Flying Officer Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon - Param Vir Chakra

Shaheed Flying Officer Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon , son of Warrant Officer (Hon. Flt. Lt.) Trilok Singh Sekhon, was born on 17 July 1943 , in Ludhiana, Punjab . He was commissioned into the Indian Air Force on 04 June 1967 . During the 1971 Indo-Pak War, Fg. Off. Sekhon was with No.18 Flying Bullets Squadron flying the Gnat fighter based at Srinagar. In accordance with the international agreement dating back to 1948, no air defence aircraft were based at Sirinagar, until the outbreak of hostilities with Pakistan.

Saluting Flying Officer Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon on his Martyrdom day 
14th Dec 1971
He is the only Indian Air Force warrior to be decorated with the Param Vir Chakra
It was not his day, yet he made it his own.

Fg. Off. Sekhon was, therefore, unfamiliar with the terrain and was not acclimatised to the altitude of Srinagar, especially with the bitter cold and biting winds of the Kashmir winter. Nevertheless, from the onset of the war, he and his colleagues fought successive waves of intruding Pakistani aircraft with valour and determination, maintaining the high reputation of the Gnat aircraft.

On 14 December 1971 Srinagar airfield was attacked by a wave of six PAF F-86 jets. Flying Officer Sekhon was on readiness duty at that time. Soon the enemy aircraft attacked the airfield, strafing ground targets. Under heavy fire from the attacking aircraft, Flying Officer Sekhon was able to achieve takeoff in his Folland Gnat and he engaged the attacking Sabres. In the ensuing air battle Sekhon scored a direct hit on one Sabre and set another ablaze. The latter was seen heading away towards Rajauri, trailing smoke.

The four remaining Pakistani Sabres pressed the attack, and after a lengthy dog-fight at tree-top level Sekhon's aircraft was hit, and he was killed. The remaining Pakistani aircraft returned to Pakistan without pressing the attack on Srinagar airfield and its surrounding areas. The bravery, flying skill and determination displayed by Flying Officer Sekhon earned him the highest wartime gallantry medal, Param Vir Chakra posthumously.
His skill was later praised in an article by Salim Baig Mirza , the pilot who shot him down.

The sublime heroism, supreme gallantry, flying skill and determination, above & beyond the call of duty, displayed by Fg. Off. Sekhon in the face of certain death, set new heights to Air Force traditions.


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