Vir Chakra awardee Air Marshal MM Singh dies

During the 1971 war, he was in command of an operational fighter squadron in the Eastern Sector
By HT Correspondent, Chandigarh
PUBLISHED ON SEP 23, 2020 12:27 AM IST

Air Marshal MM Singh (retd), who was awarded Vir Chakra — the country’s third-highest war gallantry award — for leading successful Indian Air Force operations during the India-Pakistan conflict in 1971, died in Chandigarh on Tuesday. He was 89.

Air Marshal Singh was commissioned in the IAF in January 1951. During the 1971 war, he was in command of an operational fighter squadron in the Eastern Sector.

“His squadron flew a total of 110 sorties in Bangladesh in close support and anti-shipping roles and met all its operational commitments without damage to any of its aircraft. He personally led 19 sorties and successfully engaged enemy defence positions, gunboats and ships despite the heavy ground fire,” reads his Vir Chakra citation, which he received on the Republic Day in 1973.

“When the heliborne operations across the Maghana River commenced, his squadron provided very effective air cover for the successful completion of the task. In addition, the squadron provided valuable close support to the Army in the Agartala Sector inspite of the fact that the aircraft had to operate from a short runway at Agartala,” it further reads.

Air Marshal Singh was set to lead the air force in 1988, but was reportedly superseded.

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