Service No : 4893 F(P)
Date of Birth : July 15, 1930
Place of birth : Ambala(Haryana)
Last Rank : Sqn Ldr
Unit : 26 Sqn AF
Arm/Regt : Air Force
Operation : Op Cactus Lily
Awards : VrC
Martyrdom : December 7, 1971
Sqn Ldr Jiwa Singh hailed from Ambala district of Haryana and was born on 15 July 1930. Son of of Shri Tega Singh, he joined the IAF as an airman and later was commissioned as a pilot officer on 16 Apr 1955 at the age of 24 years. He joined the flying stream of the IAF and got trained as a fighter pilot as part of 65th Pilots' course. After completing his flying training, he served with various flying squadrons located at different Air Force bases.
By 1966, he had put in around 11 years of service and had been promoted to the rank of Squadron Leader. By that time he had evolved into a professionally competent fighter pilot having expertise in various air operations. In 1966, he got posted to the Flying Instructors School at Tambaram and undertook training of pilots as a flying instructor. Thereafter he got posted to 26 Squadron based at Air Force Station Adampur.
Offensive Air Operation (Indo-Pak War) : 07 Dec 1971
During 1971, Sqn Ldr Jiwa Singh was serving with 26 Sqn, known as “Warriors” and was based at Air Force Station Adampur. No. 26 Sqn, AF was formed under the command of Wg Cdr MM Singh, on 1st of Jan 1968 at Adampur. It was the first Squadron in the IAF to be equipped with the indomitable SU-7 aircraft. Until 1971, the squadron was a type-training squadron, helping other squadrons to convert to the Su-7. As the war broke out on 03 Dec 1971 with Pakistan, the Squadron with Wing Commander Ram Krishna Batra as its commanding officer undertook various offensive air missions. The Squadron played an active role in the war with the primary role of flying Close Air Support (CAS) missions with 8 Tactical Air Command (TAC). It also flew several sorties with 6 TAC. Sqn Ldr Jiwa Singh was tasked to undertake one such operation on 07 Dec 1971. The operation was a two aircraft mission to provide close air support to army operations in Chhamb area.
On 7 December 1971, Sqn Ldr Jiwa Singh in his Sukhoi-7 (B-902) took off as planned for the mission from Adampur. He was leading a two-aircraft close air support mission over Chhamb. As the target area was important for the enemy, it was heavily defended by the anti-aircraft guns and air defence aircraft as well. Despite the threat of enemy air defence assets, Sqn Ldr Jiwa Singh and his comrade went for the attack. Sqn Ldr Jiwa Singh led the formation to search and strike enemy tanks and troops which were engaging our ground forces. He successfully located the hidden tank positions and pressed home his attacks even though his section was encircled by four enemy aircraft. Sqn Ldr Jiwa Singh successfully engaged an enemy F-104 in an aerial combat so that his No. 2 could get away to safety. However while doing so, his aircraft was shot at low level and suffered serous damage. Eventually the aircraft crashed and Sqn Ldr Jiwa Singh went down with the aircraft and was martyred.
Sqn Ldr Jiwa Singh was was a valiant soldier and committed air warrior, who laid down his life in the line of his duty. Sqn Ldr Jiwa Singh was given the gallantry award, “Vir Chakra” on 26 Jan 1972 for his outstanding bravery, devotion to duty and supreme sacrifice. Sqn Ldr Jiwa Singh is survived by his daughter Smt Gitanjali Gupta.
The citation for the ‘Vir Chakra’ awarded to him reads:-
During the hostilities with Pakistan in December 1971, Squadron Leader Jiwa Singh led a formation to search and strike enemy tanks and troops which were engaging our ground forces. He successfully located the hidden tank positions and pressed home his attacks even though his section was encircled by four enemy aircraft. He engaged an enemy F-104 in an aerial combat so that his No. 2 could get away to safety. In the combat, his aircraft was shot at low level as a result of which he was killed.
In this operation, Squadron Leader Jiwa Singh displayed gallantry and devotion to duty of a high order.