SQUADRON LEADER AJJAMADA BOPAYYA DEVAYYA (4810)
GENERAL DUTIES (PILOT)
MAHA VIR CHAKRA (6TH SEPTEMBER 1965)
Squadron Leader Ajjimada Bopayya Devayya flew in a Mystere Aircraft as a member of a strike formation that was assigned the task of attacking the heavily defended Sargodha airfield in Pakistan at 0555 hours on 7th September, 1965. All members of the mission except Squadron Leader Devayya returned safely to base. As no other details were available at that time, Squadron Leader Devayya was listed as 'Mission in Action'.
Careful research and innumerable interviews with pilots, who flew on that day, have conclusively proved that Squadron Leader Devayya had performed a pre-eminently daring act. Having accomplished a successful raid over Sargodah airfield at the appointed time, the Mystere aircraft piloted by Squadron Leader Devayya was intercepted by a Pakistani supersonic F-104 Star-Fighter. The pilot of F-104 first fired an air-to-air Sidewinder missile, which Squadron Leader Devayya successfully evaded and the missile hit the ground. However, by virtue of its faster acceleration, the F-104 rapidly closed in on the Mystere and fired a burst of its 20 mm multibarrel cannon and succedded in damaging Squadron Leader Devayya's Mystere. The F-104 went ahead of the Mystere due to its higer speed. Undaunted and with utter disregard for his personal safety, Squadron Leadder Devayya flew his damaged Mystere in pursuit after the F-104. His decision was critical because the Mystere were operating at the extremity of their range and combat with an F-104 meant significantly lowering his chances of return to base. Neither the Pakistani pilots flying skill nor the F-104 superior performance were apparently a match for Squadron Leader Devayya's determination and single-minded purpose. Maneuvering a damaged aircraft, he finally shot down the F-104. Thereafter, it is conjectured that Squadron Leader Devayya was unable to maintain control of his aircraft and was either killed in an unsuccessful low-level ejection or in a crash because of the damage that his aircraft had sustained.
Squadron Leader Ajjamada Bopayya Devayya thus performed an act of conspicuous gallantry in the face of the enemy.