Group Captain(Retd) Purshotam Lal Dhawan Vr.C(Bar), Indian Airforce

Group Captain(Retd) Purshotam Lal Dhawan, Vr.C(Bar)


In 1948, Flight Lieutenant Purshotam Lal Dhawan carried out 144 sorties in the Kashmir operations. Despite heavy enemy fire, he carried out a number of supply-dropping sorties over our besieged and hard-pressed garrisons at Nowshera, Mirpur, Kotli, Poonch and Baramula. His aircraft was damaged many a time by enemy fire but he carried on through sheer determination and will to defy the enemy.

He was also one of the leaders who took part in night bombing(in Dakota aircraft) of the enemy positions with great success. Being bold, loyal and courageous, this officer always exhibited during operations a high sense of duty, morale and fighting spirit in spite of the heavy odds he had to meet with. This earned him the Vr.C.

During the Indo-China conflict of 1962, Wg Cdr Dhawan was in command of one of the transport squadrons in the J&K area - his third operational assignment in this area. After active hostilities commenced in Ladakh, information was recieved that the Chandni post was under fire and no clear picture was available of our posts in the Daulat Beg Oldi area.

Wg Cdr Dhawan knowing that he would encounter enemy fire, successfully carried out a complete reconnaissance over the area before landing at Daulat Beg Oldi and obtained information about the latest situation in the forward posts in that area. When our troops were retreating from Daulat Beg Oldi, Wg Cdr Dhawan located them and dropped essential winter clothing and food without which they could not have survived.

Wg Cdr Purshotam Lal Dhawan displayed courage and devotion to duty of a high order.This action earned him a Bar to the Vr.C.