Awards for the year 1971


A total of 96 Awards are listed.
Padma Vibhushan : 1 | Param Vishist Seva Medal : 3 | Maha Vir Chakra : 4 | Ati Vishist Seva Medal : 12 | Vir Chakra : 3 | Vayu Sena Medal : 44 | Vishist Seva Medal : 29 |
Padma Vibhushan
Gp Capt Suranjan Das 3175 F(P)Unit : HAL  Award Date 26 Jan 71 Announced 26 Jan 71
Details : HAL
Reference:  

Param Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Idris Hasan Latif 1804 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 71 Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

Air Commodore (now

Air Vice Marshal) Idris Hassan Latif joined the Indian Air Force in 1942. He saw active service during World War II. He has held several

important staff appointments and has commended with distinction, operational and Flying Training Stations and has flown a variety of aircraft. He attended the Defence Services Staff College Course and the National Defence College Course. He was member of the IAF Advisory Group in Indonesia and was also the Air Attaché at the Embassy of India in the USA. In both these assignments, he rendered valuable service. As Air Officer Commanding Jammu and Kashmir, he devised procedures for effective control of aircraft movements in that region particularly the Ladakh area, thus enhancing flying safety in hilly terrain. Again, as Senior Air Staff Officer at Headquarters, Eastern Air Command, he contributed significantly in planning Transport Support Operations in NEFA and Nagaland. As Air Officer Commanding of an Air Force Station, he regularly flew high performance aircraft setting an example for the aircrew by his qualities of courage and leadership. He has also taken great interest in the welfare of officers and men serving under him and has substantially improved their living and working conditions.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1971 Number: 

Param Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Madhukar Mallanah Shrinagesh 1665 MEDUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 71 Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

Air Vice Marshal M.M. Shrinagesh was granted commission in the Medical Services of the Armed Forces in January 1941. He has rendered valuable service both as a Specialist in Aviation Medicine as well as an Administrator. He has vast experience in most of the branches of Medicines: he specialised in Aviation Medicine in 1957 from the USA. After holding various important appointments in the Medical Services of the Air Force, he was posted to Armed Forces Medical College as Deputy Commandant in March 1964. From June 1965 to June 1966, he served as Director of Medical Research in the office of the Director General Armed Forces Medical Services. Subsequently, he was appointed as Consultant in Aviation Medicine. In November 1966, he was appointed as Deputy Director Medical Services (Air) and subsequently held the appointment of Director Medical Services (Air) from August 1968 to March 1969. In both these assignments, he exhibited outstanding organising ability. In March 1969, he was posted as Commandant, Armed Forces Medical College. He is an Honorary Surgeon to the President of India.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1971 Number: 

Param Vishist Seva Medal
AVM Lal Singh Grewal 2337 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 71 Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

Air Commodore Lal Singh Grewal was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in 1943. He has held several important staff and command appointments. He attended Heavy Bomber Course in the U.K. in 1949, the Defence Services Staff College Course in 1952-53, Familiarisation Course in the USA in 1953 and the National Defence College Course in 1969. He started his aviation career on Fighters and later on heavy bombers and transport aircraft. He has flown 33 types of aircrafts. He was associated with the proving flights of certain types of civil aircrafts. During the Chinese aggression in 1962, he rendered distinguished service. In August 1963, he was given an assignment in which he has done commendable work.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1971 Number: 

Maha Vir Chakra
Wg Cdr Ramesh Sakharam Benegal 4220 F(P)Unit : No.106 Squadron  Award Date 17 Dec 71 Announced 18 Dec 71
Details : As the Officer Commanding of an Operational reconnaissance squadron [No.106 SR Squadron, Canberras] he has carried out a very large number of missions over enemy territory and has obtained vital information about enemy Air Force and other installations. These missions have entailed flying unarmed and unescorted vary deep into enemy territory and to heavily defended targets. The information brought back from these missions has facilitated the planning of Army, Air Force and Naval operations and has thus directly contributed to the attrition of the Pakistani war machine, It is further to the credit of Wing Commander Benegal that he has never returned from any of these innumerable missions without having achieved his object in full measure. While flying repeatedly deep into enemy territory in an unarmed aircraft he has displayed gallantry, devotion to duty and professional skill of the highest order.
Reference: Gazette of India , 12th February 1972 - No.20 - Pres/72 dated 20th January 1972 

