New Delhi: The Indian Air Force (IAF) has decided to rename Panagarh airbase in West Bengal after first Air Chief Marshal Arjan Singh.
Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha made this announcement on the eve of Arjan Singh’s 97th birthday, which was attended by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other services chiefs among others.
The IAF is strengthening its might in the eastern region by making Panagarh in Burdwan its base for C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft. The infrastructure for basing C-130Js is ready and will formally be inaugurated in the first week of May.
Promoted to Squadron Leader in 1944, Arjan Singh led the squadron against the Japanese during the Arakan campaign, flying close support during the crucial Imphal Campaign and later assisting the advance of the allied forces to Rangoon, Burma. For his role in successfully leading the squadron in combat, Arjan Singh received the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) in 1944.
On August 15, 1947, he achieved the unique honour of leading a fly-past of more than a hundred IAF aircraft over the Red Fort in Delhi.
He was the first Indian Air Chief Marshal to lead a young Indian Air Force into war.
He was Chief of the Air Staff when the IAF saw action in 1965.
He was hardly 44 when entrusted with the responsibility of leading the IAF.
The IAF had planned a grand function at Aakash Officer’s Mess in the national capital on April 14 to celebrate the occasion. (ANI)