New Delhi, September 16: Indian Air Force Marshal Arjan Singh died on Saturday evening at the Army R&R Hospital after suffering cardiac arrest. Ninety-eight-year-old Singh was the only officer of the IAF to be promoted to five-star rank, equal to a Field Marshal in the Army.
Moments after his death Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to the Marshal Arjan Singh and shared some pictures on social media website.
“India mourns the unfortunate demise of Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh. We remember his outstanding service to the nation,” PM Modi tweeted.
“Marshal of the IAF Arjan Singh’s determined focus on capacity building in the IAF added great strength to our defence capabilities. India will never forget the excellent leadership of Marshal of the IAF Arjan Singh in 1965 when the IAF saw substantial action,” PM Modi further wrote on the microblogging website.
“Sometime back I met him, who despite his ill health tried to get up to salute even though I said no. Such was his soldier discipline. My thoughts are with his family & those mourning the demise of a distinguished air warrior & fine human, Marshal of the IAF Arjan Singh. RIP,” PM Modi further wrote.
Earlier in the day, PM Modi, along with Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and IAF chief BS Dhanao visited the ailing Singh at the hospital.
Singh known as an icon in the military history had led a fledgeling IAF in the 1965 Indo-Pak war when he was just a 44-year-old Air Force officer.
As Pakistan launched its Operation Grand Slam and targeted a vital town of Akhnoor in Jammu and Kashmir. The fighter pilot was also awarded the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian honour, in 1965.