedit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 89
Details :

641079 Sergeant Balwinder Singh Engine Fitter was enrolled in the IAF as an engine technician on 18 Jan 72 and has got 16 years of meritorious service to his credit. He has been working on Pratap Helicopter for eight years and for his exceptional record he was posted to Base Repair Depot as a Supervisor.

For his Superior technical knowledge and exemplary performance, Sgt Balwinder Singh was selected for the Seventh Scientific Expedition to Antarctica. During the expedition, the used his knowledge in guiding and supervising the activities of engine maintenance in a systematic and efficient manner. With his dogged determination initiative and untiring zeal he made sure that the turn round servicing and refueling was kept to bare minimum to avoid loss of most valuable flying time on ground.

During the expedition consistent bad weather spell resulted in accumulation of snow in the engine. The task of cleaning the engine and the cowling every day required mammoth effort and work. This towering challenge was taken up by Sgt Balwinder Singh and he worked day and night on aircraft to save the pipeline and other engine parts from deterioration.

He ensured successful completion of the task and made the helicopter ready for flying within hours. It was due to his determination and hard work that valuable sorties could go through to replenish the stores.

For his hard work, determination and exceptional professional ability, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Sgt Balwinder Singh.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd April 1988 - No.39-Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Cpl Venumadhavan Talappil 668428 ORUnit : Indian Scientific Expedit  Award Date 22 Jun 88 Announced 26 Jan 89
Details : 658428 Corporal Venumadhavan Talappil Airframe Fitter was enrolled in the Indian Air Force as an Air Force technician on 20 May 76 and has been working on Pratap helicopters for the last ten years.

A young, energetic, hard working and dedicated airman who for his outstanding performance was selected for Seventh Scientific Expedition to Antarctica. He possesses remarkable qualities of dealing with problems and during the expedition he made commendable contribution towards the creditable performance of the Air Force Contingent.

Due to heavy blizzard, accumulation of snow on the Airframe was great hindrance to servicing and the removal of hardened snow was an extra burden on Airframe tradesman. During one blizzard with winds gusting up to 100 knots and ambient temperature dropping to -10°C, Cpl Venu went on check on the helicopter. With his ever observant eye he noticed a locking pin from one of the control locks had come out and the blade had started flapping viciously. Cpl Venu realized that the blade would be damaged if the control lock was not put back immediately, put himself to the task. After a great struggle, he managed to put the lock in position thereby saving the blade from complete damage. This act of part of Cpl Venu was shining example of his courage and devotion to duty.

For his initiative, courage, hard work and complete dedication to service, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Corporal Venumadhavan Talappil.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 22nd April 1988 - No.39-Pres/89 dated 26th January 1989 

Bar to Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Harbans Singh Bath 12008 F(P)Unit : No.130 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 90
Details :

Wing Commander Harbans Singh Bath VM was posted on 15 Feb 88 as the first Squadron Commander of a newly raised Mi-17 Squadron. The unit became fully operational within one week of its formation.

On 21 Jun 88, the unit was assigned the task of undertaking drop sorties at Sia La, a strategic Army post situated at a height of 5.7 Kms on the glacier. It was a Dropping Zone (DZ) where Mi-17 helicopter had never operated before. Wg Cdr Bath not only carried out successful drops at Sia-La but also utilized this opportunity to train his pilots while on-the-job. Subsequently, he repeated similar feats at "Bahadur" (DZ) and "Sonam" (DZ). In Apr 89, our ground forces holding 'Thapa' ridge were critically low on rations and ammunition and were under heavy fire from enemy. This post was hazardous for helicopter operations in view of its topography and very restricted flying space. Wg Cdr HS Bath, flying through zones of enemy fire, carried out 5 missions on a single day and delivered the much needed supplies to the beleaguered contingent of our Army.