Maha Vir Chakra
Wg Cdr Vidya Bhushan Vasisht 4584 F(P)Unit : No.44 Squadron  Award Date 03 Dec 71 Announced 18 Dec 71
Details : Wing Commander Vasisht, the Commanding Officer of an operational squadron [No.44 Squadron, Antonov An-12] , led a group of heavy bombers of his squadron to attack an important enemy fuel and ammunition dump at Changa Manga forest on the night of December 3. 1971. In spite of very heavy enemy ground fire. the pressed home the attack, and caused severe damage to the target. Again, on the next night, he led another raid to the same target and succeeded in causing further heavy damage in the face of intense enemy ground fire. On the night of December 5, 1971, he led a formation of his bombers, this time to attack enemy positions in the Haji Pir Pass in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The difficulties and dangers of this operation were due as much to the great volume of ground fire in the target area, as to the hazards of flying his large aircraft and leading his formation at low level through mountainous terrain. In spite of these hazards. Wing Commander Vasisht pressed home tha attack and achieved marked success in hitting the enemy's positions. In addition to these, he had led many other missions deep into enemy territory where opposition could be expected from fighter aircraft and anti-aircraft fire. In all these raids Wing Commander Vasisht completed the tasks to him without any loss to our aircraft. He has displayed inspired leadership, exceptional devotion to duly, and conspicuous bravery in repeatedly leading attacks against heavily defended enemy targets, night after night.
Reference: Gazette of India , 12th February 1972 - No.20 - Pres/72 dated 20th January 1972 

Maha Vir Chakra
Wg Cdr Harcharan Singh Manget 4666 F(P)Unit : No.32 Squadron  Award Date 04 Dec 71 Announced 18 Dec 71
Details : As the Commanding Officer of a fighter bomber squadron [No.32 Squadron, Sukhoi-7] he has undertaken a number of interdiction and close support missions and also many photographic reconnaissance sorties, without fighter escort, deep into enemy territory. The information brought by him from the reconnaissance sorties has been of great value to the Army and the Air Force in their operational planning. While on a strike mission his aircraft was hit thrice by intense anti-aircraft fire but he pressed forward until he found that the other aircraft in his formation had also suffered serious damage. At this point enemy interceptors came on the scene. Despite this, he extricated his formation from the hazardous situation and led it safely back to base. On landing it was found that his aircraft was extensively damaged and major portions of the control surfaces completely shot away. Only superb flying skill and courage of the highest order could have brought such a badly damaged aircraft back to a safe landing. His leadership of the mission in those circumstances was outstanding. He has displayed gallantry determination and professional skill of the highest order.
Reference: Gazette of India , 12th February 1972 - No.20 - Pres/72 dated 20th January 1972 

Maha Vir Chakra
Sqn Ldr Madhabendra Banerji 4898 F(P)Unit : No.101 Squadron  Award Date 17 Dec 71 Announced 18 Dec 71
Details : Squadron Leader Banerji, a senior pilot in a fighter bomber squadron [No101 Squadron, Sukhoi-7], led no fewer than 14 missions in S-22 aircraft within the first week of the present war against enemy targets, most of them in support of our Army in the Chhamb battles. During these missions, he destroyed two enemy tanks and two guns. On three occasions, he was personally responsible for attacking the enemy in the face of heavy ground fire, thus relieving pressure on our own troops. He has displayed bravery and skill in repeatedly returning to the fray in the face of extremely heavy ground fire.
Reference: Gazette of India , 12th February 1972 - No.20 - Pres/72 dated 20th January 1972 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Idandas Werhoma Sabhaney 2607 AEMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 71 Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

Air Commodore Idandas Werhomal Sabhaney was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in 1943. He has held various important staff and command appointments with distinction. He attended Signals Officers Radar Course in the U.K. in 1949 and also the National Defence College Course in 1966-67. He has been the Senior Technical Staff Officer at a Command Headquarters since April 1968. He has evolved and introduced a form of production planning and control suited to Air Force conditions. This technique has brought about considerable improvement in the output of the Base Repair Depots.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1971 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Jemji Hormusji Framji Maneckshaw 2690 MEDUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 71 Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

Group Captain Jemi Hormusji Framji Manekshaw was commissioned in the Army Medical Corps in February 1943 and was seconded to the Indian Air Force in July the same year. He saw active service during World War II. He attended the Advance Aviation Medicine Course in the USA in 1948-49. He has held with distinction various medical assignments at operational units, wings and stations. He was the Senior Medical Officer of an Operational Group of the Indian Air Force. In this appointment, he organised the air transportation of sick and wounded during the 1947-48 operations in Jammu and Kashmir. As Deputy Air Adviser (Medicine) in the High Commission of India in the UK from 1961 to 1964, he contributed a great deal towards resolving Aero Medical problems which were being encountered for the first time in the Indian Air Force due to induction of high performance aircraft in the service. He has been commanding the Institute of Aviation Medicine for the past three years. In this capacity, he has been instrumental in introducing modern research and evaluation techniques which are of significant value towards advancement of the Science of Aviation Medicine in the Indian Air Force. He is Senior Advisor in Aviation Medicine in the Indian Air Force, and is also Adviser to Bangalore University on matters pertaining to Aviation Medicine.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1971 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Dilbagh Singh 2998 GD(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 71 Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

