Monday, 19 December 2011


SRINAGAR: To commemorate 40th anniversary of martyrdom of Flying Officer Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon, Param Vir Chakra, in defence of Srinagar, several ceremonies were held at Air Force Station, Srinagar. 

The saga of indomitable courage, valour and determination has inspired generations of Indian Air Force personnel. During 1971 war with Pakistan, Flying Officer Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon and his colleagues fought successive waves of intruding Pakistani aircraft  with valour and determination. 

On 14 Dec 1971, Srinagar Airfield was attacked by a wave of six enemy Sabre aircraft. Despite mortal danger of attempting to take off during an attack, Flying Officer Sekhon took off and immediately engaged attacking Sabres in a fight at tree top height. He successfully shot down one and damaged another sabre but was eventually overcome by sheer weight of numbers.

His aircraft crashed and he attained martyrdom. Enemy fled from the scene of the battle without pressing home their attack against the town and the airfield. Heroism, supreme gallantry and determination displayed by Flying Officer Sekhon in the face of certain death, set new heights to Air Force traditions.
To honour the memory of Flying Officer Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon PVC, a wreath laying ceremony was held at the Sekhon Memorial at Srinagar Airfield. Air Vice Marshal Jasbir Walia VM VSM, Air Officer Commanding, Jammu and Kashmir, paid tribute to the martyr. He was received by Air Commodore D Choudhury VM VSM, Air Officer Commanding and other senior officials of Air Force Station, Srinagar. Senior Army officers also joined in paying homage to the war hero. 
After the wreath laying, while the buglers played the 'Last Post', the guards stood solemnly at ‘Reverse Arms’. All personnel, attired in ceremonial uniform, observed two minutes silence in remembrance of the brave air warrior who made the supreme sacrifice in defence of Srinagar 40 years back.

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