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President Kovind remembers Marshal of Indian Air Force Arjan Singh

The President, who is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, took to Twitter to hail the contribution of the distinguished air warrior who passed away on 16 September 2017 aged 98.

SNS | New Delhi |

President Ram Nath Kovind paid tribute to Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh on his 99th birth anniversary on Sunday. The President, who is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, took to Twitter to hail the contribution of the distinguished air warrior who passed away on 16 September 2017 aged 98.

“Remembering Marshal of the IAF Arjan Singh on his birth anniversary. A distinguished air warrior and World War II hero, he won our nation’s gratitude for his military leadership in 1965 war. We cherish his valiant service to the nation,” wrote the President.

 

President Kovind also shared some photographs of the Marshal of the IAF including a photo from the time he was conferred the highest military rank in the armed forces and the moment when the President met the decorated officer.

The legendary five-star-rank officer became the first Sikh Chief of the Air Force (CAS) on 1 August 1964 when he was an Air Marshal. He later became the first person to hold the rank of Air Chief Marshal following the creation of the rank in 1966 and remained the chief till 1969, thus becoming the longest serving CAS.

His leadership during the 1965 war with Pakistan led to India gaining a strategic advantage over the enemy.

In 2002, then President of India KR Narayanan promoted Singh to the rank of Marshal of Indian Air Force – equivalent to that of Indian Army’s rank of Field Marshal – thus making him the first and only Air Force officer with the rank. On the occasion of his 97th birthday in 2016, the IAF named its Panagarh (West Bengal) air base after Arjan Singh.

He suffered a cardiac arrest early in the morning of 16 September 2017 and passed away by evening. The President, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a host of other top government ministers and military chiefs paid tributes to him during his funeral two days later at New Delhi.