For his personal example and selfless devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award Bar to Vayu Seva Medal to Wg Cdr Harbans Singh Bath.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 12th May 1990 - No.38-Pres/90 dated 26th January 1990 

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Surendra Singh Tyagi 9467 F(P)Unit : DASI  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 90
Details :

Group Captain Surendra Singh Tyagi has been posted in the Directorate of Air Staff Inspection since 28 Jul 86.

Gp Capt Surendra Singh Tyagi was commissioned in the flying branch on 16 May 65. He has been in the fighter stream all along and has commanded two fighter bomber Squadrons of the IAF.

The officer has flown all the fighter aircraft types in the IAF including Mirage-2000 and MiG-29 and has a total of 4166 hrs to his credit. He has flown 5255 sorties (3428 hrs) on the MiG-21 alone crossing the 5000 sorties mark on the aircraft as early as 13 Feb 87. During his present tenure, the officer has undertaken a total of 91 inspections including those of Wings, FBSUs and Squadrons. During these inspections, he has flown 528 sorties (295 hrs) on a variety of aircraft.

For his single-minded dedication and devotion to duty, the president is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Gp Capt Surendra Singh Tyagi.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 12th May 1990 - No.38-Pres/90 dated 26th January 1990 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Gp Capt Anant Gopal Bewoor 9718 F(P)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 90
Details :

Group Captain Anant Gopal Bewoor was commissioned in Oct 65. An officer with exceptional professional competence and vast instructional experience, he has to his credit 4680 hrs of accident-free flying on mainly heavy transport and trainer aircraft.

On assuming command of the Gajraj Squadron on 01 Oct 87, he so streamlined all the squadron operations through suitable delegation of authority that within weeks of his taking charge, it was transformed into an extremely potent force. The squadron's contributions in the massive airlift of men and material of the Indian Peace Keeping Force to Sri Lanka, rescue mission in air of the besieged President of Maldives and an emergency relief mission to Armenia in Nov/ Dec 88 are vivid testimony to his leadership and organizational competence.

For his outstanding leadership and professionalism, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Gp Capt Anant Gopal Bewoor.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 12th May 1990 - No.38-Pres/90 dated 26th January 1990 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Arun Kumar Saxena 11312 F(P)Unit : Indian Scientific Expedit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 90
Details :

Wing Commander Arun Kumar Saxena is posted as Command Intelligence Officer at Headquarters Western Air Command since 19 Jun 89. As a highly qualified helicopter pilot, he had the distinction of being selected to lead the IAF contingent for the Indian Expedition to Antarctica in 1988.

To provide airlift to construct the second permanent station at 'Maitri', the IAF contingent carried out three Mi-8 helicopters instead of the usual two.

Wg Cdr Saxena carried out repeated precision sorties despite the meager clearance of just one meter from the ship' static crane and completed the gigantic airlift of 613 meteric tones of load and 450 passengers in 525 sorties. This resulted in timely completion of the Indian Station 'Maitri'.

For his display of gallantry and exceptional devotion the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Wg Cdr Arun Kumar Saxena.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 12th May 1990 - No.38-Pres/90 dated 26th January 1990 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Bhushan Nilkanh Gokhale 11630 F(P)Unit : No.221 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 90
Details :

Wing Commander Bhushan Nilkanth Gokhale assumed command of a fighter squadron on 18 May 87.

He personally led an operational IRLS sortie over the border in Siachen area in Aug 87. Under his Command, the performance of the unit had been exemplary during EXHAMMER BLOW and EX-SURAKSHA II.

Wg Cdr Gokhale took personal initiative and established a new approach to the TRS (turn round servicing) on a MiG variant reducing the TRS time by half. Wg Cdr Gokhale has been instrumental in identifying, initiating and implementing a major modification of the MiG variant which in the near future will allow an armament recorder camera to be fitted.

For his significant contributions to the operational preparedness of the squadron and dedication to duty, the President is please to award Vayu Seva Medal to Wg Cdr Bhushan Nilkanth Gokhale.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 12th May 1990 - No.38-Pres/90 dated 26th January 1990 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Anil Sinha 11297 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 90
Details :

Wing Commander Anil Sinha took over command of a fighter Squadron at a forward base on 21 Sep 87.

