The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Monday paid rich tribute to Marshal of the IAF (MIAF) Arjan Singh on his second death anniversary. MIAF Singh was an IAF marshal who served as Chief of the Air Staff from 1964 to 1969. In its tribute, the IAF said that MIAF was known for his professionalism, leadership and strategic vision. The IAF added that MIAF's dynamic personality, professional competence and honesty of purpose in his service to the country was unparalled and that's why he was a true leader and an icon.
We pay tribute to Marshal of the IAF on his Death Anniversary. #MIAF was known for his Professionalism, Leadership & Strategic Vision. His dynamic personality, professional competence & honesty of purpose in his service to the country, truly sets him apart as a leader & an icon. pic.twitter.com/vaNkGTUTGc
— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) September 16, 2019
MIAF Arjan Singh is still remembered for his distinguished service in commanding the IAF during the 1965 Indo-Pak war. He was promoted to the rank of Air Chief Marshal on January 15, 1966, and the first Air Chief Marshal of the IAF.
MIAF Singh was born on April 15, 1919, in Faisalabad (then known as Lyallpur), in Pakistan and he was commissioned as a pilot at the age of 19 at the RAF College Cranwell in 1938. He was an ace swimmer and held an all-India record in freestyle swimming in one mile and half mile events. At RAF Cranwell, He topped the course among his batch of Indian Cadets. He was the vice-captain of swimming, athletics and hockey teams during his training. Five years later, in 1943, he was promoted to acting Squadron Leader and became the commander of No. 1 Squadron.
He led No. 1 Squadron, IAF into combat during World War II's Arakan Campaign in 1944, for which, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC). On Independence Day (August 15, 1947), Singh led the first fly-past of RIAF aircraft over the Red Fort in Delhi, as a Wing Commander and acting Group Captain.
At 45, MIAF Singh was appointed the Chief of the Air Staff for five years. He has been the only Chief of the Air Staff to have headed the Air Force for five years. He was promoted to the rank of Air Chief Marshal for his contribution in the 1965 war. In the same year, he was awarded the Padma Vibhushan.
Singh retired from his services in 1969 at the age of 50. After retirement, he served as a diplomat, politician and an advisor to the Indian government. He was the Lt. Governor of Delhi from 1989 to 1990 and was made Marshal of the Air Force in January 2002. He died at the age of 89 in Delhi.