New Delhi, September 16: Marshal of Indian Air Force (IAF), Arjan Singh, passed away here in the national capital on Saturday. The 98-year-old was admitted earlier in the day at Army’s Research and Referral hospital after he suffered a cardiac arrest.
Arjan Singh was born on April 5, 1919, in Lyallpur, Punjab, British India to Kishan Singh, a civil engineer, who worked in Ceylon Railway. The area now falls in Pakistan. Singh completed his education at Montgomery in Pakistan.
At the age of 19, he was selected for Empire Pilot training course at RAF Cranwell. The only Field Marshal of the Indian Air Force (IAF) joined the IAF in 1939. In 1944, he became the Squadron Leader and led his team against the Japanese during the Arakan Campaign.
- In 1939, Singh was commissioned into Royal Air Force as a pilot officer.
- Promoted to Wing Commander after independence, he attended Staff College in the UK, and immediately became AOC, Ambala in the rank of Group Captain.
- In 1965, he was the chief of IAF and became famous for his role in the India-Pakistan war.
- Singh was awarded the Padma Vibhushan for his leadership of the air force.
- He retired from IAF in 1969 and accepted ambassadorship to Switzerland.
- In 2002, the Government of India conferred the rank of the Marshal of the Air Force onto Arjan Singh in making him the first and the only ‘Five Star’ rank officer with the IAF.
In 2015, was among the war veterans invited to Rashtrapati Bhawan for high-tea with the President of India Pranab Mukherjee.