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Air Force

2 Jan 1951 , 20 cadets from JSW (NDA) as per list given below, reported at Air Force Academy Jodhpur for training. They joined the 57 th Pilots Course, which had commenced training w e f 01 Sep 1950 . In addition to cadets from JSW, 57th course comprised of cadets who had already obtained Flying License in civil life and some direct entry cadets .


OP Kukreja (Kuki) VSM Group Capt


Ashok Janardhan-Mudholkar * @


Nirmal Chandra-Suri, (Nimmi) PVSM, AVSM, VM Air Chief Marshal


JK Bhalla (Dopey) @


Prem Prakash-Avasthi (Avasthi) @


Prabhakar Jaywant- Jakatdar (Bow Wow) Group Captain *


Krishan Chandra-Misra (Kalu) Group Capt *


S Balasubra mani an , (Bala) Plt.Offr *


Shib Charan Singh(Shibu) Sqn Ldr *


Chaman Lal Gupta (Chottu) Wing Cdr


Jagdish Chandra- Verma (Jagdish) Wing Cdr *


ManoranjanMukherjee (Mukho) Flg Officer


Prakash Dev Dogra (Pashi) Air Cmde.


Dalbir Yadav (Dolly) Group Captain *


Brijinder Singh -Chimni (Bhotu) Brigadier *


Bir Ramindr Singh-Bindra Fg.Offr *


Amitava Lahiri (Tich) FG Offr *


Prem Chander Dube (Prem) Brig. *


Sunandan Roy (Shu) Wing Cdr *


Didar Singh Sabhikhi (Didar) AVSM Air Marshal

Note:- * Expired

@ Withdrawn during training

Before the start of Flying, A 24 Cadet BS Chimni was sent to Indian Military Academy Dehradun on medical grounds and he was commissioned in the Armoured Corps. Retired as Brigadier.


The Basic Stage Flying training was on Tiger Moths and very adventurous indeed. However, five Course mates namely A/174 S Balasubramanian, A/12 AJ Mudholkar, A/170 JK Bhalla, A/171 PP Avasthi and A/178 M Mukherjee did not make the grade to the Advance Stage on Harvard Aircraft.

Before the Advance Stage commenced, A167 OP Kukreja and A176 CL Gupta along with 12 odd Direct Entry cadets were sent to No 1 AFA Begumpet, as spare capacity for flying training existed there.

During the Advance Stage, A186 PC Dubey was sent to the Indian Military Academy , A167 OP Kukreja and A188 Didar Singh Sabhiki to Navigator stream.

A176 CL Gupta was the first officer amongst the three Services to be commissioned from Begumpet on15 Feb 1952.

57 th Pilots Course got their commissions on 15 Mar 1952 . Eight Pilots namely, A17 NC Suri, A172 PJ Jakatdar, A175 Shib Charan Singh, A179 PD Dogra, A180 Dalbir Yadav, A183 BR Singh Bindra, A185 A Lahiri and A187 Sunandan Roy joined the Fighter Stream and, three A176 CL Gupta, A173 KC Misra and A177 JC Verma entered the Transport Stream.


Balasubramanian was the first cadet to join the 5 th NAV Course in July 1951 and was commissioned in Jun 1952. Didar Sabhiki and OP Kukreja joined 6 th NAV Course on 6 Feb 1951 . Didar Singh Sabhiki was awarded the Sword of Honour for the best all round Cadet and OP Kukreja the Ground Trophy during the Passing out Parade.

A178 M Mukherjee was commissioned in the Admin ATC stream and took premature retirement as A Flg Offr

A-12 AJ Mudholkar, A/170 JK Bhalla, A/171 PP Avasthi were withdrawn during the training


Bala was the first officer to die in an air crash in a Dakota Aircraft in the Eastern Sector, on 17 Jan 1953 . Lahri died in air crash in a Vampire aircraft due to bird hit at Kanpur in Jun.1953. Bindra died in spitfire while doing range work in Jam Nagar in Oct 1954.


Out 20 Cadets who joined Air force, fifteen were commissioned (11 Pilots, three Navigators and one Admin officer).

The Course had the proud privilege of having (A/17) Nimmi Suri, as the Air Chief. He was originally selected for the Navy but then joined the Air Force. (A/188) Didar Singh Sabhiki became Air Marshal and was Commandant of the Alma mater (NDA). (A/179) PD Dogra became Air Cmde. Four; (A/180) Dolly Yadav, (A/172) PJ Jakatdar, (A/167) OP Kukreja and (A/173) KC Misra attained the rank of Group Captain.

Wg. Cdr CL Gupta and Sqn Ldr.) SC Singh were seconded to Air India where they retired as Chief of Operations.

The ex NDA Officers acquitted themselves creditably. They participated in 1962, 1965 and 1971 Wars and carried out various missions like Strat Recce, Interdiction, Air Defence, Close support and Offensive Ops

PD Dogra and Didar were the leaders of Indian Experts to UAR now Egypt and Nimmi Suri was leader in Iraq .


Air Chief Marshal NC Suri was awarded PVSM, AVSM, VM. Air Marshal Didar Singh Sabhiki, AVSM and Group Captain OP Kukreja VSM.


Kind Courtesy - Didar Sabhiki


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