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Wg Cdr H S Gill, F(P) Vir Chakra (Posthumous)
1971 , No. 47 Sqn (MiG-21), Jamnagar
Uploaded :
6 August  2000 (IST)

H S GillWing Commander H S Gill was a very experienced pilot with the supersonic MiG-21 Fighter. He was the commanding Officer of the No.47 "Black Archers" Squadron based in the Western Sector.

At the outbreak of full fledged Hostilities, his squadron sent detachments to various bases in the western sector. Wg Cdr Gill himself led one detachment to the South Western Air Base at Jamnagar. Here he was responsible for the Air Defence of the the Airfield as well as for offensive tasks against the enemy. As a result of his efforts in Air Defence, A F-104 Starfighter was downed by his Squadron. Wg Cdr Gill also undertook lot of offensive missions against enemy targets in Sind and Kutch.

On one of these missions on Badin Radar Station on 13 December, His aircraft was shot down by Anti Aircraft fire. He was killed in the subsequent crash.

For displaying considerable gallantry and leadership, Wg Cdr Gill was awarded the Vir Chakra Posthumously.

Sqn Ldr S B Bhagwat F(P)
1965 , No. 7 Sqn (Hunter), Halwara
KIA 07 September 1965
Uploaded :
30  July 2000 (IST)

Arun K DattaSquadron Leader Suresh Bhagwat was a flying for No. 7 "Battle Axes" Squadron based at Halwara during the 1965 War.

At the outbreak of full fledged Hostilities, his squadron was tasked with carrying out a mission against the enemy airbase at Sargodha. On 7th September, He was part of the mission sent to attack the Sargodha Air Field.   Bhagwat and his wingman were assigned to fly the Escort aircraft to three other Hunters designated as strike aircraft. On approaching the target , they noticed a number of enemy fighters in the vicinity of the target and the leader called for aborting the raid.

On the way back, Bhagwat's formation was pursued by enemy fighters intent on destroying the aircraft. To defend the safety of the strike aircraft Bhagwat led his wingman to attack the enemy fighters inspite of being outnumbered. In the ensuing battle both Bhagwat and his wingman were shot down covering the escape of their comrades. In electing to stay behind and defend the escape of their comrades, Bhagwat had shown courage and willingness to sacrifice his life.


Flt Lt A K Dutta F(P) Vir Chakra
1971 , No. 29 Sqn (MiG-21), Uttarlai
Uploaded :
23  July 2000 (IST)

Arun K Datta Flt Lt. Arun Kumar Dutta belonged to No.29 "Scorpions" Squadron flying the MiG-21FL Supersonic fighter from the Uttarlai Air Base in Rajasthan Sector.

He was involved in the operations flying Combat Air Patrols right from the start of the war. Dutta was part of a flight of two MiGs that were escorting a flight of Maruts on the last day of the war, 17th of December 1971 in the Naya Chor area when they were intercepted by F-104 Starfighters.

Dutta took on one of the enemy aircraft and shot it down with one of his K-13 IR air to air missiles. The Aircraft was shot down in the area of Naya Chor within Indian Territory. Flt Lt A K Dutta was awarded the Vir Chakra for this incident.


Flt Lt V  K  Neb F(P) Vir Chakra and Bar 
1965 , No. 27 Sqn (Hunter), Halwara
1971 , No. 17 Sqn (Hunter), Hashimara
Later Wing Commander.
Uploaded :
16  July 2000 (IST)
Vinod Kumar Neb

Fg Off Vinod Kumar Neb was a Hunter was a young and an inexperienced Flying Officer in the 1965 War. flying for No.27  Sqn in Hunters operating from the Halwara airfield, Neb was flying a dusk patrol with Flt Lt D N Rathore on 6 Sept 65, when an emergency call that the Halwara Airfield was under attack made them rush to base. about the same time,  Two PAF Sabres, were exiting out of the raid .  As the Hunters jumped the Sabres, Neb latched onto a Sabre flown by PAF Flt Lt Yunus Hussain's Hunter and  shot it down. Neb was awarded the Vir Chakra for this feat.

Six Years later, Neb was serving with No.17 Sqn again flying Hunters, based at Hashimara Airfield. On December 4th 1971, He was flying in a day attack on Dacca when his flight was intercepted by Sabres. in the ensuing fight, Neb shot down one of the attackers, chalking up his second air combat victory.

Flt Lt Neb was awarded a Bar to his Vir Chakra for repeating his earlier feat of downing an enemy aircraft.


Fg Off D Lazarus F(P)Vir Chakra
1971 , No. 22 Sqn (Gnat), Dum Dum
Uploaded :
09  July 2000 (IST)

aw_lazarus.jpg (3658 bytes)Fg Off Donald Lazarus was a Gnat pilot with No.22 Squadron operating from Dum Dum airfield before the outbreak of the 1971 War.

The Squadron was involved in numerous scrambles against intruding enemy aircraft. 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. Four Pakistani Air Force Sabre Jets were soon over the Boyra peninsula supporting the Pakistani ground troops.

Lazarus was part of Four Gnats scrambled to intercept the Sabres. Arriving over the battle field,On a call from his leader, Lazarus intercepted and shotdown one of the PAF Sabres flown by Flt Lt Parvez Mehdi Qureshi,, who later ejected and became a POW.

Lazarus was awarded the Vir Chakra for Gallantry in shooting down the aircraft. He retired from the Air Force as an Air Commodore.


Fg Off S C Mamgain F(P)Vir Chakra
1965 , No. 7 Sqn (Hunter), Baghdogra
Uploaded :
02  July 2000 (IST)
MamgainFlying Officer Subodh Chandra Mamgain was a member of No.14 "Fighting Bulls" Squadron flying the Hawker Hunter fighter from the Kalaikunda Air Force Station in the Eastern Sector during the 1965 Operations.

