Service No : 5306 F(P)

Place of birth : Delhi

Last Rank : Squadron Leader

Unit : 14 Sqn

Arm/Regt : Indian Air Force

Operation : Op Cactus Lily

Awards : VrC

Martyrdom : December 10, 1971

Sqn Ldr Ramesh Chandra Sachdeva VrC

Squadron Leader Ramesh Chander Sachdeva hailed from Delhi. Son of Shri Ram Labhaya and Smt Shivdevi Sachdeva, he got selected to join the prestigious NDA after his schooling. He joined the 11th NDA course and was commissioned into the Indian Air Force on 23 Mar 1957. He was commissioned in the flying stream of the IAF and got trained as a fighter pilot.

 

After completing his flying training, Sqn Ldr Ramesh Chander Sachdeva served with various flying squadrons located at different Air Force bases. He also became a flying instructor and served at Flying Instructors School at Tambaram in Tamil Nadu. By 1971, Sqn Ldr Sachdeva had put in about 14 years of service and evolved into a professionally competent fighter pilot having expertise in various air operations.

 

Offensive Air Operation (Indo-Pak War): 10 Dec 1971

 

During 1971, Sqn Ldr RC Sachdeva was serving with 14 Squadron located at Air Force Station Kalaikunda in West Bengal. The 14 Squadron was raised on 15th August 1951 with Squadron Leader Leslie Richard Dickinson Blunt as its first Commanding Officer and was known as the ‘Bulls’. The Squadron was initially equipped with Spitfire aircrafts, but later on 1 September 1957, the Squadron got armed with the Hunter jet-bomber aircrafts.  As the PAF attacked 11 Air Force bases on 03 Dec 1971, the Indian Air Force decided to launch counter offensive operations on the eastern as well as western front. 14 Sqn with Wing Commander Ramanathan Sundaresan as its Commanding Officer was tasked to undertake offensive missions against the targets on the eastern front. The first wave of attacks were launched on 04 Dec 1971. Sqn Ldr RC Sachdeva took part in strike missions right from  on 04 Dec 1971.

 

On 4th December 1971, Sqn Ldr RC Sachdeva carried out attacks with determination and tenacity against very heavy ack-ack defended targets at Chittagong and later destroyed seven trains, carrying vital supplies to the Pakistani forward positions, at Laksham. He flew 15 operational sorties in 6 days of the operations starting from 04 Dec and destroyed a number of ships, tanks, Gun positions, bunkers, trains and fuel tanks in the face of heavy ground fire. He landed back with serious bullet holes in the aircraft on two occasions. On 10th December 1971, while carrying out a sortie, his engine flamed out after an attack on an enemy boat and his aircraft crashed. Sqn Ldr Sachdeva went down with the aircraft and was martyred. 

 

Sqn Ldr Sachdeva was a valiant soldier and committed air warrior, who laid down his life in the line of his duty following the highest traditions of the IAF. Sqn Ldr Sachdeva was given the gallantry award, “Vir Chakra” on 26 Jan 1972 for his outstanding bravery, devotion to duty and supreme sacrifice.

 

Sqn Ldr RC Sachdeva is survived by his wife Smt Saroj Mittal now settled in United Kingdom. 

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