The Only Air Warrior With PVC
"It takes courage to be brave in your life". Here we will be talking about his early life ,military actions , honours and leagcy and depictions .
Nirmal Jit Sekhon was born on 17 July 1943 in the village of Isewal, Ludhiana, Punjab Province, British. He was the son of M.W.O. (Honorary) Flight Lieutenant Tarlok Singh Sekhon.X.He was born into a Sekhon Jat family. Since childhood, he dreamed of joining the defence forces and always used to ask the related to that. Soon he was commissioned into Indian Air Force on June 4, 1967, as a pilot officer and his childhood dream come true.
Nirmal Jit was serving with No. 18 Squadron also known as the "The Flying Bullets" of IAF, flying the Folland GNAT fighter aircraft based at Srinagar. On the chilly morning of 14th December 1971, the Srinagar airfield was attacked by six Pakistan Air Force F-86 Sabre jets of 26 Sqn from PAF base Peshawar. He was on Stand-By 2 duty with Flight Lieutenant Baldhir Singh Ghuman in lead.
Ghuman was known as "G-Man" , Sekhon's senior and flying instructor who helped him to get in love with GNAT. GNAT was nicknamed of ‘Sabre Slayer’ for its exemplary performance in the Indo-Pak war of 1965. They immediately ran towards their GNAT aircraft as soon as they noticed the attacked by the first aircraft. They flew off with no delay just as a pair of bombs exploded on the runway. Only delayed due to dust kicked up by the preceding Gnat, Sekhon lost no time in singling out the first Sabre pair, which was re-forming after the bombing run. The Gnat Leader, Flt Lt Ghuman, lost visual with his wingman just after take-off, remained out of the fight leaving Sekhon to handle the muddle all by himself. In the ensuing air battle, Sekhon scored a direct hit on one Sabre and set another ablaze.
After being hit by one of Pakistani jet(piloted by Flt Lt Mirza), he was advised to return to the base. But the 37 bullets that peppered the aircraft had ensured the failure of its flight control system. As the Gnat flipped and went into an uncontrollable nosedive, Sekhon tried to eject from the aircraft but the ejection system had also been knocked out. The wreckage of the Gnat was found in a gorge, near the road coming from Srinagar town to the base, a few miles from the base. The bravery, flying skill and determination displayed by Flying Officer Sekhon, against odds of 1:6, earned him India's highest wartime medal for gallantry, the Param Vir Chakra posthumously.
Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon is remembered for his bravery and many statues have been erected in cities of Punjab.
A marine tanker built in 1985 was named Flying Officer Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon, PVC.
Legacy and depictions in popular culture
A statue in tribute of Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon was erected at the district court of Ludhiana (first erected at Samrala Chowk, Ludhiana) in the courtyard next to the flag pole. A decommissioned Folland Gnat fighter is part of the memorial and serves as a gate guardian.
His statue along with a decommissioned Foland Gnat fighter has been placed in the Indian Air Force Museum, Palam.
Stay tuned to DDE for more content.
Share it to spread information.