The Flying Sikh dies at 98


The man known as The Guardian of Sky, an Icon of Indian Military History, and The Flying Sikh is on his way flying high above the sky to the Heavens. Marshal of Indian Air Force Arjan Singh fought for India for many years but couldn’t fight against his life and got shellac. He was hospitalised in critical condition after he suffered from cardiac arrest and was immediately admitted to the Army Research and Referral hospital in New Delhi, where amidst the treatment he expired.

He was 98 YO and the only officer of the IAF to be promoted to the five-star rank, which is equivalent to a Field Marshal in the Army. Arjan Singh has flown more than 60 different types of aircrafts in his tenure and he was the one, who lead the soaring IAF in 1965, when his age was just 44 years. As Pakistan attacked a town in J&K, Akhnoor by launching its Operation Grand Slam with a panzer thrust target. Arjan Singh was hailed into the Defence Minister’s office with a plea for air support. He was asked how quickly he would ready for the operation, he replied with a fixture saying, “One hour.” He was true to his words and he was all set to storm-beat the Pakistani offensive in an hour. Thereafter he was rewarded with the Padma Vibhushan for his haste and leadership during his 1965 war.

He was born on April 15, 1919 in Lyallpur, Punjab which was not divided back in that time.

He hails from a family who had served India for years, his father, grandfather, great grandfather were in the cavalry. He got his education from Montgomery, British India which is now in Pakistan. Later he joined RAF College, Cranwell in 1938 and thenceforth commissioned as Pilot Officer in December the same year. Arjan Singh had straddled the aviation since its threshold and he got his inspiration from the Arakan campaign in World War II for which he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

PM Modi mourned his death saying India will never forget his leadership during 1965 India-Pakistan war.


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