Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, September 22
Air Marshal Man Mohan Singh, a decorated war hero and well-known face in the service fraternity and academic circles of the city, passed away at the age of 89. He had settled in the city after hanging up his boots as the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C), Western Air Command.
His mortal remains were consigned to the flames today amidst a small gathering of family members and military veterans.
Air Marshal Singh was in the reckoning for appointment as the Chief of Air Staff, but was overlooked for elevation by the Rajiv Gandhi government, following which he put in his papers in 1988.
Commissioned in January 1951, he belonged to the 54th Course at the Air Force Academy. From July 1962 to February 1972, he commanded three IAF squadrons, No. 24, 26 and 15, in that order. As Group Captain, he served as the Station Commander of No. 11 Wing at Tezpur and on promotion to Air Commodore, he was posted as Air Officer Commanding No. 1 Wing, Srinagar. He became an Air Marshal in 1984 and was elevated as the AOC-in-C in August 1985.
Air Marshal Singh was decorated with the Vir Chakra for gallantry during the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war and was later awarded the Ati Vashisht Seva Medal and the Param Vashisht Seva Medal for distinguished service. During the 1971 war, he was commanding an operational fighter squadron in the Eastern Sector. According to his citation, his squadron flew 110 sorties in Bangladesh in close support and anti-shipping roles and met all its operational commitments without damage to any of its aircraft. He personally led 19 sorties and successfully engaged enemy defence positions, gun boats and ships despite heavy ground fire. When heli-borne operations across the Meghna river commenced, his squadron provided effective air cover for the successful completion of the task. In addition, the squadron provided valuable support to the Army in Agartala Sector in spite of the fact that the aircraft had to operate from a short runway at Agartala. Throughout the operations, he displayed courage and devotion to duty of a high order.
Hailing from Jalandhar district in Punjab, Air Marshal Singh was also associated with the Dashmesh Academy Trust. He was also a speaker and commentator on contemporary military affairs.
Was overlooked for elevation by Rajiv government
- Air Marshal Man Mohan Singh was in the reckoning for appointment as the Chief of Air Staff, but was overlooked for elevation by the Rajiv Gandhi government, following which he put in his papers in 1988
- He was decorated with the Vir Chakra for gallantry during the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war and was later awarded the Ati Vashisht Seva Medal and the Param Vashisht Seva Medal for distinguished service
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