Air Chief Marshal Om Prakash Mehra was born on 19 Jan 1919 at Lahore. He finished schooling at the Central Model School in 1933 and joined Government College University, Lahore. After a short spell of flying Tiger Moths at the Northern India Flying Club, Walton, he joined the RIAF as Pilot Officer on 30 Nov 1940. During his stint in the IAF, he commanded the prestigious 1 Sqn and served as Commandant, Elementary Flying Training School at Ambala. In 1963 he took over as AOC-in-C Maintenance Command, in which capacity he served during the 1965 war. He served as Deputy Chief of Air Staff before taking over as Chairman Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. On 15 Jan 1973 he took over as the Chief of Air Staff, succeeding Air Chief Marshal PC Lal. He was a recipient of Padma Vibhushan and went on to serve as Governor of Maharashtra (1980) and later, as Governor of Rajasthan (1982).