The Indian Air Force observes the third death anniversary of Marshal of the Indian Air Force (IAF) Arjan Singh, Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC). Marshal of the IAF Arjan Singh was born on April 15, 1919, in Lyallpur, Faisalabad which is now part of Pakistan. He died on September 16 in 2017 at the age of 98 years. Sam Manekshaw 105th Birth Anniversary: Remembering Indian Army's 1st Field Marshal With His Memorable Quotes!

He was the first IAF officer who was promoted to the five-star rank of Marshal of the Air Force. Marshal of the IAF Singh was 19 years of age when he was selected for training at Royal Air Force (RAF) Cranwell in 1938. He was commissioned as a pilot officer in December 1939. He played an important role in wars against Pakistan and China. PM Modi Launches Commemorative Stamp to Honour Marshal of IAF Arjan Singh.

Facts About Marshal of The Indian Air Force Arjan Singh:

  • The decorated officer served as the Chief of the Indian Air Staff from 1964 to 1969.
  • Arjan Singh was awarded the DFC in 1944 for displaying outstanding leadership, great skill and courage in the Burma Campaign during World War II.
  •  In August 1945, Wg Cdr Arjan Singh was selected to undergo the RAF Staff College at Bracknell in the United Kingdom.
  • On August 15, 1947, Singh led the flypast of over a hundred IAF aircraft over the Red Fort.
  • In 1949, Air Commodore Arjan Singh took over as the Air Officer Commanding of Operational Command, which later came to be known as Western Air Command.
  • The decorated officer had the distinction of having the longest tenure as the AOC of Operation Command, from 1949-1952 and again from 1957-1961.
  • Towards the end of the 1962 war, he was appointed the DCAS and became the VCAS in 1963.
  • As Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Arjan Singh led the IAF in the 1965 War against Pakistan.
  • Under his leadership, the IAF was able to suppress the Pakistani armoured thrust at Chamb, gained air superiority over the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) which helped the Indian Army in scoring Strategic victories.
  • For his distinguished service in commanding the IAF during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, he was awarded the Padma Vibhushan.
  • In 1966, Arjan became the first IAF officer to be promoted to the rank of Air Chief Marshal.
  • In recognition of his services, the Government of India conferred the rank of the Marshal of the Air Force onto Arjan Singh in January 2002. He was the first and the only "Five Star" rank officer of the IAF.

Arjan Singh flew more than 60 different types of aircraft ranging from Pre World War II-era planes to the supersonic MIG-21. On completion of five years as the Chief of the Air Staff in two ranks, Arjan Singh retired on July 16, 1969. After retiring from the service, he was appointed as India's Ambassador to Switzerland. In 1989, he was made the Lt Governor of Delhi. Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh suffered cardiac arrest in September 2017. He breathed his last on September 16, 2017.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Sep 16, 2020 08:00 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website