On the morning of September 7th, The Enemy aircraft flying from Eastern Pakistan attacked Kalaikunda and managed to cause some damage on the ground. When a second raid was undertaken by the enemy with four aircraft, Fg Off Mamgain was one of the two pilots who was involved in the Combat Air Patrol at that time.

Even though outnumbered by the Enemy aircraft by Two versus Four, Fg Off Mamgain and his leader Flt Lt A T Cooke engaged the enemy, and in the subsequent combat, downed two of the enemy aircraft. Fg Off Mamgain accounting for one of them.

For displaying gallantry of the highest order in taking on superiors numbers of the enemy , Fg Off Subodh Chandra Mamgain was awarded the Vir Chakra.


Flt Lt  Andre Rudolph Da Costa F(P)Vir Chakra (Posthumous)
1971 , No. 7 Sqn (Hunter), Baghdogra
Uploaded :
25 June 2000 (IST)

Andre Flight Lieutenant Andre Rudolph Da Costa hailed from Hyderabad, AP. Commisioned in 1963, Da Costa was serving with No.7 "Battle Axe" Squadron flying the Hawker Hunter Fighters during the 1971 Operations.

Based at Baghdogra Air Station, Da Costa took part in one of the first offensive sorties against the Pakistani  Forces. On December 4th, He flew an offensive sortie in Lal Munir Hat in the Rangpur Sector. After destroying numerous Pakistani Army Targets , He attacked a goods train south of Lal Munir Hat Bridge, when his aircraft was hit by Anti Aircraft fire. Although he tried to bring his aircraft back, He lost control and his aircraft  crashed just after crossing into Indian Territory.

For displaying gallantry of the highest order in attacking Enemy targets , Flt Lt Andre Da Costa was awarded the Vir Chakra Posthumously.


Flt Lt  Samar Bikram Shah F(P) Vir Chakra
1971 , No. 29 Sqn (MiG-21), Uttarlai
Uploaded :
18 June 2000 (IST)

Samar Bikram ShahFlt Lt Samar Bikram Shah was flying for No.29 "Scorpions" Squadron flying the supersonic MiG-21 FL Fighters from Uttarlai airfield during the 1971 War.

On December 16th, Shah was flying as Escort for a flight of HF-24 Maruts over Naya chor led by Wg Cdr Dhiman. Shah and his Wingman Flt Lt Dinesh Arora noticed PAF F-6 fighters in the vicinity. fearing a threat to the Marut formation, Shah and his wingman engaged the Enemy fighters. In the combat that followed, Shah shot down one of the MiG-19s with Cannon fire. Even though short of fuel, he engaged a second enemy aircraft and prevented them from creating any damage to the Marut formation.  This has depleted his fuel reserves so much his engine flamed out after he landed back at base.

Flt Lt S B Shah was awarded the Vir Chakra for displaying gallantry, professional skill and devotion to duty of a high order. Shah took premature retirement and is now settled in Australia.

Visit Flt Lt Samar Shah's Personal Web Site by Clicking here

Flt Lt  A S Lamba F(P) Vir Chakra
1965 , No. 7 Sqn (Hunter), Halwara
Later Air Vice Marshal
Uploaded :
11 June 2000 (IST)
Ajit Singh LambaDuring the 1965 War, Flight Lieutnant Ajit Singh Lamba was a ground attack pilot with No.27 Squadron flying the Hunter Fighters from Halwara Air Force Base. Flt Lt Lamba was involved in the thick of the action against the Pakistani Forces in the war.

On September 7th, Lamba was part of the strike of Five aircraft attacking Sargodha Air Force Base in West Pakistan. His formation faced heavy opposition by enemy fighters, and he sucessfully extricated his aircraft even though two of his colleugues were shot down.

Between September 8th and 19th, Lamba undertook a number of missions against enemy ground forces, destroying tanks, guns and other ground forces.

At the end of the Hostilities, Flt Lt Lamba was awarded the Vir Chakra for his role in the war. Flt Lt Lamba retired as an Air Vice Marshal and is with CABS in Bangalore.

Sqn Ldr V K Bhatia F(P) Vir Chakra and Bar
1965 , No. 8 Sqn(Mystere IVa), Punjab &
1971 , No. 32 Sqn(Sukhoi - 7), Adampur
Now Air Marshal V K Bhatia, PVSM, AVSM, VrC & Bar.

Uploaded :
04 June 2000 (IST)

V K BhatiaDuring the 1965 War, Flight Lieutnant V K Bhatia was a ground attack pilot with No. 8 Squadron flying the Mystere IVa Fighter Bomber from Adampur Air Force Base. Flt Lt Bhatia undertook a number of missions during the conflict inflicting damage on Enemy installations and forces.

On September 7th, Bhatia was part of the Mystere Strike force that attacked the Sargodha Air Base Complex in Pakistan. He flew sorties against ground targets on September 8th also.

Bhatia was awarded the Vir Chakra after the war for his role as an interdiction pilot.

During the 1971 War, Bhatia was now with No.32 "Tigersharks" Squadron equipped with the Sukhoi-7 BMK Fighter Bomber. Bhatia , now a Squadron Leader led the first strikes of the day on December 4th, against the PAF Airfield of Shorkot road. In the first succesful strike his formation destroyed Five Aircraft on the ground, Bhatia himself accounting for Two Sabres destroyed.

This was followed up by further three missions against Shorkot led by Bhatia, at the end of which the airbase was rendered ineffective.

For his initiative and leadership in leading from the front, Sqn Ldr V K Bhatia was awarded a Bar to his Vir Chakra. V K Bhatia is now an Air Marshal commanding the Central Air Command.


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