Displaying a keen sense of dedication to duty, he personally planned the Squadron's operational flying training with a view to ensure maximum operational effectiveness of the Squadron. A clear indication of his effort in this aspect was 23 upgradations of aircrew status during his command. The Squadron was beset with an acute shortage of technical manpower and non-availability of sufficient spares. However, despite such constraints, Wg Cdr Sinha managed to obtain a very high rate of serviceability; largely through personal involvement.

For his outstanding qualities of leadership and dedication to duty, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wg Cdr Anil Sinha.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 12th May 1990 - No.38-Pres/90 dated 26th January 1990 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Ajit Vishwanath Vaidya 11848 F(P)Unit : No.7 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 90
Details :

Wing Commander Ajit Vishwanath Vaidya commanded a frontline fighter squadron from 22 Jul 87 to 19 Jun 89. He is an A-2 Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI) and has been type examiner on Mirage-2000 aircraft. During his tenure as Squadron Commander, the squadron was put to operational test on two occasions. First in July 87, the squadron was asked to move on short notice to Yelahanka in connection with Srilanka operations. Wg Cdr Vaidya carried out the task successfully by ferrying the aircraft ten of his aircraft in the shortest possible time. On the second occasion, his squadron was directed to move to Trivandrum in battle order on 03 Nov 88 and in a commendable period of under 4 hours, Wg Cdr Vaidya ensured that his squadron aircraft were airborne and the ferry was completed.

He is the first pilot to have fired air-toground weapons from Mirage-2000 which he did most accurately at Pokharan and then at Tilpat during Air Power Demonstration 89.

For his professional and notable contribution to operational preparedness, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Wg Cdr Ajit Vishwanath Vaidya.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 12th May 1990 - No.38-Pres/90 dated 26th January 1990 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Yeshwant Rao Rane 12210 F(P)Unit : No.15 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 90
Details :

Wing Commander Yeshwant Rao Rane took over command of a fighter Squadron on 06 Jun 87. During his tenure as Commanding Officer, his squadron has flown 4900 hrs amounting to 8800 sorties on both fighter and trainer aircraft. This stupendous task of accident-free flying was carried out after meeting all the operational commitments allotted to the Squadron. The high state of serviceability maintained by the Squadron, the accident-free flying effort and excellent training status of its pilots won the Squadron the trophy of 'Best Supersonic Squadron of the IAF' for the year 1987-88 and the best assessment for any fighter Squadron inspected by DASI during 1988.

For his exceptional devotion to duty, leadership of a very high order and professional skill, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Wg Cdr Yeshwant Rao Rane.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 12th May 1990 - No.38-Pres/90 dated 26th January 1990 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Pranab Kumar Barbora 12375 F(P)Unit : No.29 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 90
Details :

Wing Commander Pranab Kumar Barbora was commissioned on 13 Jan 70. He has to his credit over 3000 hours of accident-free flying. He is a qualified flying instructor as well as a fighter combat leader.

Wg Cdr Barbora has been in command of an operational squadron since Jun 87. On taking over command of the squadron, he whole-heartedly devoted himself the task of developing his unit into a well-knit and cohesive force. During his command, his squadron flew over 8300 sorties and 4800 hours while maintaining a very high average aircraft serviceability of 78%. Under his leadership, the Squadron achieved 100% serviceability on 4 different occasions. The Squadron achieved a very high pilots operational status of over 90% throughout his tenure. During the Gunnery meet of 1988, the Squadron was adjudged "The Best Overall Squadron".

For his professional acumen and devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Wg Cdr Pranab Kumar Barbora.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 12th May 1990 - No.38-Pres/90 dated 26th January 1990 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Karan Singh Chhina 12389 F(P)Unit : No.4 Squadron  Award Date 20 Feb 89 Announced 26 Jan 90
Details :

Wing Commander Karan Singh Chhina has been commanding a fighter squadron since 06 Jul 87.

