Squadron Leader Padmanabha Gautam, Commanding Officer of Bomber Conversion Training Unit, skillfully adapted his Unit to its operational role at short notice and led it in a number of difficult and dangerous missions. He undertook six important offensive and tactical close support operations over Pakistan territory during the period from the 6th to the 21st September, 1965.
In complete disregard of his personal safety in the face of heavy enemy ground fire and of the risk of attack by Pakistani Sabre jets, Sqadron Leader Gautam carried out his missions successfully, with courage and determination. These missions included reconnaissance deep into enemy territory and the bombing of Akwal and Gujarat airfield and enemy troop concentrations in the Gujarat and Chawinda areas.
Throughout the operations, Squadron Leader Padmanabha Gautam's devotion to duty, professional skill and gallantry were in the finest traditions of the Indian Air Force.