Service No : IC-29202
Date of Birth : August 15, 1948
Place of birth : Jaipur Dist(Raj)
Service : Army
Last Rank : Major General
Unit : 15 Jat
Arm/Regt : The Jat Regiment
Operation : CI & IS Ops
Martyrdom : October 29, 2004
Major General Devender Pal Singh hailed from Jaipur district of Rajasthan and was born on 15 Aug 1948. Like many young boys from his area, he wanted to join the armed forces right from his childhood. Following his dream, he got selected to join the army after completing his education. He was commissioned into the 15 Jat Battalion of the well-known Jat Regiment, an infantry regiment widely respected for its intrepid soldiers and numerous battle exploits. After commissioning, he served in various operational areas and developed into a fine officer with commendable soldierly skills. By the year 2004, he had put in nearly three decades of service and had been promoted to the rank of Major General.
Army Air Operation: 29 Oct 2004
During Oct 2004, Maj Gen DP Singh was serving as GOC (General Officer Commanding) of the 6 Mountain Division, based at Bareilly, in Uttar Pradesh. 6 Mtn Div exercised operational control over a number of units deployed in various locations including border areas. On 29 October 2004, Maj Gen DP Singh as GOC, decided to conduct reconnaissance of the border posts of his units. 23(I) R & O Flight of the Army Aviation Corps was tasked to undertake this mission. Lt Col PK Pande and Capt Arjun Sardana were detailed to undertake this task in their Cheetah Helicopter. The Cheetah Helicopter of 23(I) R & O Flight was a single-engine helicopter, of 1970s vintage and derived from the French Alouette. The Cheetah Helicopter was known to be a high-performance helicopter designed for operation over a very wide range of weight, the center of gravity, and altitude conditions. The five-seater Cheetah helicopter was versatile, multi-role, multi-purpose, highly maneuverable, and rugged in construction It was suitable for commuting, observation, surveillance, logistics support, rescue operations and recce missions. Lt Col PK Pande as captain and Capt Arjun Sardana as co-pilot were tasked for one such recce mission to be conducted by Maj Gen DP Singh, on 29 Oct 2004.
The crew along with Maj Gen DP Singh, took off from Bareilly base at about 7:30 am in the morning of 29 Oct 2004 after completing the mandatory air worthiness checks. However, the Cheetah Helicopter lost contact with the ATC at about 9.30 am. It appeared to have developed a serious snag which apparently made the aircraft uncontrollable. Though Lt Col PK Pande and Capt Arjun Sardana were experienced pilots with substantial flying experience, they could not succeed in bringing the aircraft under control. Consequently, the Cheetah Helicopter crashed near the Indo-Tibetan border, a few km from Badrinath, in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. Ground search parties along with the Army Aviation Corps and the Indian Air Force’s aerial search parties were dispatched to the region to locate the wreckage. The wreckage was eventually found near Mana Pass close to Indo-China border. Maj Gen DP Singh and the pilots Lt Col PK Pande and Capt Arjun Sardana could not survive the crash and were martyred. Maj Gen DP Singh was an excellent officer and a committed General, who laid down his life in the line of his duty in the service of the nation.