Squadron Leader(Retd) Pramod Chandra Chopra, Indian Airforce

Squadron Leader(Retd) Pramod Chandra Chopra Vr.C

During the operations against Pakistan in 1965, Flt Lt P.C Chopra was based with Squadron 8 "Eighth Pursoot" based in Punjab. Rated as one of the best pilots in the squadron, he carried out 14 operational missions on interdiction raids in enemy territory. He also displayed commendable enthusiasm in hunting for the enemy in the sky. Flt Lt P.C Chopra was part of an elite four aircraft Mystere formation codenamed "The Black Formation", which included Flt Lt V.K 'Jimmy' Bhatia, Flt Lt Vinod Patney and Sqn Ldr M.S "Mickey" Jatar. All the formations pilots recieved Vir chakra's after the war, mainly for their successful raids on Sargodha Air Base Complex in Pakistan.

On 11 September 1965, He flew as No.3 in a four aircraft formation of Mysteres on a ground attack strike mission. The formation encountered heavy and concentrated enemy ground fire. Defying the barrage of anti-aircraft fire, Flt Lt Chopra pressed home his attack and destroyed two enemy tanks in addition to several gun emplacements and vehicles. His courage and determination, which inspired other pilots, were in the best traditions of the Indian Airforce. Flt Lt Pramod Chandra Chopra was awarded the Vir Chakra for displaying gallantry, determination and professional skill of a high order.

During the 1971 operations against Pakistan, Flt Lt P.C Chopra flew the Sukhoi-7 fighter bombers out of Halwara Airbase. Flt Lt P.C Chopra's last squadron was No.20 "Twin Lightnings" (Hawker Hunters). He retired as a Squadron Leader in 1976. Following in his footsteps, Sqn Ldr Chopra's son is also a fighter pilot in the Indian Airforce. Flight Commander of Squadron 5 "Tuskers", Sqn Ldr A.C Chopra flies the high performance IAF Jaguar's. (Special thanks to Samir Chopra for his invaluable contributions to this section)