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Indian war hero Arjan Singh dies at 98: A timeline of his life

Appointed Chief of Air Staff on August 1, 1964, Arjan Singh led the Indian Air Force effectively in the 1965 war with Pakistan, leading the air operations that pushed back the enemy offensive. He retired in 1969.

Edited by: India TV News Desk, New Delhi [Updated:16 Sep 2017, 10:33 PM IST]
Indian war hero Arjan Singh dies at 98: A timeline of his
Indian war hero Arjan Singh dies at 98: A timeline of his life

Marshal of Indian Air Force Arjan Singh, who was on Saturday admitted to Army Hospital (R&R) here after a suspected massive heart attack and in a critical condition, has passed away, a defence official said. He was 98.

Appointed Chief of Air Staff on August 1, 1964, Arjan Singh led the Indian Air Force effectively in the 1965 war with Pakistan, leading the air operations that pushed back the enemy offensive. He retired in 1969. In recognition of his services, he was conferred the rank of Marshal of the Air Force in January 2002, making him the first and the only 5-star rank officer with the IAF.

Here is a timeline of his life: 

April 15, 1919- Born in Lyallpur, present day Faislabad in Pakistan 

1938- At 19 years was selected for a pilot training course at Royal Air Force College, Cranwell 

1939- Training cut short by World War II. Joined Sqdn 1 in Ambala 

1943- Became Commanding Officer Sqdn 1 

1944- Led his squadron to Imphal against the Japanese during the Arakan Campaign

1944- Received the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) for leading the squadron during Imphal Campaign by Lord Mountbatten 

August 15, 1947- Led the fly-past of over a hundred IAF aircraft over the red fort

August 1, 1964- Arjan Singh took over as the Chief of Air Staff in the rank of Air Marshal 

1965- Arjan Singh was awarded the Padma Vibhushan for his leadership of IAF during the '65 war with Pakistan 

August 1969- Retired from the Indian Air Force after serving for three decades 

1971- Appointed India's Ambassador to Switzerland

1974- Appointed Indian High Commissioner to Kenya

1980s- At the height of militancy in Punjab he was part of a 5-member committee that would go door to door in the state and try to bridge the differences between Hindus & Sikhs

1989- Janata government appoints Arjan Singh as the L-G of Delhi as an attempt to apply balm to the wounds of the Sikh community 

 

2002- Conferred with the rank of the Marshal of the Air Force making him the first and the only 'Five Star' rank officer with the Indian Air Force

April 2011- Wife Teji Singh passes away at the age of 80