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Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon The Know All About Flying Hero Of 1971 War

Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon The Flying Hero Of 1971 War

Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon The Flying Hero Of 1971 War


India had won the historic war of 1971 against arch-rival Pakistan. The speedy and courageous Indian Air Force played a vital part in ensuring that Indians were victorious over the Pakistanis. 

TDA (Trishul Defence Academy) pays tribute to one of those Flying Heroes of Indian Air Force – Flying Officer Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon. 

The date was 16 December 1971 when India defeated Pakistan in the decisive war which was confronted on all the three fronts- Water, Air and Land.

Many beloved war heroes of our country had sacrificed their lives while defending Bharat Maa which is the Indian motherland.

It has been more than 5 decades but we still remember the heroic acts of our war heroes in 1971 war and be thankful to them in present time. One such hero who is uncommonly known is Param Vir Chakra (PVS) awardee Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon. 

Nirmaljit was born in 1943 in Ludhiana, Punjab. His father was also in the Airforce. Taking inspiration from his father, Nirmal Jit had decided to join the Air Force as a child. He joined the Air Force in 1967 as a pilot officer.

The border of India-Pakistan had become a battleground in 1971. Pakistan was bombarding Indian Air Force airbases. Its targets were Amritsar, Pathankot and Srinagar.

The Srinagar airbase was under the responsibility of No.18 squadron. Nirmal Singh was part of this. This squadron was also called Flying Bullet for its bravery.

On 14 December 1971, Nirmaljit was on standby-2 duty (being ready to fly the aircraft in 2 minutes).

In the morning, the Pakistani Air Force started bombing Srinagar airbase with 6 F-16 Saber jet fighters. This team of Pak was led by Wing Commander Genghis.

Taking advantage of the fog in winter, these aircraft entered the Indian border. At that time IAF (Indian Air Force) did not have any radar system for tracking any enemy aircraft flying in that fly area zone. 

When Pakistani fighter jets reached near the Srinagar Airbase then only Indian Air Force received information regarding it. Without any late, Squadron leader Baldir Singh Ghumman (Jee Main) and Nirmal Jit Singh moved towards their respective fighter jets.

When both the Air Force officers contacted the Air Traffic Control for taking off permission but unfortunately contact with ATC could not occur. Despite it, they went for taking off of their fighter jets.

At the same time, the Pakistani Air Force dropped two bombs altogether.

Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon saw that Pakistani’s two Saber Jet is following him. Without wasting any moment and not giving the enemy the chance to take an offensive stand he moved his jet in reverse and moved behind Pakistani jets. It is noteworthy that this Air War was one of the biggest in India-Pakistan War history.

When Pakistani wing commander Genghis saw Nirmal Jit Singh’s coming and quickly commanded his soldiers to come out but till then Sekhon had already attacked them. 

At that time Sekhon was facing 4 Pakistani jets at once. Sekhon one by one destroyed three Saber jets. 

During this attack, Sekhon contacted his squad member. In his last message, he notified his fellow mate that it was likely that his jet has also been targetted. 

Although Sekhon tried his best to get ejected out of the damaged Folland Gnat fighter jet unfortunately the plane eject system failed. Sekhon achieved virgate (martyrdom) for the holy motherland. He was only 28 years old. His sacrifice and heroic act will be in India’s glorious war history forever. We salute Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon! Jai Hind!

For more special War Hero Stories do visit Trishul Defence Academy’s official website.

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