Group Captain (now Air Commodore) Dilbagh Singh was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in September 1944. He attended Day Fighter's Leader's Course and RAF Staff College Course in the U.K. He has commanded operational units with distinction and has also held important staff and training appointments. While commanding an operational Flying Station from 1966 to 1969, he displayed outstanding qualities of leadership and also administrative and organising ability. Again, recently while holding an Air Staff appointment at an Operational Command Headquarters he successfully planned and conducted operational exercises. His unremitting efforts, initiative and zeal have contributed greatly towards achieving a high state of training and combat effectiveness of a Fighter Squadrons in the Command.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1971 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Douglas George King-Lee 3040 GD(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 71 Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

Group Captain Douglas George King­Lee was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in November 1944. He saw active service during World War II. He attended the All Purpose Flying Instructors' Course in the U.K. in 1947. He also attended Defence Services Staff College Course in 1965, Senior Officers Study Course at Joint Air Warfare School and Senior Officers Aviation Medicine Course in 1968. He has served with distinction in a number of operational and training units and has held important staff appointments at Air Headquarters and at Headquarters Training Command. In 1963, while commanding an operational Wing, he did creditable work. In November 1968, he took over the command of a Base Repair Depot. In this assignment, despite many difficulties, he has been able to increase the production of aircrafts.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1971 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Air Cmde Dina Nath Maniktala 3434 MEDUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 71 Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

Group Captain (now Air Commodore) Dina Nath Maniktala was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in 1942. He saw active service during World War II. He attended the Defence Services Staff College Course in 1954-55. He has held various important staff and command appointments. He has commanded certain Air Force Hospitals and has been the President of the Air Force Central Medical Establishment and the Principal Medical Officer at the Headquarters of all the Air Force Commands at different times. He has also served in the Directorate of Technical Development and Production (Air). He AVSM 1971-72 has re­vitalised the medical organisation of the Command in which he is now serving as Principal Medical Officer. One of his significant attainments is the practical application of his knowledge of Aviation Medicine to the care of aircrew.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1971 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Ramesh Chandra Jain 3546 AELUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 71 Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

Group Captain Ramesh Chander Jain was commissioned in the Aeronautical Engineering (Signals) Branch of the Indian Air Force in December, 1948. He took over command of a Signals Unit in November 1969. Certain special tasks in specialized and sophisticated electronics field were entrusted to his unit. Not only did he develop sophisticated electronic equipment, which were urgently required, he undertook and successfully completed production of sufficient quantity of these items within a very short period even though the resources of the unit in equipment, spears and personnel were extremely limited. He guided his unit urgent operational requirements. His efforts built up and established a sophisticated electronic field which helped the Air Force in the recent operations against Pakistan. Group Captain Ramesh Chander Jain thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1971 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Reginald John Manuel Upot 3599 GD(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 71 Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

Group Captain Reginald John Manual Upot was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in July 1949. He attended the Flying Instructors Course in 1950-51, Method of Instruction Course in 1951, Defence Service Staff College Course in 1962-63 and Senior Officers Study Course in 1970. After serving with a number of Squadrons, he became a flying instructor and worked in that capacity for a number of years. He holds the highest Flying Instructor's Category and also the highest instrument rating. He has been responsible for the completion of summer trials of a new type of aircraft.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1971 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Chandra Kant Vishwanath Gole 3652 GD(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 71 Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

Group Captain Chandra Kant Vishwanath Gole was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in September 1949. He has held several staff and command appointments with distinction. He attended the Elementary Flying Training School Course in 1948, the Conversion Training Course in 1949, Basic Fighter Controller Course in 1952, Junior Commander Course in 1953, Armament Training Course at Armament Training Wing in 1955, the 17th Course at Empire Test Pilots School, U.K. in 1958 and Defence Services' Staff College Course in 1962-63. He has done significant work in a Fighter Squadron of the Indian Air Force and the Aircraft and Armament Testing Unit. Since May 1969, he has been in command of a flying station and has rendered creditable service.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1971 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Ramesh Sakharam Benegal 4220 GD(P)Unit : No.106 Squadron  Award Date 26 Jan 71 Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

Wing Commander Ramesh Sakhram Benegal was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in January 1952. He attended the All Purposes Flying Instructors Course at Flying Instructors School in 1953-54, the 124 Canberra Course in the U.K. in 1957-58 and the Instrument Pilots Instructors Course in the USA in 1965. After serving in operational Squadrons, he was trained as a flying instructor and was employed on instructional duties for several years. He has held with distinction many important appointments, including those of flight commander in an operational Squadron and in the Aircrew Examining Board. He was Mentioned­in­Despatches for his performance during the India­Pakistan conflict, 1965. On successful completion of is tenure as Officer-in-Charge of flying at an Air Force base, he took over command of an operational Squadron in 1968. In this appointment, he has displayed a high degree of professional skill and has undertaken a large number of flights over difficult mountainous terrain in adverse weather conditions both by day and by night.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1971 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Gandharva Sen 4429 GD(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 71 Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

