Service No: 5004 GD(P)
Date of Birth: Feb 01, 1931
Place of Birth: Kolkata, West Bengal
Service: Air Force
Last Rank: Flt Lt
Award : Kirti Chakra
Date of Martyrdom : Oct 12, 1961
Flt Lt Madhusudan Ray was born on 01 Feb 1933 in Kolkata in West Bengal. Son of Shri Raj Mohan Ray, Flt Lt Madhusudan Ray was commissioned into the IAF on 08 October 1955. Flt Lt Madhusudan Ray followed his dream of becoming a pilot in the Air Force and joined NDA after his schooling. He was very happy when he got selected for the flying stream in the Air Force and went on to do his initial flying training after passing out of NDA.
Flt Lt Madhusudan Ray after his initial flying training as a transport pilot, was posted to various Air Force bases and gained experience in flying different types of aircraft. By 1961, Flt Lt Madhusudan Ray had already completed over 06 years of service in the Air Force and evolved into a professionally competent pilot having expertise in various types of air operations. During 1961, he was serving with the Dakota sqn based in Air Force base at Barrackpore.
Air Operation : 12 Oct 1961
On 12 Oct 1961, Flt Lt Madhusudan Ray was detailed for an operational training sortie as part of his operational task. Flt Lt Madhusudan Ray had carried out various missions on Dakota aircraft and had developed good understanding of the operational capabilities of the aircraft. After the flying briefing Flt Lt Madhusudan along with his crew members boarded the aircraft and carried out the pre-flight checks as per the laid down procedures. He took off as per the plan and started the process for the next set of checks as per the op plan.
However, after the take off Flt Lt Madhusudan had to face an emergency as the engine developed serious snag and the aircraft suffered loss of power. The aircraft could no longer move forward and Flt Lt Madhusudan had to prepare for crash landing the aircraft immediately. Putting to use his well perfected flying skills Flt Lt Madhusudan maneuvered his aircraft so as to crash-land in the available open space between inhabited multi-storied buildings. A crash into any of these buildings would have caused extensive damage to life and property.
By this bold and risky action, Flt Lt Madhusudan Ray was able to ward off what might have been a disaster of a great magnitude. However the crash landing proved fatal and Flt Lt Madhusudan lost his life along with the rest of the crew. Flt Lt Madhusudan Ray was given the nation’s second highest peace time gallantry award, “Kirti Chakra” for his extraordinary courage , professional skill and spirit of self-sacrifice.
The Citation for the Kirti Chakra Awarded to him reads:-
On 12th October 1961, Flight Lieutenant Madhusudan Ray, Captain of a Dakota aircraft while engaged on a training flight had to crash-land the aircraft owing to loss of power immediately after take –off from Barrackpore airfield. He deliberately maneuvered his aircraft so as to crash-land in the only available open space between inhabited multi-storied buildings. A crash into any of these buildings would have caused extensive damage to life and property. Flight Lieutenant Madhusudan Ray was able to ward off what might have been a disaster of great magnitude and in doing so sacrificed his own life and those of his crew.
In saving the lives of others, Flight Lieutenant Madhusudan Ray displayed gallantry skill and spirit of self-sacrifice, which are in keeping with the highest traditions of the Air Force.
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