On 20 Feb 89, he was authorized to fly a handling/aerobatic sortie. This aircraft had come out after snag rectification of the cone system.

While lowering the undercarriage on downwind for a landing, he noticed that though the main wheel indications were showing green, there was no light indication of the nose wheel. Wg Cdr Chhina decided to fly past the Air Traffic Control (ATC) and get his undercarriage position confirmed visually. The ATC confirmed that the main wheels were down but the nose wheel was flushed up.

Disregarding all dangers to himself, Wg Cdr Chhina decided to put the aircraft with nose wheels up and landed the aircraft with the nose wheel up. This action on part of Wg Cdr Chhina was beyond the call of duty.

For his exemplary courage and devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Wg Cdr Karan Singh Chhina.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 12th May 1990 - No.38-Pres/90 dated 26th January 1990 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Amandeep Singh Gill 12944 F(P)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 90
Details :

Wing Commander Amardeep Singh Gill was commissioned in the flying branch in January 1972. He has 7300 hrs of accidentfree flying to his credit with the distinction of being the first Gajraj pilot to achieve 1000 hrs in this mighty jet. He flew over 900 hrs during his tenure of Aircrew Examining Board.

While undergoing IL-76 conversion abroad, Wg Cdr Gill put in dedicated effort in formulating the checklists and Standard Operating Procedures for operations of Gajraj aircraft in the new environment. His diligence beyond the call of duty made subsequent operations and training of pilots on IL-76 aircraft in India both productive and safe.

For his outstanding professionalism, dedication and selfless devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Wg Cdr Amardeep Singh Gill.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 12th May 1990 - No.38-Pres/90 dated 26th January 1990 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Virendra Pal Singh 14551 F(P)Unit : 1 Base Repair Depot  Award Date 30 Aug 89 Announced 26 Jan 90
Details :

Squadron Leader Virendra Pal Singh is one the posted strength of one of the Base Repair Depots since 06 Jun 88 and is employed as a test pilot on Hunter and HS-748 aircraft production and storage flight testing duties.

On 30 Aug 89, Sqn Ldr VP Singh was authorized to carry out Air Test on T-75 aircraft after Pre-issue servicing. Climb to 13 Kms was uneventful. All of a sudden, there was an explosion followed by a fierce wing blast with splinters hitting the pilot on his face. Half the canopy had blown away shattering the pilot's visor and deeply denting the helmet. Remaining part of the visor had blood on it and was flapping wildly as a result of airflow entering through the shattered canopy.

Unmindful of his personal safety, the pilot initiated recovery action. The noise level as a result of wing blast was very high and transmission from the ground was not discernible. Air Traffic Control gave visual indication for landing. A safe landing was carried out.

For his courage, self-confidence and professionalism of a high order, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Sqn Ldr Virendra Pal Singh.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 12th May 1990 - No.38-Pres/90 dated 26th January 1990 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Chandra Sekhar Venkatramany 14089 F(P)Unit : Operational Conversion Unit  Award Date 23 Jun 89 Announced 26 Jan 90
Details :

Squadron Leader Chander Shekhar Venkataramany has been on the posted strength of Operational Conversion Unit since 07 May 88. On 23 Jun 89, he was authorized to carry out engine check on a Hunter aircraft. After take off, at a height of 500', the engine flamed out.

The low height made the emergency critical, indicating immediate ejection in the normal course. However, the pilot quickly analysed the situation and decided to delay ejection. As the speed dropped to 160 kts, and he had grabbed the ejection handle, he felt the engine relight and the RPM just starting to build up. At 200' AGL, when he was sure of making the runway, he started throttling back to reduce the RPM but the engine again flamed out. He thereafter handled the aircraft with consummate skill and airmanship, carrying out a perfect, dead stick landing on the runway. He not only saved a precious aircraft but also contributed substantially to Flight Safety, since the cause of flame out could be conclusively determined.