Wing Commander Gandharva Sen was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in January 1953. He attended the Pilots Conversion Course in 1953 and Flying Instructors Course in 1958. In 1967, he was appointed to command an operational Squadron. His squadron has been re­equipped with a new type of aircraft. He has rendered valuable service towards the training of the air and ground crew of the Squadron. He has successfully developed new standard operating procedures and operational tactics for the aircraft. He has also made valuable suggestions to improve the operational capability and flight safety of the aircraft.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1971 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Wg Cdr Krishan Kumar Badhwar 4669 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 71 Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

Wing Commander Krishan Kumar Badhwar was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the Indian Air Force in January, 1954. Initially, he served in fighter and fighter bomber squadrons, and then, after successfully completing a course at the Flying Instructors School, he served as a flying instructor at the erstwhile Air Force Flying College. In 1964, he converted on to jet bombers, and thereafter served in a Canberra bomber squadron. He also served in a ground appointment at a major bomber base. At present, he is the Commander of a Canberra bomber squadron. He reorganised the work of the ground staff so that they could give effective support to the flying crew. Simultaneously, he implemented a rigorous training schedule for his aircrew, for bringing them to the highest peak of efficiency. During the recent operations against Pakistan the bombers of his squadron carried out devastating raids against the enemy's war potential. He took part in every one of the operational missions entrusted to his squadron. Throughout, Wing Commander Krishan Kumar Badhwar rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1971 Number: 

Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Gp Capt Madhusudan Shirpad Tatke 3775 AEMUnit : -N.A.- Award Date 26 Jan 71 Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

Group Captain Madhusudan Sripad Tatke was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in January 1950. He attended the Technical and Administration Course in 1951, the Draft Engine Course in U.K. in 1955 and the Specialist Course at the College of Aeronautics, U.K. in 1958. He has held many important appointments with distinction, including those of Senior Resident Technical Officer (Aircraft) at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited Bangalore, and Deputy Director of Technical Services at Air Headquarters. During his tenure as Senior Maintenance Staff Officer of an Operational Command, he successfully solved a number of technical problems. He has been responsible to a large extent for introducing methods and systems which have improved the serviceability state of the Squadron aircraft within the Command.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1971 Number: 

Vir Chakra
Flt Lt Govind Chandra Singh Rajwar 8103 F(N)Unit : No.106 Squadron  Award Date Announced 17 Dec 71
Details :

During the operations against Pakistan in December, 1971, Flight Lieutenant Govind Chandra Singh Rajwar, he undertook a large number of hazardous missions and completed them successfully. The information obtained on these missions contributed to a large extent towards our planning and successful execution of operations.

Throughout, Flight Lieutenant Govind Chandra Singh Rajwar displayed gallantry, professional skill and devotion to duty of a high order.

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

Vir Chakra
Sqn Ldr Charanjit Singh 4823 F(P)Unit : No.106 Squadron  Award Date Announced 21 Dec 71
Details : During the operations against Pakistan in December, 1971, Squadron leader Charanjit Singh undertook a large number of missions over enemy territory and brought back very valuable information on enemy targets and dispositions which have greatly helped in the successful planning and execution of operations. With full knowledge of the dangers involved, he volunteered and undertook these missions cheerfully. In these missions, he penetrated deep into enemy territory fearlessly during day time.

Throughout, Squadron leader Charanjit Singh displayed gallantry, professional skill and devotion to duty of a high order.

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

Vir Chakra
Flt Lt Mohinder Singh Sandhu 8101 F(P)Unit : No.106 Squadron  Award Date Announced 30 Dec 71
Details :

During the operations against Pakistan in December, 1971, Flight Lieutenant Mohinder Singh Sandhu flew a number of operational reconnaissance missions over enemy territory. On the 4th December, 1971, he was detailed for an air mission over Sargodha at night. He carried out this mission successfully.

Throughout, Flight Lieutenant Mohinder Singh Sandhu displayed gallantry, professional skill and devotion to duty of a high order.

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

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Denis Anthony La Fontaine 3844 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

Wing Commander (now Group Captain) Denis Anthony Lafontaine served at an operation Wing during a significant phase of transition from subsonic and transonic aircraft to supersonic aircraft. The strategic importance of the Wing required it to become fully operational with the new equipment in the shortest possible time. Despite many problems and numerous other commitments, he set to the task with dedication, skill and high professional ability. He has, to his credit, 2,700 hours of accident-free flying on a wide range of aircraft. He has flown over fifty sorties on the new supersonic aircraft and from this experience found solutions to urgent problems connected with the re-equipment task. In a short time, he reorganised the flying pattern and raised the combat status of the Wing.

