Arjan Singh, 1965 war hero, passes away

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Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh died at 7.47 pm on Saturday after suffering a heart attack. He was 98.

Marshal Arjan Singh

Singh, 98 India's oldest, five-star ranked air force officer, was admitted to the Army's Research and Referral hospital this morning.

Born on 15 April 1919 in Lyallpur, Punjab (now in Pakistan), Arjan Singh entered the distinguished Royal Air Force College at Cranwell at the age of 19 and graduated as a pilot officer the following year.

Singh was the only officer of the IAF to be given a distinction equal to that of a Field Marshal.

In 1965, when Pakistan had launched its Operation Grand Slam with an armoured thrust targeted at the vital town of Akhnoor, Singh led the Indian Air Force through the war with courage, determination and professional skill.

In 2016, the IAF named its Panagarh (West Bengal) air base after Arjan Singh on the occasion of his 97th birth anniversary. The Panagarh base would be called Air Force Station Arjan Singh.

In his glorious career, Arjan Singh flew over 60 different kinds of aircraft and his zest for flying didn't end until the day he retired in 1969.

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