For his sound knowledge of aircraft system and efficient handling of grave emergency, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Sqn Ldr Chander Shekhar Venkataramany.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 12th May 1990 - No.38-Pres/90 dated 26th January 1990 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Sunderraman Neelakantan 15184 F(P)Unit : No.1 Squadron  Award Date 14 Feb 89 Announced 26 Jan 90
Details :

Squadron Leader Sunderraman Neelakantan was posted to Tactics Development Establishment on 19 Dec 88 to undergo Flight Combat Leader Course.

On 14 Feb 1989, Sqn Ldr Neelakantan took off in a MiG-21 aircraft for a training sortie. After 18 minutes of uneventful flying, when the speed was 850 Kph and height 4.5 Km, he felt the aircraft rock violently out of control. He noted that the main hydraulic system has also failed. Determined to recover the aircraft, he applied himself to the task and was able to maintain control of the aircraft only below 3 Km with significant left rudder pressure only at speeds below 500 Kph. Together with the loss of power, he was also denied the use of flaps and air brakes due to hydraulic failure. Despite the multiple emergencies, Sqn Ldr Neelakantan displaying exceptional skill, executed a flawless descending circuit terminating in a direct flapless approach and landing.

For displaying exceptional flying outstanding professionalism, judgment and confidence, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Sqn Ldr Sunderraman Neelakantan.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 12th May 1990 - No.38-Pres/90 dated 26th January 1990 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Kulwant Singh Gill 15220 F(P)Unit : Indian Scientific Expedit  Award Date 25 Dec 88 Announced 26 Jan 90
Details :

Squadron Leader Kulwant Singh Gill is on the posted strength of one of the helicopter Units since 01 Jul 87. He was selected as a member of the Air Force Contingent for the Eighth Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica. The Air Force team was given the task to airlift large quantities of bulk and heavy construction material to the site of the second Indian Station, Maitri in Antarctica. Sqn Ldr gill undertook the missions repeatedly with consistent accuracy to avoid huge obstruction of the ship's crane only a meter away from the rotor tips.

On 25 Dec 88, he was the Captain of a Helicopter which was to take vital Cargo from the ship to Maitri. The helicopter developed engine compressor split of 10% just after take off from the ship. Sqn Ldr Gill maintained his calm and flew the helicopter towards Dakshin Gangotri and carried out a perfect forced landing on the ice shelf with practically only one engine developing full power.

For this conspicuous courage and gallantry at Antarctica, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Sqn Ldr Kulwant Singh Gill.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 12th May 1990 - No.38-Pres/90 dated 26th January 1990 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Philip Mohan Mathai 13244 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 24 Feb 89 Announced 26 Jan 90
Details :

Squadron Leader Philip Mohan Mathai is the senior Flight Commander of a Fighter Squadron since 13 Jun 88.

On 24 Feb 89, he was authorized to fly as No. 3 in a 4 aircraft (MiG) formation which was to release live stores over SK Range. Soon after dropping the stores the entire formation entered the thick black smoke billowing from the target due to Napalm explosion of the formation ahead of it. Sometimes during this period No. 4 aircraft collided with No. 3 aircraft hitting it from the top.

After the impact, the pilot experienced total communication failure. Displaying total professionalism, he continued to fly towards base while continually trying to connect his shattered radio telephone plug. He had to be shepherded in for landing as his forward visibility was nil.

For his courage and exemplary professionalism, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Sqn Ldr Philip Mohan Mathai.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 12th May 1990 - No.38-Pres/90 dated 26th January 1990 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Ajit Singh Slaich 13812 F(P)Unit : No.121 Helicopter Flight  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 90
Details :

Squadron Leader Ajit Singh Slaich was commissioned in the Air Force in Jun 74.

In Feb 89, the unit was called upon to take over the tasks of Pawan Hans Ltd. in Bombay High. In a short period of four months, Sqn Ldr Ajit Singh undertook 365 offshore sorties and airlifted 5620 passengers and 26408 Kgs of load to Bombay High installations.