Throughout, Wing Commander Denis Anthony Lafontaine displayed professional skill and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 4th September 1971 - No.53 - Pres/71 dated 26th January 1971 

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Hatendra Narain Bysak 3857 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

Wing Commander (now Group Captain) Harendra Narain Bysak worked as Officerin-Charge Flying at an operational Wing from January 1969 to July 1970. During his service, he revised the operational Standing Orders and Procedures, planned a new Operations Room and streamlined the operational set­up of the Wing. By his untiring zeal, professional skill, initiative and devotion to duty Wing Commander Bysak raised the operational potential of the Wing significantly. His achieve ments contributed substantially towards the creditable performance of the Wing in Exercises held in May and June 1970.

Throughout, Wing Commander Harendra Narain Bysak displayed professional skill, initiative and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 4th September 1971 - No.53 - Pres/71 dated 26th January 1971 

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Surendra Sahney 3860 F(P)Unit : Aircrew Examination Board  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

Wing Commander (now Group Captain) Surendra Sahney has been closely associated with planning of Transport Support Operations in the Eastern Sector, training of paratroopers and examining IAF aircrew. He has flown nearly 5,000 hours on various types of aircraft, of which 2,000 hours have been on instructional sorties and 700 hours on operational flying over hazardous terrain. During 1965­66 in the Eastern Sector, he organised the airlift of supplies and evacuation of casualties with great success. He also arranged transport support operations in the Mizo Hills and was responsible for selection of many Dropping Zones in use today. As Officer Commanding the Paratroopers Training School, he was instrumental in introducing night formation flying on transport aircraft for the first time In the Indian Air Force. As Officer Commanding the Aircrew Examining Board, he set a high standard in examining aircrew.

Throughout, Wing Commander Surendra Sahney displayed professional skill and devotional to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 4th September 1971 - No.53 - Pres/71 dated 26th January 1971 

Vayu Sena Medal
Gp Capt Robert Arnold Weir 3881 F(P)Unit : No.4 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

Wing Commander (now Group Captain) Robert Arnold Weir has commanded Fighter Squadrons of the Air Force for nearly eight years. Through his efforts, young pilots have learnt to fly supersonic aircraft on most complex missions. In 1969, his Squadron had the lowest accident rate of all fighter Squadrons of the Air Force. Due to his excellent leadership, his Squadron maintained a high state of operational readiness at all times. Wing Commander Weir is a qualified Flying Instructor, has a Master Green Instrument Rating and has flown over 3,000 hours on single­engined aircraft.

Throughout, Wing Commander Robert Arnold Weir displayed professional skill and devotion to duty

Reference: Gazette of India dated 4th September 1971 - No.53 - Pres/71 dated 26th January 1971 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Surendra Kumar Mehra 4197 F(P)Unit : No.28 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 71
Details : Wing Commander Mehra commanded a Supersonic Squadron of the air force for two and a half years. Under his inspiring leadership the squadron maintained a high state of operational readiness and was awarded the Air Force Instrument Rating Trophy two years running. He has an outstanding personal flying record with over 3400 hours of accident free flying on jet aircraft. For years , he has held the highest professional qualifications and has been an examiner on various types of aircraft.

Awarded the Vayu Sena Medal for professional competence and exceptional devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 4th September 1971 - No.53 - Pres/71 dated 26th January 1971 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Har Mohan Singh Chatwal 4198 F(P)Unit : No.7 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 71
Details : Wing Commander Chatwal commanded an operational squadron for three years. He has also been a Flight Commander in three operational squadrons and has to his credit over 4500 hours of accident free flying on fighter aircraft. His inspiring leadership made his squadron, the pride of the command and it led both in training and in operational performance. The colour-trailing aerobatic team was another feather in his Squadrons cap which made it one of the foremost units in the Air Force.

Awarded the Vayu Sena Medal for professional ability and exceptional devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 4th September 1971 - No.53 - Pres/71 dated 26th January 1971 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Mian Niranjan Singh 4340 F(P)Unit : No.27 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

Wing Commander Mian Naranjan Singh commanded an operational Squadron from April 1967 to July 1970. During his tenure, inspite of shortage of experienced pilots he succeeded in improving the operational efficiency of the Squadron by intelligent planning, hard work and close supervision. His Squadron won a number of trophies in various competitions and gunnery meets held by his Air Command. The Squadron under his guidance consistently met the flying tasks allotted to it and participated with credit in every exercise held in the theatre.

Throughout, Wing Commander Mian Naranjan Singh displayed professional skill and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 4th September 1971 - No.53 - Pres/71 dated 26th January 1971 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Jagdish Chandra Sabharwal 4443 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

Wing Commander Jagdish Chandra Sabherwal commanded with distinction an operational Squadron from December 1967 to July 1970. During his tenure, the Squadron was re-equipped with a new type of aircraft. Under his able leadership, it achieved fully operational status within the shortest possible time. He has flown over 4,000 hours, and is qualified as a Flying Instructor, Pilot Attack Instructor and Instrument Rating Examiner. His own skill and professional ability in combat has been an inspiration to the pilots under his command. His Squadron has completed all tasks assigned to it over the past two years in a commendable manner.

