were no updates in the month of May due to unforseen circumstances (Like me running out of
money to pay my phone bills!).
Flt Lt V K Patney F(P) Vir
1965 , No. 8 Sqn(Mystere IVa), Punjab
(Now Air Marshal Patney, SYSM, PVSM, AVSM, VrC.)
Uploaded : 30 April 2000 (IST)
Flight Lieutnant Vinod Patney was flying for a Mystere IVa Ground
Interdiction Squadron during the 1965 War.
His Squadron was tasked with attacking and
destroying the Ground forces of the enemy and he carried out his objectives with
determination and courage.
On September 13th, He led an attack against
a enemy train carrying troops and tanks to reinforce thier frontline. Inspite of heavy
ground fire that resulted in his wingman being shotdown, Flt Lt Patney destroyed his
target with his rockets.
Flt Lt Patney flew a total of Thirteen
Sorties against enemy installations and helped sustain the Ground Interdiction effort of
the IAF. For this he was awarded the Vir Chakra.
Flt Lt V K Patney is now an Air Marshal
commanding the Western Air Command. He is one of the Highest decorated Airforce Officers,
with a Sarvottam Yudh Seva Medal , Param Vishist Seva Medal and Ati Visisht Seva Medal .
Fg Off D O Barty F(P) Vir
1948 , No. 12 Sqn(C-47 Dakota), Poonch - Kashmir
Uploaded : 22 April 2000 (IST)
Flying Officer Dennis Oman Barty was a
pilot flying the sturdy C-47 Dakota Transport aircraft for No.12 Squadron during the 1947
He flew many sorties in the
squadron flying in supplies and reinforcements to support the operations of the Indian
Army forces on the ground in the Kashmir Valley and other areas in the state of Jammu and
During the siege of Poonch, Fg Off D O
Barty undertook a particularly dangerous and risky sortie, when he flew in to evacuate
injured and wounded soldiers from the beleaguered garrison. He landed the transport
aircraft on a very short airstrip that was designed to take only smaller aircraft. While
normally only one wounded soldier could be evacuated at a time, Fg Off Barty managed to
fly out all the wounded in just one sortie.
Fg Off Barty received the award of Vir
Chakra for the courage shown by him in landing the aircraft and evacuating the wounded.
Sqn Ldr M S M Naseer, F(P) Shaurya
1998 , No. ?? HU(Cheetah), Kashmir
Uploaded : 09 April 2000 (IST)
Squadron Leader M S M Naseer was an
Helicopter pilot flying the Alloutte II Cheetah helicopter. His Unit was involved in
flying operations in the Himachal Pradesh Area.
In early 1998 an expedition
from the Snow and Avalanche Study Institute got stranded in the mountains in the
Solong-Beas-Kund area. Sqn Ldr Naseer immediately flew his helicopter and carried out a
night landing at a helipad to rescue the stranded members of the expedition.
For showing initiative and exemplary
courage in rescuing the stranded expedition members, Sqn Ldr Naseer was awarded the
Sqn Ldr V B Sawardekar,F(P) Kirti
1965 , No. ?? Squadron (Vampire), Bagdogra.
Later Wing Commander.
Uploaded : 02 April 2000 (IST)
Squadron Leader V B Sawardekar was serving
with a Vampire Fighter Bomber Squadron during the 1965 War, then stationed at Bagdogra, in
the Eastern Sector.
At the outbreak of the war, there
was not much action in the Eastern Front. On 10th September 1965, He along with Sqn Ldr M
J Marston was scheduled to fly a recce sortie along the border. As both the pilots in
their Vampire Two Seater Fighter were taxing on the runway, the airfield came under attack
from enemy fighter bombers. The PAF Sabrejets, identified the Vampire on the ground and
strafed the aircraft setting fire to it.
Both the pilots managed to scramble out of
the burning aircraft, but Sqn Ldr Marston slipped and fell in the fire spread by the
spilled fuel. Sawardekar unmindful of the attack, the burning fuel or the exploding
ammunition went back and rescued Sqn Ldr Marston.
For showing courage and bravery in rescuing
his colleague and disregarding the safety of his own life, Sqn Ldr V B Sawardekar was
awarded the Kirti Chakra.
Sawardekar commanded No.29 Squadron flying
the MIG-21s during the 1971 War . He died in a bird hit accident after the 71 War.
Flt Lt V S Pathania, F(P) Vir
1965 , No. 23 Squadron (Gnat), Pathankot.
Later Air Commodore.
Uploaded : 27 March 2000 (IST)
Flt Lt Virendra Singh Pathania, was the first
Indian Air Force Pilot to get an aircombat kill, that is confirmed by the enemy.
Flt Lt Pathania was a member of
No.23 Squadron, flying the Folland Gnat fighter from Pathankot airfield. He was part of
the first lot of pilots selected to fly the Gnat into Combat in the 65 War.
One September 4th, Flt Lt Pathania was part
of a Four Gnat formation escorting a Mystere Formation over Chamb. His formation found
four Enemy Sabre aircraft attacking Indian Ground forces. As his formation engaged the
enemy fighters, Pathania positioned himself behind one of the fighters and downed it with
Cannon fire. The enemy Sabre crashed in our lines. For this aircombat victory
Pathania was awarded the Vir Chakra.
Pathania was a Wing Commander during the
1971 War. He was the CO of No.18 "flying bullets" based in Srinagar
flying Gnats. He was again involved in the thick of action and in one of the aircombats,
claimed another aircombat kill. Pathania retired as an Air Commodore.
Wg Cdr K L Bhatia, F(P) Vir Chakra.
1948 , No. 12 Squadron (Dakota), Kashmir.
Uploaded : 19 March 2000 (IST)
Wing Commander Karori Lal Bhatia was the
commander of India's Only Transport aircraft squadron during the Kashmir Operations
immediately after independence.
