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Written by Nancy Agrahari
India mourns the death of the Sole Marshal of the Indian Air Force, the hero of the India-Pakistan war and the Padma Vibhushan awardee ,  Arjan Singh as he passed away at the Army’s Research and Referral Hospital on Saturday evening, hours after he had been admitted there following a cardiac arrest. His loss is felt all over the country and especially in the Indian Air Force.

Arjan Singh lived an intriguing life from his joining in the Indian Air Force (IAF) to his upgrade to the only Indian military officer with a five-star rank. The hero of the 1965 war was only 20 when he commissioned from England’s Royal Air Force College Cranwell, he was known as “a fearless and exceptional pilot”.

As we mourn the marshal’s death let us have a run-down of a few must know facts about the Legend.

1 Arjan Singh was only 19 when he entered the Royal Air Force College at Cranwell and after a year he was commissioned as a Pilot Officer from the college in the year 1939.
2 He is remembered for his great contributions during World War II in his operational tenure in Burma.
3 The Marshal of the Air Force had the honor of leading the fly past of over a hundred IAF aircraft over the Red Fort on 15 August, 1947
4 In the year 1949, Singh was promoted to the rank of Air Commodore and took over as Air Officer Commanding (AOC) of an operational command, which later came to be known as Western Air Command.
5 He held the command of Indian Air Force till 1952, followed by tenure from December 1955 to April 1959.

6 Singh was honored with Padma Vibhushan in the year 1965 for his great contribution and leadership in the Indain-Pakistan war.
7 Arjan Singh remains the longest-serving CAS of the Indian Air Force. He held the position of CAS in 1964 and retired in 1969.
8 The year 2002 marked as the crowning moment of his life when Singh was made the Marshal of the Air Force. After the death of Sam Manekshaw in 2008, Singh remained the only five-star military officer.
9 In 2016, Indian Air Force named its Panagarh (West Bengal) Air Base after the five-star military officer on his 97th birthday.
10 Singh had a passion for aircraft, and he flew over 60 different kinds of aircraft till the day he retired in 1969.



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About the author

Nancy Agrahari