On the afternoon of 16 Mar 89, Sqn Ldr Ajit Singh was detailed to evacuate a casualty having a skull fracture, from Amla to Nagpur. Driven by rare missionary zeal and relying on the confidence acquired over the years, he made a concerted effort and evacuated the casualty to Nagpur.

For his high sense of dedication to duty and exemplary effort, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Sqn Ldr Ajit Singh Slaich.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 12th May 1990 - No.38-Pres/90 dated 26th January 1990 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Mukul Goyal 15404 F(P)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 90
Details :

Squadron Leader Mukul Goyal was commissioned in the IAF on 07 Jul 78 and has a record of 6,000 hrs of accident-free flying.

Sqn Ldr Goyal joined an AN-32 Sqn in Jan 85 and after conversion commenced regular flying in Jun 85. On 11 Nov 88, there was an urgent requirement to airlift troops from Agartala to Guwahati for onward dispatch to Srilanaka. The task had to be completed at night ex-Agartala where the night landing facilities were totally inadequate. Sqn Ldr showing great initiative and skill was the first to land at this airfield and then guided the others to follow him, thus being instrumental in the success of the mission.

For his high sense of dedication to duty, exemplary flying effort and thorough professionalism, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Sqn Ldr Mukul Goyal.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 12th May 1990 - No.38-Pres/90 dated 26th January 1990 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Harkeerat Singh Aujla 17336 F(P)Unit : No.114 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 90
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Harkeerat Singh Aujla has been on the posted strength of a helicopter unit since 01 Mar 88.

During his tenure in the unit, Flt Lt Aujla has successfully carried out a variety of high altitude missions e.g. air maintenance, casualty evacuation from daunting heights of 19000 ft and above in Siachen Glacier and Ladakh region. He has over 2000 sorties to the world's highest helipad to his credit.

He has undertaken hazardous flying missions to deliver vital supplies like ammunitions and rations to our highest outposts in 'Siachen Glacier' under heavy enemy shelling.

In recognition of his unmatched courage, devotion to duty and professionalism, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Flt Lt Harkeerat Singh Aujla.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 12th May 1990 - No.38-Pres/90 dated 26th January 1990 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt Lt Ajay Dogra 17145 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 14 Nov 87 Announced 26 Jan 90
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Ajay Dogra has been on the posted strength of one of the Helicopter Units since 14 Oct 85 and was operating from Jaffna in support of Indian Peace Keeping Force.

On 14 Nov 87, Flt Lt Ajay Dogra was assigned the task for dropping troops and ammunition at a helipad dominated by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) guerillas in Jaffna. He landed there safely but as the aircraft took off, it came under continuous heavy machine gun fire by the LTTE elements. The tail boom and tail rotor shaft were damaged extensively. In spite of being subjected to heavy ground fire, Flt Lt Dogra kept his cool and continued to fly his helicopter in the damaged condition till his mission was completed.

For showing exceptional courage in the face of the enemy, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Flt Lt Ajay Dogra.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 12th May 1990 - No.38-Pres/90 dated 26th January 1990 

Vayu Sena Medal
MWO Ramaswamy Govindarajan 400627 ORUnit : No.25 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 90
Details :

Master Warrant Officer Ramaswamy Govindrajan is on the posted strength of an AN12 Squadron since 20 Dec 81. He has been employed as a flight signaller for the past 30 years on four different types of different transport aircraft. He holds the record of achieving the highest flying category 'A' on all types of aircraft flown by him. Today, he has to his credit 10,200 hours including 3600 hours on operations in J&K, Ladakh in the Northern and Nagaland, NEFA and Mizoram area in the Eastern Sectors. He is currently a Command Examiner on AN12 aircraft. He has trained and brought up junior Flight Signallers Commensurate with the operational role of the Squadron.