Throughout, Wing Commander Jagdish Chandra Sabherwal displayed professional skill, devotion to duty and leadership.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 4th September 1971 - No.53 - Pres/71 dated 26th January 1971 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Prithi Singh 4480 F(P)Unit : No.101 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

Wing Commander Pirthi Singh took over command of a fighter Squadron which was being re-equipped with a new type of aircraft. He personally carried out extensive trials to collect valuable data required for maximum exploitation of this aircraft. Re­equipment of this Squadron at a forward base demanded very close supervision and leadership. The problems associated with induction of this aircraft in the Indian Air Force were also unusual. Inspite of the difficulties, the Squadron became fully operational in remarkably short time and Wing Commander Singh himself attained the highest instrument rating on the new type of aircraft.

Throughout, Wing Commander Pirthi Singh displayed devotion to duty and leadership.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 4th September 1971 - No.53 - Pres/71 dated 26th January 1971 

Vayu Sena Medal
Wg Cdr Suresh Seetaram Sane 4501 F(P)Unit : No.33 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

Wing Commander Suresh Sitaram Sane has a total of 4,765 hours of flying to his credit, of which a large number has been flown on operational sorties in the Eastern Sector. In January 1969, he assumed Command of a transport squadron and set out to improve its already high operational potential. This he succeeded in doing with a short period of time. By his efforts, a large number of aircrew also obtained their transport categories. Noteworthy amongst his achievements is the recovery of a damaged aircraft from an advanced landing ground where it had met with on accident. In the absence of adequate maintenance facilities at the Advance Landing Ground, the aircraft was only partially repaired but Wing Commander Sane flew it out successfully.

Throughout, Wing Commander Suresh Sita Ram Sane displayed professional skill and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 4th September 1971 - No.53 - Pres/71 dated 26th January 1971 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Lawrence Menezes 5280 F(P)Unit : No.4 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

Squadron Leader Lawrence Menezes was a Flight Commander in a supersonic fighter Squadron from April 1967 to June 1970. He carried out a total of over 2,100 hours of flying on jets, of which over 500 hours were on supersonic fighter aircraft. He is one of the experienced supersonic fighter pilots who has played an outstanding part in training younger pilots to a high degree of professional efficiency. He has achieved a Master Green Instrument rating. As the Pilot Attack Instructor of his Squadron, he has been instrumental in the achievement of high standards of gunnery by the pilots.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Lawrence Menezes displayed professional skill and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 4th September 1971 - No.53 - Pres/71 dated 26th January 1971 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Harsheran Singh Gill 4657 F(P)Unit : No.47 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

Squadron Leader Hersern Singh Gill was one of the first pilots to be selected to fly a highly sophisticated aircraft introduced in the Indian Air Force. Since then, he has been actively connected with this aircraft either a Flight Commander or as a Staff Officer. He holds a Master Green instrument rating on the aircraft, and is an Instrument Rating Instructor. Due to his efforts, his Squadron attained 100% instrument rating and a very high operational state on the new type of aircraft. He was selected by Air Command to give a low level aerobatic demonstration on the aircraft on two occasions during the visits of foreign dignitaries.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Hersern Singh Gill displayed professional skill, leadership and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 4th September 1971 - No.53 - Pres/71 dated 26th January 1971 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Anaswami Shridharan 4761 F(P)Unit : No.101 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

Squadron Leader Annaswami Sridharan was posted to an operational unit whose role was to train pilots on a new type of supersonic aircraft. He was the only Flight Commander in the unit qualified to undertake this task. He had to devise the entire training syllabus and programme, prepare orders and operating procedures. He flew on an average four instructional sorties daily, in addition to conducting ground lectures and training of pilots under conversion. He worked beyond the call of duty regularly, and was successful in converting pilots on to the new and sophisticated aircraft.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Annaswami Sridharan displayed initiative, drive and processional skill.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 4th September 1971 - No.53 - Pres/71 dated 26th January 1971 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Dhirendra Singh Jafa 4819 F(P)Unit : No.26 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

Squadron Leader Dhirendra Singh Jafa work ed as Senior Flight Commander in an operational Squadron from February 1968 to July 1969. This Squadron was the first to be equipped with a new type of supersonic aircraft. Through his tireless efforts, zeal and dedication to duty, he ensured that the Squadron was fully operational in the shortest possible time.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Dhirendra Singh Jafa displayed professional skill, leadership and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 4th September 1971 - No.53 - Pres/71 dated 26th January 1971 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Mohan Chandra 4889 F(P)Unit : No.114 Helicopter Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

Squadron Leader Mohan Chandra has been commanding a Helicopter Unit. He has to his credit more than 1,000 hours of operational flying on Transport aircraft and helicopters.

