Service No: 4864 F(N)
Service: Air Force
Last Rank: Squadron Leader
UNIT: 9 Wing, AF
Operation : Op Cactus Lily
Awards : SC
Date of Martyrdom : Dec 04, 1971
Squadron Leader GK Arora was trained as a Navigator in the Air Force and had served in the transport squadrons of the IAF during his initial part of the service career. Later on he was trained on the operations of surface to air missile system and was then posted to a missile squadron. The surface to air missile squadron was part of the air defence system of the IAF, geared to provide defence against enemy air attacks.
Squadron Leader GK Arora was serving in a missile sqn at Halwara base of the IAF during 1971 war. He was functioning as a controller in the missile sqn vested with the responsibility of engaging enemy aircraft intruding in our air space.
Indo-Pak War Air Operations : 04-05 Dec 1971
Sqn Ldr Gopal Krishan Arora’s missile sqn was deployed at Air Force base at Halwara to provide air defence to the Base and engage any enemy aircraft intruding the Indian air space. He was working with the surface to air guided weapons Squadron, as a controller for guiding the Squadron to engage enemy aircraft. He set up the guided weapons Command Post and fully integrated it with the local Air Defense system.
Sqn Ldr Arora carried out his duty very diligently and remained at his post without break and guiding the Squadron to engage intruding enemy aircraft. His efforts culminated in the successful engagement of enemy bomber aircraft while it was raiding the airfield. However, on 04 Dec 1971, while still on duty he inadvertently stepped on a hidden explosive, which had been dropped during an enemy raid and got grievously injured. Later he succumbed to his injuries and a dedicated and committed air warrior was lost in the line of duty.
Squadron Leader Gopal Krishan Arora displayed courage and devotion to duty of a very high order during the war and was awarded “Shaurya Chakra” .
Squadron Leader Gopal Krishan Arora is survived by his wife Mrs Pushpa Arora and son Deepak Arora.
The Citation for the Shourya Chakra Awarded to him reads:-
During the conflict with Pakistan in December, 1971, Squadron Leader Gopal Krishan Arora was attached to a surface to Air Guided Weapons Squadron, for duties as a controller for guiding the Squadron to engage enemy aircraft. He set up the guided weapons Command Post in one day and fully integrated it with the local Air Defense system. He remained at his post throughout and efficiently guided the Squadron to engage any intruding enemy aircraft. His efforts culminated in the successful engagement of enemy bomber aircraft while it was raiding the airfield. While still on duty he inadvertently stepped on a hidden explosive which had been dropped during an enemy raid and was killed. Throughout, Squadron Leader Gopal Krishan Arora displayed courage and devotion to duty of a very high order.
Sqn Ldr G K Arora’s name has been engraved on the War Memorial at Air Force Station Halwara devoted to IAF war casualties of 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak Wars.
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