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Stories of Gallantry Award

Fg Off Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon

Fg Off Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon


Year of Award 1972
Service No. 10877
Father's Name S. Tarlok Singh
Mother's Name Smt Harbans Kaur
Domicile Ludhiana, Punjab
(Effective date of award – 14th December 1971)

Flying Officer Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon was a pilot of a Gnat detachment based at Srinagar for the Air Defence of the valley against Pakistani air attacks. From the very outbreak of the hostilities he and his colleagues fought the successive waves of intruding Pakistani aircraft with valour and determination, maintaining high reputation of the Gnat aircraft. On 14th December, 1971 Srinagar airfield was attacked by a wave of six enemy Sabre aircraft. Flying Officer Sekhon was on readiness duty at the time. Immediately, however, no fewer than six enemy aircraft were overhead, and they began bombing and strafing the airfield. In spite of the mortal danger of attempting to take off during the attack, Flying Officer Sekhon took off immediately and engaged a pair of the attacking Sabres. In the fight that ensued, he secured hits on one aircraft and set another on fire. By this time the other Sabre aircraft came to the aid of their hard pressed companions and Flying Officer Sekhon’s Gnat was again outnumbered, this time by four to one. Even though alone Flying Officer Sekhon engaged the enemy in an unequal combat. In the fight that followed, at tree top height, he almost held his own, but was eventually overcome by sheer weight of numbers. His aircraft crashed and he was killed.

The sublime heroism, supreme gallantry, flying skill and determination above and beyond the call of duty displayed by Flying Officer Sekhon in the face of certain death, have set new heights to Air Force tradition.