Awarded Vir Chakra twice, these officers continue to inspire

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Panchkula
  • Updated: Mar 06, 2016 15:00 IST
Air Vice-Marshal (retd) Bhupindra Kumar Bishnoi (right) and wing commander (retd) Vinod Nebb (left) (HT Photo)

At the silver jubilee function of The War Decorated India (TWDI) on Saturday, the city was lucky enough to host two livings legends of the Indian Air Force that have lived on to inspire an entire generation. Air Vice-Marshal (retd) Bhupindra Kumar Bishnoi (82) and wing commander (retd) Vinod Nebb (73) have the unique distinction of being awarded two Vir Chakra awards each for their role in 1965 and 1971 wars with Pakistan.

Air vice-marshal Bhupindra Kumar Bishnoi (retd), 82, is now based in Noida. In December 1971, he was a wing commander and in command of an operational fighter squadron of MiG 21 in the eastern sector.

He led the first two bombing missions over Tezgaon airfield and destroyed a large transport aircraft. During one of these bombing missions, his aircraft was hit by a heavy shell and sustained severe damage.

On December 14, 1971, he raided military targets in Dhaka and also led ten sorties against heavily-defended enemy positions in the Comilla Sector.

“Attacks on the Governor’s House in Dhaka led to the governor’s resignation,” he said.

Destroyed train carrying ammunition in ’65 war

In the 1965 Indo-Pak war, when the enemy ran short of ammunition in the Kasur re gion, squadron leader Bishnoi with a formation of four aircraft destroyed a train carrying ammunition at Raiwing railway station.

The denial of supply was a major factor in causing the enemy to withdraw its armors.

“In other offensive sorties, he destroyed or damaged at least ten enemy tanks and armoured vehicles. Although his aircraft was hit on three occasions, he pressed on with the attacks,” says the citation. On the JNU issue, Bishnoi said, “Contrived and superfluous definitions of nationalism are being given. It is creating confusion. You cannot give any connotation to nationalism.”

He brought down two sabre aircraft

Wing Commander Vinod Nebb, 73, is based in Gurgaon.

On September 6, 1965, Nebb, then a flying officer, was detailed as number 2 in a section of two aircraft to carry out a standing patrol over Halwara airfield.

Four Pakistani Sabre jets managed to sneak in and attacked the airfield.

“Flying officer Neb, though still under training and lacking experience, attacked the enemy formation and shot down one Sabre,” said his citation.

On 4 December, 1971, Nebb then a flying Lieutenant was number 3 of a formation of four aircraft on a mission to strike the airfield of Karmitova in the Dhaka complex. While the formation was near the target, it was intercepted by three sabres.

Nebb engaged an enemy aircraft and shot it down. Thereafter, he saw another sabre and although he was low on fuel, he manoeuvered his aircraft.

“He brought the aircraft safely to base in spite of engine trouble. Subsequently, he flew a number of ground strike missions in the Comilla sector. Along with his leader, he was responsible for destroying enemy bunkers and gun positions on hillocks overlooking our troops in Barkal, which enabled its capture,” the citation reads.

Recently, for One Rank One Pension (OROP), Nebb was at the forefront of the agitation at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi.

“We didn’t respond like Jats. We are armed forces. We are nationalists and we are not destructive,” he said.

Nebb had this take on the JNU issue, “It is a created one. You have made a leader for nothing. The controversy you ( the gover nment) did not deal with correctly is the OROP.”

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