Innovation in the Skies
Air Commodore Mehar Singh

Commisioned in the Royal Indian Air Force in 1936, Air Commodore Mehar Singh was the Air Officer Commanding No.1 Group of the RIAF during 1947-48 Jammu & Kashmir Operations. Mehar Singh had the novel idea of arming the Dakota aircraft, deployed in supply missions. He carried out a bombing -cum supply mission in a Dakota with great effectiveness. The innovation enabled the RIAF to send supplies to the Poonch, in its armed Dakotas.

In may 1948, a besieged Leh was desperately in need of reinforcements. But by Flying a Dakota to the Leh airstrip, the Air Commodore accomplished a mission till then considered impossible. Inspired by Mehar Singh's extraordinary flight, the RIAF now began regular supplies to Leh, saving it from capitulation.

Air Commodore Mehar Singh was awarded the Mahavir Chakra. He died soon after a tragic flying accident.