Wg Cdr Bhatia led No.12
"Yaks" Squadron flying the Venerable Douglas Dakota in the Kashmir
Operations. Under his leadership, the Squadron flew pioneering supply missions to
Srinagar, Poonch and Leh. The Dakotas of No.12 Squadron not only flew in supplies but on
occasions airlifted Artillery guns and equipment. On some occasions in Poonch, Dakotas
were used to drop bombs on enemy fortifications. The aircraft were also used in Casuality
All these operations were carried out with
minimal losses in men and material. Wg Cdr Bhatia himself flew many of these pathbreaking
For his leadership in leading the squadron
under adverse operational conditions and ensuring the logistical needs of the Indian
Forces were met, Wg Cdr Karori Lal Bhatia was awarded the Vir Chakra Medal.
Flt Lt Alfred T Cooke, F(P) Vir
1965 , No. 14 Squadron (Hunter), Kalaikunda.
(Later Air Commodore)
Uploaded : 12 March 2000 (IST)
Flt Lt Alfred Tyrone
Cooke is the only pilot in the Indian Air Force, who could claim to have engaged multiple
enemy aircraft in the air and got the better of them.
Cooke belonged to No.14 "Bulls"
Squadron flying the Hawker Hunter fighter in the Eastern Sector, based at the Kalaikunda
Air Force Base. On September 7th, 1965, Kalaikunda Base received Four Enemy Sabres
attacking in a surprise raid. Flt Lt Cooke was one of the two pilots who was on a Combat
Air Patrol at that point of time near the airbase.
On being directed by the Ground Control,
Cooke and his wingman engaged the enemy aircraft. Though outnumbered Four to Two, Cooke
led his formation in such a way that He shot down One of the attackers and damaged another
so severely that the enemy aircraft was out of action for subsequent days. His wingman to
managed to damage one of the attacking Sabres. It is believed that only two of the
attacking aircraft made it safely back to their base.
For his gallantry in facing outstanding
odds and thwarting the enemy attack, Flt Lt Alfred Tyrone Cooke recieved the Vir Chakra
Wg Cdr Peter M Wilson, F(P) Vir
1965 , No. 16 Squadron (Canberra), Kalaikunda, Agra.
(Later Air Commodore)
Uploaded : 05 March 2000 (IST)
Wing Commander Peter Maynard Wilson was the
commanding officer of No.16 "Cobras" Squadron flying the Canberra
Bomber, based at Kalaikunda.
At the Outbreak of the war, Wg Cdr Wilson
flew missions against the Chittagong airfield. Later his squadron switched theatres from
the eastern sector to the western sector. Here He was given the task of attacking and
destroying an Important Radar Unit of the enemy in the South Western town of Badin.
Inspite of presumed opposition by Sabre
aircraft, the risk was taken to attack in daylight. Wg Cdr Wilson's aircraft was the only
aircraft equipped with rockets. Wg Cdr Wilson carried out the attack at treetop level and
destroyed the radar station with the rockets.
For his role in leading the squadron and
courage in the daylight raid on Badin Radar Station, Wg Cdr Wilson was awarded the Vir
Subsequently Wg Cdr Wilson commanded the
Jamnagar Airbase during the 1971 War and was awarded the Param Vishist Seva Medal. Peter
Wilson retired as an Air Commodore and is now settled in the United Kingdom.
Flt. Lt. M. A. Ganapathy, F(P) Vir
1971 , No. 22 Squadron (Gnat), Dum Dum.
Uploaded : 27 February 2000 (IST)
Flt Lt Mandapadu Appachu Ganapathy was a
Gnat pilot with No.22 Squadron operating from Dum Dum airfield before the outbreak of the
The Squadron was involved in numerous
scrambles against intruding enemy aircraft. Ganapathy was involved in several of these
interceptions. His opportunity to inflict damage on the enemy came later when on, 22nd
November 1971, a ground battle broke out near the Salient of Boyra was raging on when
enemy ground troops called upon their airforce for support. Three Pakistani Air Force
Sabre Jets were soon over the Boyra peninsula supporting the Pakistani ground troops.
Flt Lt Ganapathy was part of Four Gnats
scrambled to intercept the Sabres. Arriving over the battle field, Ganapathy intercepted
and shot down one of the enemy Sabre aircraft, whose pilot ejected and was taken prisoner.
Flt Lt Ganapathy was awarded the Vir Chakra
for shooting down the enemy aircraft. After the war, Flt Lt Ganapathy died in service.
Sqn. Ldr. D. J. Keelor, F(P) Vir
1965 , No. 9 Squadron (Gnat), Ambala.
Uploaded : 20 February 2000 (Hawaiian Time)
(Later Air Marshal)
Squadron Leader Denzil
Joseph Keelor is the elder brother of Sqn Ldr Trevor Keelor, who was the first Indian Air
Force Pilot to shoot down a Jet aircraft in Combat. Denzil Keelor flew a variety of
aircraft and had seen action flying Toofanis during the Goa action.
During the 1965 Conflict, Sqn Ldr Keelor
was a Senior Flight Commander of No.9 "Wolfpack" Squadron flying the
Gnat fighters from Ambala.
On September 19th, 1965, Sqn Ldr Keelor was
leading a four aircraft mission in the Lahore Sector. They were intercepted by an enemy
force of Four Sabre jets. Immediately in the action that followed, Denzil Keelor and his
wingman attacked and shot down a Sabrejet each. The remaining enemy aircraft fled back to
Sqn Ldr Keelor was awarded the Vir Chakra.
He retired from service as an Air Marshal. Later on in his career, Sqn Ldr Keelor also
received the Kirti Chakra, for forcelanding a MiG-21U in an emergency situation.