Service No : 776951
Place of birth : Kannauj Dist(UP)
Last Rank : Sergeant
Unit : 119 HU
Arm/Regt : Indian Air Force
Operation : CI & IS Ops
Awards : Shaurya Chakra
Martyrdom : November 15, 2008
Sergeant Mustafa Ali hailed from Dundwa Buzurg village in Chhibramau tehsil of Kannauj district in Uttar Pradesh and joined the Air Force after completing his school education. He was recruited into one of the technical trades of the Air Force and was trained in aircraft systems maintenance. After completing his training, he worked at various front-line Air Force bases maintaining diverse air assets of the Air Force. Later he got trained as a flight engineer and joined a helicopter unit as an aircrew.
Air Support Operation : 14 Nov 2008
During Nov 2008, Sergeant Mustafa Ali was serving with 119 Helicopter Unit, operating Mi-8 helicopters based at Air Force base at Jamnagar in Gujarat. The unit was raised on 03 Mar 1972 as ‘Angels Of Mercy’ at Air Force Station Guwahati under the command of Wg Cdr Bobby Johnson. During the period from 1985 to 1988, the unit was instrumental in carrying out operations in support of counter insurgency operations in Nagaland and in operation Falcon in Arunachal Pradesh. The unit was moved to Air Force Station Sulur for Op Pawan in Srilanka on 23 Feb 88 and was re-christened as ‘The Stallions’. 119 HU moved to Air Force Station Jamnagar on 20 May 1990 and soon thereafter was declared the ‘Best Helicopter Unit’ in SWAC (South Western Air Command) for 1990-91 and again in 1993-94. The Unit carried out the first ever night bombing by Mi-8s in 1991 and the first ever air maintenance by night by Mi-8 helicopters in 1998. On 08 Nov, 119 HU under the command of Wing Commander Sunil Kumar Singh was tasked to carry out election duties in Chhattisgarh. The unit flew 58 sorties airlifting 215 passengers and 2905 kg load in the Naxalite affected areas. On 14 Nov 2008 the unit was tasked for one more such air mission in Chhattisgarh's insurgency-hit Bastar region. Sgt Mustafa Ali was detailed to be a part of the aircrew in that mission along with Sqn Ldr Tarun Kumar Chaudhri as captain and Flight Lieutenant Yogindra Singh Tomar as co-pilot.
The task of the air mission included picking up three Border Security Force (BSF) casualties, Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and election commission officials. Despite reports of anti-national activities in the area, the aircrew successfully planned and executed the landing at the helipad in the insurgency-hit region. However after picking up the personnel and equipment, during take-off, the helicopter came under heavy small arms and light machine gun fire. The rebels hiding in a hilly pocket opened heavy fire from AK-47s and light machine guns on the chopper in Pidia (in Bijapur district, some 500 km from state capital Raipur). Sgt Mustafa Ali, who was busy with his flight engineering task received gun shots and got severely injured. He soon succumbed to his injuries and was martyred. The aircrew, led by Sqn Ldr TK Chaudhri showed exemplary courage and presence of mind, where in they took evasive action and in spite of the loss of one crew member and the aircraft being damaged, flew back to safety – saving the lives of many passengers and government property. The pilot Sqn Ldr T K Chaudhri received the "Shaurya Chakra" award for bringing back the helicopter safely under extenuating circumstances. Flt Lt Yogindra Singh Tomar was awarded 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' for his act of courage and valour. Sgt Mustafa Ali was awarded the "Shaurya Chakra" on 15 August 2009 posthumously for his courage, devotion to duty and supreme sacrifice. The "Shaurya Chakra" award was received by Sgt Mustafa Ali's wife Smt Rihana khan from the President Smt Pratibha Patil in Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Sgt Mustafa Ali is survied by his wife Smt Rihana khan.