Sqn Ldr A B Devayya, F(P)
Maha Vir Chakra
1965 , No. 1 Sqn (Mystere), Sargodha
Uploaded : 18 September 2000 (IST)
Sqn Ldr Ajjamada Boppayya Devayya was an instructor with the Air Force Flying College at the outbreak of the war. He was posted to No.1 "Tigers" Squadron at Adampur flying the Mystere IVa fighter bomber.
On 7th September 1965, Sqn Ldr Devayya was a part of a formation of aircraft on a strike mission to Sargodha Airfield in Pakistan. He was the last aircraft of the mission to finish the attack and as he was turning away he was intercepted by an enemy F-104 Starfighter aircraft. After Sqn Ldr Devayya successfully evaded the missiles launched by the enemy aircraft, his attacker , flying a faster aircraft caught up with him and fired his guns damaging Sqn Ldr Devayya's aircraft.
Sqn Ldr Devayya, displaying true fighting spirit opted for aircombat with the superior enemy aircraft and shot down the attacker. In the process, he made the supreme sacrifice as he probably crashed or was killed.
For showing conspicuous gallantry in putting the safety of his colleagues before his own, and In electing to get into an aerial combat with the F-104 even while his own aircraft was damaged, Squadron Leader Devayya displayed Valour of the highest order. Sqn Ldr Devayya was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra Posthumously. Till date the only instance of a Posthumous MVC to the Indian Air Force.
Flt Lt. Ulrich Anthony D'Cruz , F(P) Kirti Chakra
1947 , No. 7 Sqn (Tempest), Srinagar
Uploaded : 11 September 2000 (IST)
Flt Lt Ulrich Anthony D'Cruz was a pilot flying with No.7 Squadron flying the Tempest fighter bomber. He was involved in flying operations during the 1947-48 Kashmir Operations.
On 1st Dec 47, Flt Lt D'Cruz's aircraft was shot down by ground fire while on an offensive recce sortie. D'Cruz baled out of his stricken aircraft and was captured by Pathans
Though he was beaten up, threatened to death and lured to monetary gains by both the Pathan tribesmen who captured him or the Pakistani Army, He remained loyal and devoted to the Indian Air Force. His fortitude and devotion to duty was of the highest order and a source of Inspiration for Others.
Flt Lt D'Cruz was given the Kirti Chakra for the his devotion to duty and gallantry shown. He was repatriated after the end of hostilities.
Sqn Ldr Iqbal Singh Bindra, F(P) Vir Chakra
1971 , No. 29 Sqn (MiG-21), Uttarlai
Uploaded : 27 August 2000 (IST)
Squadron Leader I S Bindra was a senior pilot with No.29 "Scorpions" Squadron flying the MiG-21 FL Fighter from Uttarlai airfield in Rajasthan.
On December 17th, the last day of the war, Sqn. Ldr. Iqbal Singh Bindra was airborne on the early morning CAP over Uttarlai in the Rajasthan Sesert when the ground controller alerted him about a low-lying intruder coming in from the north towards the airfield. The aircraft, was now identified as a Starfighter as it rose to 1000 feet altitude in its run to the airfield. Bindra pulled his MiG in a wide turn engaging the afterburner which bought him astern of the Starfighter. Bindra launched his first K-13 which was evaded by the Starfighter. Bindra launched his second K-13 which overtook the Starfighter and exploded near the cockpit, due to the proximity fuse. The F-104 now wavered and appeared to go out of control. Bindra engaged reheat closed in and gave a cannon burst at a high deflection before breaking away. The F-104 now doomed, rapidly descended and crashed into some dunes and exploded some 8 km from the airfield in our territory.
Sqn Ldr Bindra was awarded the Vir Chakra for his victory over the Much vaunted Starfighter aircraft.
Sqn Ldr D S Jafa, F(P)Vir Chakra
1971 , No. 26 Sqn (Sukhoi-7), Halwara
Uploaded : 20 August 2000 (IST)
Squadron Leader Dhirendra Singh Jafa was a pilot well known for his zeal and hardwork in inducting the Sukhoi-7 fighter bomber into the Indian Air Force Squadrons that led to the award of the Vayu Sena Medal for him.
During the 1971 War, Sqn Ldr Dhirendra Singh Jafa left his staff job at Air Head Quarters as the Aide-de-Camp to the Chief of Air Staff and volunteer to fly operational missions against the enemy targets. He was posted to No.26 Squadron at Halwara airbase flying the Sukhoi-7 Fighter Bomber.
On Dec 5th, on receiving information that the Indian Army required a strike against Artillery targets in the Lahore Sector, Sqn Ldr Jafa led a two ship formation against the enemy targets. Having successfully identified the location of the enemy gun emplacements, Jafa went on to attack and destroy these positions. He made as many as eight passes over the target to ensure all the guns were destroyed. However in the process, his aircraft received multiple hits from the enemy defences and Sqn Ldr Jafa ejected in enemy territory and was taken prisoner.
In electing to stay behind and make sure that the enemy emplacements were destroyed, Sqn Ldr Jafa showed commendable courage and dexterity that earned him the Vir Chakra. Sqn Ldr Jafa was repatriated after an year in captivity , but had to retire as a Squadron Leader due to the injuries inflicted during his ejection.
Flt Lt G C S Rajwar, F(N)Vir Chakra
1971 , No. 106 SPR Sqn (Canberra), Barielly
Uploaded : 13 August 2000 (IST)
Flight Lieutenant Govind Chandra Singh Rajwar was a very experienced Navigator flying for No. 106 Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron. Rajwar was previously Awarded the Vayu Sena Medal for dedication to service.
During the 1971 War, Rajwar was the Navigator to the Commanding Officer, Wing Commander R S Benegal. Rajwar flew on many missions with Wg Cdr Benegal. These missions entailed flying unarmed and unescorted very deep into enemy territory and to heavily defended targets. He flew missions covering the East Pakistani locations, The Gilgit area and even the Guadar bay in and around Karachi.
The information brought back from these missions. facilitated the planning of Army, Air Force and Naval operations and thus directly contributed to the destruction of the Pakistani war machine. Flt Lt G C S Rajwar received the Vir Chakra along with his Pilot/Commanding Officer who received the Maha Vir Chakra. Rajwar is currently serving as an Air Marshal.