Wg. Cmdr. Harcharan Singh Mangat
Wg. Cdr Harcharan Singh Mangat was commanding the No.32 “Tiger Sharks” Squadron based at Amritsar, flying the Sukhoi-7 fighter bomber. He flew a number of interdiction and close support missions and also many photographic reconnaissance sorties, without fighter escort, deep into enemy territory. The information brought by him from the reconnaissance sorties was of great value to the Army, and the Air Force in their operational planning
Wg. Cdr. Mangat, led the first strike raid on Sargodha airfield on December 4th. While on a similar strike mission, his Sukhoi aircraft was hit and severely damaged by an Air to Air Missile launched by an enemy aircraft. But he pressed forward until he found that the other aircraft in his formation had also suffered serious damage. Despite this, he extricated his formation from the hazardous situation and led it safely back to base. On landing, it was found that his aircraft was extensively damaged and major portions of the control surface completely shot away. Only superb flying skill and courage of the highest order could have brought such a badly damaged aircraft back to a safe landing.
His leadership of the mission in these circumstances was outstanding. He displayed gallantry, determination and professional skill of the highest order which was recogised with an award of the Maha Vir Chakra.