Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon: Only member of Indian Air Force to recieve ‘Param Veer Chakra’ (India’s highest military decoration) till date.
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Amid the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, he was present with the No.18 Squadron, “The Flying Bullets” of IAF, flying the Folland Gnat warrior airplane based at Srinagar. On 14 December 1971, Srinagar landing strip was assaulted by six Pakistan Air Force F-86 planes of 26 Sqn from PAF base Peshawar. Flying Officer Sekhon was on preparation obligation around then. When the principal airplane assaulted, Sekhon moved for take-off as No 2 in a two-Gnat development, with Flt Lt Ghumman in lead, similarly as the main bombs were falling on the runway. Just postponed because of clean kicked up by the previous Gnat, Sekhon lost no time in singling out the main Saber combine, which was re-framing after the besieging run. The Gnat Leader, Flt Lt Ghuman, lost visual with his wingman soon after remove off, stayed from the battle leaving Sekhon to deal with the jumble without anyone else’s input. In the following air fight, Sekhon scored an immediate hit on one Saber and set another burning. The last was seen heading ceaselessly towards Rajauri, trailing smoke.
Sekhon, subsequent to being hit, was encouraged to come back to the base. He is said to have flown in straight, wings level for quite a while, then going modified, diving down, most likely due disappointment of control framework. He endeavored a very late launch, which did not demonstrate effective, as his overhang apparently flew off. The destruction of the Gnat was found in a canyon, close to the street originating from Srinagar town to the base, a couple of miles from the base. In spite of many pursuit endeavors by Army and Air Force, his carcass was never found because of the precipitous territory of where his contender went down, much to the failure of his better half and family.
A point by point story of his exertion has been said in genuinely itemized account via Air Cdre Kaiser Tufail. His aptitude was later likewise commended in an article by Salim Baig Mirza, the pilot who shot him down. The fortitude, flying expertise and assurance showed by Flying Officer Sekhon, against chances of 1:6, earned him India’s most elevated wartime decoration for chivalry, the Param Vir Chakra.