His flying career has been accident free. He has attained the highest Transport category and instrument rating. Under his guidance, the unit has been brought up to a high degree of operational efficiency. For more than two years, there has been no accident in his Unit. Except when grounded by weather, his unit has met all demands for flights made upon it. With the introduction of a categorization scheme for helicopter pilots, he organised training schedules for his unit and carried out the training programme single-handed. It is as a result of his efforts that, all pilots in his Unit have now been successfully categorized.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Mohan Chandra displayed professional skill and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 4th September 1971 - No.53 - Pres/71 dated 26th January 1971 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Madhabendra Banerji 4898 F(P)Unit : No.101 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

Squadron Leader Madhavendra Banerji has been a Flight Commander of an operational squadron since June 1968. He has flown a total of 3,826 hours and holds a Master Green instrument rating with an Instrument Rating Instructor endorsement. He was one of the first batch of pilots who had undergone flying training on a new type of supersonic aircraft. He displayed considerable initiative and professional skill and in a relatively short time trained the pilots of Squadron to full operational status.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Madhavendra Banerji displayed professional skill, initiative and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 4th September 1971 - No.53 - Pres/71 dated 26th January 1971 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Ishwar Ramachandra Sonpar 4792 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

Squadron Leader Ishwar Ramchand Sonpar was commissioned in November 1954. After his basic flying training, he was converted to transport aircraft and became a transport pilot. In 1960-61, he became a qualified flying instructor after which he was posted to Training Establishments to train not only ab-initio pilots but also cadets selected for transport flying. During his career in the Air Force as a transport pilot, he was mainly flying the Dakota aircraft. He has to his credit over 1500 hours of operational flying on Dakota. In 1963, he joined an operational unit. Within a short period of two months, he became a fully operational pilot an another type of aircraft. In 1965, when this unit acquired another type of aircraft, he was converted on this type. He has to his credit 4,800 hours of flying in twin­engined and multiengined aircraft and has logged so far a total of 6,401 flying hours in his short career of 14 years. Besides undertaking important operational as well as other tasks, he has trained a number of pilots in the unit to operational standard. During the 1965 operations, Squadron Leader Sonpar flew many missions.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Ishwar Ramchand Sonpar displayed professional skill, initiative and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 4th September 1971 - No.53 - Pres/71 dated 26th January 1971 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Vinod Behari Mathur 6024 F(P)Unit : Aviation Researc Center  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

Squadron Leader Vinod Behari Mathur was commissioned in December 1960. He was posted to an operational unit from 30th January 1967. He is the only qualified Alouette Pilot in this Centre. During his tenure of over 3 years, Squadron Leader Mathur has flown over 200 hours. In 1969-70, the unit undertook certain operations in NEFA. They involved helicopter landings at altitudes upto 11,000 feet at helipads for below the required standards. Inspite of these hazards, Squadron Leader Mathur undertook operational and support flights regularly to and from these helipads, displaying great courage and devotion to duty. But for the logistic support rendered by this pilot, many important operations would not have been feasible.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Vinod Behari Mathur displayed professional skill, courage and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 4th September 1971 - No.53 - Pres/71 dated 26th January 1971 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Roopagoonta Saroj 6317 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

Squadron Leader Roopanagunta Saroj joined the Air Force as a Radar Operator in 1943. He successfully completed the Radar Mechanics Course in 1950 and later he was selected for flying duties as a Sig/Air at the Air Force Flying College, Jodhpur. He was awarded the ground, air and all­round trophy as the best trainee. He has flown over 3,000 hours of which 1,800 hours were in NEFA, Nagaland and the Mizo Hills areas. During the 1962 Chinese aggression, he flew a number of missions to far-flung areas in NEFA. He has to his credit over 4,500 hours of flying as aircrew in different types of aircraft. In 1963, he joined an operational unit. He has qualified for flying duties on all types of aircraft held by the unit. Since 1965, besides his professional duties, he has been employed on important staff duties. These duties require planning and execution of operations, proper liaison and co­ordination with various organisations.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Roopanagunta Saroj displayed professional skill and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 4th September 1971 - No.53 - Pres/71 dated 26th January 1971 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Ravindra Nath Bharadwaj 5001 F(P)Unit : Operational Conversion Unit  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

Squadron Leader Ravinder Nath Bhardwaj has been serving at an Operational Training Unit for over two years. During this period, he has flown a total of 3350 hours. By his hard work and professional skill, he improved the flying skill and ground knowledge of the pilots under training. His capacity and willingness for hard work were a source of inspiration to all officers and airmen.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Ravinder Nath Bhardwaj displayed professional skill, initiative and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 4th September 1971 - No.53 - Pres/71 dated 26th January 1971 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Budho Dev Biswas 5067 F(P)Unit : -N.A.- Award Date Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

