Wing Commander Harsern Singh Gill Vr.C,VM(bar), Indian Airforce

Wing Commander Harsern Singh Gill, Vr.C, VM(Bar)

In October 1953, a composite column of Assam Rifles and a Civil Administrative party was attacked by armed Tagins and some officers and men were killed. Sqn Ldr. H. S. Gill was in command of the detachment of Dakotas for the airlanding of troops. The work of airlanding personnel and supplies on the two small available landing grounds was difficult.

Notwithstanding the difficulties, Sqn Ldr. Gill with his keen enthusiasm, boundless energy and courage personally carried out the major portion of the landings at Doporijo. By his tireless work, the airlift which had appeared impossible, became a reality. He showed courage and devotion to duty of the highest order for which he was awarded Vayu Sena medal. Wg.Cdr Gill was awarded the Bar to Vayu Sena medal in April 1971.

Before the outbreak of 1971 war Wg.Cdr Gill was posted as the Commanding Officer of the 47 Squadron "Black Archers" based in the Western Sector. During the operations against Pakistan in December 1971, he led several operational missions on air defence, close support and counter air operations during the period from 3rd to 13th December.

His squadron shot down one enemy F-104 Starfighter over Jamnagar and hit another F-104 on the 11th and 12th December. Disregarding his personal safety, and with great courage and skill, he undertook strike missions over the Badin Signals unit complex in the face of intense enemy anti-aircraft fire. On 13th December, he undertook another strike mission on the same target. During this attack his aircraft was shot down by enemy fire.

Throughout these operations, Wg.Cdr Gill displayed gallantry, leadership and professional skill of a high order.