Published: Sat, September 16, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Marshal of IAF Arjan Singh passes away after suffering heart attack

Marshal of IAF Arjan Singh passes away after suffering heart attack

Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh, famous for his role in the the 1965 India- Pakistan war. The end came at 7.47 pm, a defense official said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and IAF chief BS Dhanoa had visited Singh at the hospital earlier on Saturday. 1938-1939 While still in college, the 19-year-old was selected for the Empire Pilot training course at RAF College Cranwell, from where he graduated the following year.

Singh had the unique honour of leading a flypast of over 100 IAF aircraft over the Red Fort on August 15, 1947 when India attained Independence.

The Padma Vibhushan recipient is the only Air Force officer to have been promoted to a five-star rank, according to the newspaper.

Singh had led an IAF squadron into combat during the 1944 Arakan Campaign and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) that year.

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After India became a republic in 1950, Arjan Singh held the command of Indian Air Force's Operational Group till December 1952, and then again from December 1955 to April 1959.

After the death of Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw in 2008, he became the only living Indian military officer with a five-star rank. When Pakistan launched its Operation Grand Slam, in which an armoured thrust targeted the vital town of Akhnur, he was summoned to the defence minister's office with a request for air support.

"With a characteristic non-chalance, he replied '.in an hour.' And true enough, the air force struck the Pakistani offensive in an hour". Another achievement in his kitty included being the chief of Indian Air Force at just 44 years of age. He was the Indian Air Force chief from 1 August, 1964 till 15 July, 1969.

1971 He served as India's ambassador to Switzerland.

This was remarkable because it made him the only officer of the Indian Air Force to accomplish this feat.

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