Squadron Leader Buddho Deb Biswas was a Flight Commander in an operational transport Squadron for four years, during which he undertook numerous missions over the inhospitable terrain of NEFA, Nagaland, Mizo Hills, Bhutan and Sikkim. There he flew a total of 1,715 hours, which included 896 hours on operational sorties involving 600 landings, and 200 supply dropping missions. He has a record of 14 years of dedicated service and during this period has flown a total of 6,308 hours without accident, which include 2,424 hours of instructional flying. With thorough knowledge and exceptional professional skill, he met all emergencies with admirable results.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Buddho Dev Biswas displayed professional skill, leadership and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 4th September 1971 - No.53 - Pres/71 dated 26th January 1971 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Keith David Kingsley Lewis 5109 F(P)Unit : No.4 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

Squadron Leader Keith David Kingsley Lewis has been a Flight Commander in a fighter squadron for over three years. He has carried out a total of over 2,100 hours of flying on jet aircraft of which nearly 450 hours fire on supersonics. He has had an accidentfree record. He has achieved a Master Green instrument rating and has also been awarded the Instrument Rating Instructor's endorsement. He has had the onerous task of training and familiarising pilots of his unit in flying in all-weather conditions. Inspired by his example, the officers and airmen under him have worked cheerfully to maintain the Squadron at a high state of operational readiness.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Keith David Kingsley Lewis displayed professional skill, leadership and devotion to duty,

Reference: Gazette of India dated 4th September 1971 - No.53 - Pres/71 dated 26th January 1971 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Ranjit Singh Bedi 5120 F(P)Unit : No.45 Squadron  Award Date 23 Jan 70 Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

On 23rd January 1970, Squadron Leader Ranjit Singh Bedi was leading a formation of four aircraft during a rehearsal of the Republic Day Flypast. When on the final run in, at approximately 500 ft above ground level, the port stabilator of his aircraft was hit and damaged by another aircraft in the formation, causing it to roll over on to its back. He showed remarkable presence of mind and professional skill in regaining control of his aircraft and thereby averting a serious mishap. He has been a Flight Commander in a Fighter Squadron for over three years. He has successfully converted a large number of pilots on the type of aircraft with which his Squadron is equipped.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Ranjit Singh Bedi displayed professional skill and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 4th September 1971 - No.53 - Pres/71 dated 26th January 1971 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Virendra Singh Pathania 5198 F(P)Unit : No.18 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

Squadron Leader Virendra Singh Pathania has been flying the Gnat aircraft since January 1964. He has carried out 692 hours of flying on this type and is one of the most experienced pilots on the Gnat. His profound knowledge of the aircraft has benefited many other pilots, whom he has trained with patience and understanding. His personal qualities in the air and on the ground have been a shining example for his juniors to emulate.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Virendra Singh Pathania has displayed professional skill, leadership and devotion to duty.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 4th September 1971 - No.53 - Pres/71 dated 26th January 1971 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Trevor Joseph Fernandes 5287 F(P)Unit : No.26 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

Squadron Leader Trevor Joseph Fernandez has been associated with Gnat aircraft since September 1962. He has over 1,900 hours of accident-free flying experience, including more than 700 hours on the Gnat. During the IndiaPakistan conflict of 1965, he flew a number of operational sorties. He is an experienced Pilot Attack Instructor and has had great success in training pilots of his unit in gunnery. As a result of the excellent training imparted by him the aircrew trained by him secured high places in the Command Gunnery Meets.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Trevor Joseph Fernandez displayed professional skill, leadership and devotion to duty,

Reference: Gazette of India dated 4th September 1971 - No.53 - Pres/71 dated 26th January 1971 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Subir Dey 5309 F(P)Unit : No.21 Squadron  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

Squadron Leader Subir Dey worked as a Flight Commander in a fighter Squadron from March 1968 to April 1970. He has been associated with the Gnat aircraft since 1965. During this period, he attained 365 accident-free flying hours. Of a total of 245 hours flown in his present Squadron, he has completed 164 hours in instructing trainee pilots in combat weaponry. He was given the task of training pilots who were new to the aircraft. He completed this task in the shortest possible time. The measure of his success in training has been manifest in two successive Inter-Squadron Weapon Meets, wherein the aircrew trained by him distinguished themselves.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Subir Dey displayed professional skill and devotion to duly.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 4th September 1971 - No.53 - Pres/71 dated 26th January 1971 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Poovala Govindarajulu Srivatsalu 5383 F(P)Unit : Navigation and Signals School  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 71
Details :

Squadron Leader Poovala Govindarajulu Srivatsalu has flown over 5,200 hours on transport aircraft, which include over 800 hours of operational flying. He is also a flying instructor and has over 2,000 hours of instructional flying to his credit. He holds Transport Category 'A' and a Master Green instrument rating. His entire flying career has been accident­free. He has ensured high standards of training amongst his aircrew.

Throughout, Squadron Leader Poovala Govindarajulu Srivatsalu displayed professional skill and leadership.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 4th September 1971 - No.53 - Pres/71 dated 26th January 1971 

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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