IAF: India's oldest fighter pilot turns 100
New Delhi, July 28: Dalip Singh Majithia, who holds the distinction of being the oldest living IAF fighter pilot, turned 100 on Monday.
Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria extended his greetings to the centenarian who had retired in August 1947 when India achieved Independence.
"IAF extends its best wishes to Sqn Ldr Dalip Singh Majithia (retd) on his 100th birthday today. He retired in Aug 1947 & holds the distinction of being the 'oldest' IAF fighter pilot now," the IAF tweeted.
Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria conveyed warm greetings and heartiest congratulations to Majithia on behalf of all air warriors, the IAF said.
On August 5, 1940, Majithia, the young Sikh pilot took off on his first training flight in a Tiger Moth aircraft from the Walton airfield in Lahore with his two British instructors.
17 days later, Dalip Singh Majithia, 20, flew his first solo flight that that paved the way for a lifetime in aviation.
"I still feel that I'm in it, when I meet [Indian Air Force] officers," says Squadron Leader Majithia (retd.). "My batch people aren't there anymore, we used to have our meetings on the first of August every year for some time."
With the surrender of the Japanese and the Second World War winding down, Dalip Singh Majithia was selected to be a part of the British Commonwealth Occupation Forces and moved to BCOF Headquarters in Melbourne, where he met Joan Sanders (whose father was with the British Indian Army).
On 18 February, 1947, he married Joan at his family home in Gorakhpur where the family had considerable land holdings and business interests.