For his remarkable professional skill and selfless devotion to duty, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to MWO Ramaswamy Govindrajan.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 12th May 1990 - No.38-Pres/90 dated 26th January 1990 

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Krishnarao Narayanrao Paradkar 7639 AE(M)Unit : 1 Wireless Experimental C  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 91
Details :

Gp Capt KN Paradkar was commissioned in erstwhile Signals Branch of the IAF, in Jul 63. He served for five years, with distinction, in Guided Weapon Squadron and Wing, and took active part in Squadron mobilities during 1971 Operations. Immediately thereafter, in 1972, he was selected for post graduation in "Aviation Electronics" at Cranfield Institute of Technology, England, where, he, once again, secured the highest marks.

Since his return from UK in 1974, Gp Capt Paradkar has been engaged in all aspects of Electronic Warfare (EW) activity. The officer took over as the Commandant, 1 Wireless Experimental Centre, an inter-service almamater for SIGINT activities, in Jan 89.

However, it is in the field of Signals Intelligence communications that Gp Capt Paradkar has excelled. He has revolutionized the concept of SI dedicated communication. The new systems have opened up possibilities of unattended operation which would ultimately result in saving in manpower as well.

In recognition of his sustained, selfless hard work with utmost devotion and dedication of exceptional order, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Gp Capt KN Paradkar.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th August 1991 - No.3-Pres/91 dated 26th January 1991 

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Chandra Kant Krishnatri 7697 F(P)Unit : No.6 Squadron  Award Date 30 Oct 87 Announced 26 Jan 91
Details :

Gp Capt Chandra Kant Krishnatri took over the command of a Squadron with effect from 09 Sep 88. He had the challenging task of managing two flights operating different types of aircraft, viz. Canberra and Jaguar, in different roles. He also faced the arduous task of making the Jaguar flight operational on maritime offensive role which was a new assignment to the aircraft.

During the period of his Command, the Squadron made tremendous strides in its operational capabilities. Excellent rapport and professional understanding were reached between the operational elements of Air Force and Navy over effective management of offensive maritime operations. Following these, Standard Operating Procedures were evolved on maritime tactics for both the services.

Under Gp Capt Krishnatri's able Command the flight won the best over all trophy in 1989 Gunnery meet and team events in level bombing, front guns and cine.

He flew both Jaguar and Canberra aircraft operationally. Under his leadership Canberra aircraft undertook Target Towing commitments for all three services. The Squadron as a whole achieved 100% instrument flying rating and aircrew categorization.

For display of leadership and professional skill of exceptional order and for his contribution towards the operational efficiency of a Squadron, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Gp Capt Chandra Kant Krishnatri.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th August 1991 - No.3-Pres/91 dated 26th January 1991 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Shyamlala Barn Majumdar 8917 F(P)Unit : ADGES Maintenance and Standards Establishment  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 91
Details :

Gp Capt Shyamlal Barn Majumdar took over as Commanding Officer of ADGES Maintenance and Standards Establishment (AMSE) with effect from 10 Apr 90.

Since taking over of Command of AMSE, Gp Capt Majumdar has been a driving force to organize available resources to assure an efficient and prompt maintenance support to the far flung ADGES radar and communication units. The Cat 'D' arisings reached a peak of 5737 repairable modules and 882 testers, instruments and digital modules in Sep 89. With his untiring effort, zeal and organsisng ability of a very high order, Gp Capt Majumdar inspired his personnel to gear up the resources to reach a peak production rate from 600 repairable to 1200 per month. This enabled AMSE to bring down the backlog to a meager figure of 400 modules of Radar and around 100 testers.

During 1989, the performance of PSM-33 Mk 1 radar at most of field units, suffered a set back. His quick appreciation revealed that repair of a number of sophisticated and complex microprocessors based electronic modules of radar was possible at AMSE but not attempted. Gp Capt Majumdar took it as a challenge and stretched the capabilities of AMSE to successfully add nearly 100 such modules to the list being handled at AMSE repair laboratories. All these steps brought about a major break-through and improved the operational availability of PSM-33 Mk 1 radar to a very high percentage.

