Mukherjee condoles passing away of former Air Chief Marshal O.P. Mehra

New Delhi, Nov.9 (ANI): President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday condoled the passing away of Air Chief Marshal Om Prakash Mehra, former Chief of Air Staff.

In his condolence message to his son, Suneel Mehra, the President said, “I am sad to learn about the passing away of your father, Air Chief Marshal Om Prakash Mehra, former Chief of Air Staff.

Air Chief Marshal Mehra led the Indian Air Force with distinction for more than three decades. He had many firsts to his credit. During his service in the Air Force he flew a very wide variety of aircrafts, including Tiger Moth and finally the Jaguar (in UK) and the MiG-21.

Air Chief Mehra implemented several reforms and rules that saw improvement in fight safety across the IAF. He was not just a brave air warrior, but also served the nation as Governor of Maharashtra (1980) and Governor of Rajasthan (1982).

For his outstanding services to the nation and the Indian Air Force, he was honoured with the Param Vishisht Seva Medal in 1968.

Air Chief Marshal Mehra was honoured by the nation with a Padma Vibhushan in 1977 for his service to the Indian Air Force. His services to the nation will be always remembered.

Please accept my heartfelt condolences and convey them to the rest of your family members.

I pray to the Almighty to give you and other members of your family the strength and courage to bear this irreparable loss”.

Air Chief Marshal O. P. Mehra passed away yesterday at the age of 96.

He was born in Lahore on January 19, 1919 and after a short spell of flying at the Northern India Flying Club in Lahore, he was selected for the Indian Air Force. He joined the services as Pilot Officer on 30 November 1940.[1]

On completion of his training, he was posted to No.1 Squadron in August 1941.He was the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Maintenance Command during the 1965 War.

In January 1968, he was awarded the PVSM and promoted to therank of Air Marshal in March of the same year. Thereafter, he was posted as the Deputy Chief of Air Staff at Air Headquarters.

In early 1971, he was deputed as the Chairman of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Bangalore and on January 15, 1973 he returned to Air Headquarters as the new Chief of Air Staff, succeeding Air Chief Marshal P C Lal.He was the Chief of Air Staff of the Indian Air Force from 1973 to 1976. (ANI)

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