Wg Cdr Karori Lal Bhatia, Vr.C, Indian Airforce

Wg Cdr Karori Lal Bhatia, Vr.C

During the Kashmir operations, Wing Commander Karori Lal Bhatia was the commander of India's only transport aircraft squadron. He led No.12 "Yaks" Squadron flying the Dakota aircraft.

Under his leadership, the squadron flew pioneering supply missions to Srinagar, Poonch and Leh. The Dakotas of No.12 Squadron not only flew in supplies but on occasions airlifted artillery guns and equipment. On some occasions in Poonch, Dakotas were used to drop bombs on enemy fortifications. The aircraft were also used in Casuality evacuation.

All these operations were carried out with minimal losses in men and material. Wg Cdr Bhatia himself flew many of these pathbreaking sorties.

For his leadership in leading the squadron under adverse operational conditions and ensuring the logistical needs of the Indian Forces were met, Wg Cdr Karori Lal Bhatia was awarded the Vir Chakra Medal.