For his high degree of professional competence, initiative, devotion to duty and remarkable leadership, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Gp Capt SB Majumdar.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th August 1991 - No.3-Pres/91 dated 26th January 1991 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Gp Capt Shashi Mohan Puri 10483 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 91
Details :

Gp Capt Shashi Mohan Puri was commissioned in the flying branch in Oct 66 and has been in Command of a Squadron since 28 Aug 88. An officer with exceptional competence and vast flying experience, he has 6450 hours of accident-free flying to his credit.

Ever since the assumption of Command, Gp Capt Puri has through outstanding supervising capabilities and dynamic leadership raised the operational status of the Squadron to very high levels besides achieving 100% categorization of all categories of aircrew.

Gp Capt Puri has had the singular distinction to be selected by the Air Headquarters as the Type Force Commander for every major exercise held by the Air Force. He was the leader of AN-32s which participated in Op Cactus.

After his Squadron has been designated in the new role, Gp Capt Puri has totally devoted himself to the formulation of standardization of training syllabus besides evolving SOP and tactics. He has been successful in converting crew in the new role in a very short time frame. The Squadron has been declared the 'Best Transport Squadron' in 1990-1991.

For his excellence in professionalism, outstanding leadership and dedication to duty, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Gp Capt SM Puri.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th August 1991 - No.3-Pres/91 dated 26th January 1991 

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Kalathil Payan Sreekanth 10508 F(P)Unit : MiG Operational Flying Training Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 91
Details :

Gp Capt Kalathi Payyan Sreekanth took over the Command of the Prestigious MiG Operational Flying Training Unit (MOFTU) in Nov 88, after having successfully commanded a frontline MiG-21 Sqn.

Under his dynamic leadership, the Unit has logged over 13000 sorties of which Gp Capt Sreekanth has personally flown nearly 700 accident-free sorties. Because of his meticulous planning and continuous prolonged involvement with the task in hand, the Unit has been able to pass out MOFTU courses in time, thereby contributing immensely to the overall Op potential of the Indian Air Force. The above noteworthy achievements were possible mainly due Gp Capt Sreekanth's personal example and his great enthusiasm for flying.

Under his professional guidance, the Unit, while successfully fulfilling its training commitments, also ensure Op continuity training of its staff pilots as a result the Unit is now fully geared to meet its wartime role with the same degree of confidence.

The Unit was adjudged as the 'Overall Champion' for two years. It also bagged F/G and Bombing trophies (1989) and the level R/P trophy (1990) besides number of individual events.

For his dynamic leadership, unflinching and exceptional devotion to duty, meticulous planning and very high professional standards, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Gp Capt KP Sreekanth.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th August 1991 - No.3-Pres/91 dated 26th January 1991 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Nitin Madhukar Gupte 11847 F(P)Unit : Tactics and Combat Development Establishment  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 91
Details :

Wg Cdr Nitin Madhukar Gupte has been on the posted strength of TACDE, AF with effect from 24 Feb 88.

During his tenure at TACDE, he has worked with an extremely high sense of devotion and dedication to his assignment. The recent changes in the air environment with the induction of lethal air-to-air missiles of the BVR and all aspect category, have led to a complete revolution in concepts of air combat. The task of developing new tactics therefore called for revision of the basic theories of combat, which have existed since the early days of aerial warfare. This task was undertaken by Wg Cdr Gupte in a very highly professional manner. A very comprehensive and meticulous report for manoeuvring in the air, encompassing the entire gamut of air combat operations was prepared by Wg Cdr Gupte.

During his tenure at TACDE, Wg Cdr Gupte has worked with a very keen sense of devotion towards the tasks assigned to him. His quality of placing service interests always ahead of personal interests have been a shining example to all.

For his devotion, dedication and professional ability of the highest order, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wg Cdr NM Gupte.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 24th August 1991 - No.3-Pres/91 dated 26th January 1991 

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.