Flt Lt G S Rai

Service No: 9015 F(P)

Date of Birth: Feb 11, 1945

Place of Birth: Ludhiana, Punjab

Service: Air Force

Last Rank: Flight Lieutenant

UNIT: 22 Sqn AF

Operation : Op Cactus Lily

Awards : Vir Chakra

Date of Martyrdom : Dec 04, 1971

Flight Lieutenant Gurdev Singh Rai VrC

Flight Lieutenant Gurdev Singh Rai was born on 11 February 1945 in Ludhiana, Punjab. He was Commissioned to 22 Sqn on December 25, 1964. Flight Lieutenant Gurdev Singh Rai who was serving in the 27 Squadron IAF was a Part Of Operation Cactus Lilly. Operation Cactus Lilly was a Millatary Operation undertaken between 3-16 December 1971 by the Indian Air force(IAF) in the East Pakistan (current Bangladesh).

 

Flight Lieutenant Gurdev Singh Rai  joined the Air Force against the wishes of his parents. In fact, he did not inform the family before joining it. In 1965, he fought gallantly and his heroism was recognised in 1971 when he was assigned the task of destroying several strategically placed radars of the Pakistan Army.

 

Indo – Pak War 1971

During the operations against Pakistan in December, 1971, Flight Lieutenant Gurdev Singh Rai was serving with a Fighter-Bomber Squadron in the Western Sector. On the 4th December, 1971, he was detailed to carry out a strike mission on a Sakesar Signals Unit Complex. He carried out the mission successfully, causing extensive damage to the installations and aerials of the unit, despite strong air and ground opposition. On the 5th December 1971, he was detailed as leader of a strike mission to the same target. He exhibited conspicuous courage and determination in the face of strong enemy opposition and succeeded in damaging the Radar Unit to the extent that it went off the air completely thereafter. But unfortunately, he could not be contacted thereafter.

 

Flight Lieutenant Gurdev Singh Rai displayed courage and devotion to duty of a high order and was honoured with Vir Chakra by Government of india.

Citation for the Vir Chakra Awarded to him reads:-

During the operations against Pakistan in December, 1971, Flight Lieutenant Gurdev Singh Rai was serving with a Fighter-Bomber Squadron in the Western Sector. On the 4th December, 1971, he was detailed to carry out a strike mission on a Sakesar Signals Unit Complex. He carried out the mission successfully, causing extensive damage to the installations and aerials of the unit, despite strong air and ground opposition.

 

On the 5th December 1971, he was detailed as leader of a strike mission to the same target. He exhibited conspicuous courage and determination in the face of strong enemy opposition and succeeded in damaging the Radar Unit to the extent that it went off the air completely thereafter. But unfortunately, he could not be contacted thereafter. Throughout this operation, Flight Lieutenant Gurdev Singh Rai displayed gallantry and leadership of a high order.

The state government had named a school in Heeran village after the name of the hero.

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Source
  • http://gallantryawards.gov.in/hi/Awardee/flight-lieutenant-gurdev-singh-rai
  • http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Database/9015
  • http://www.tribuneindia.com/2001/20010723/main7.htm
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