No. 31 Squadron IAF

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No. 31 Squadron IAF, nicknamed the Lions, is a Ground Attack squadron of the Indian Air Force, believed to operating from Halwara AFS.[1][2]

History[edit]

The squadron was formed as a ground attack squadron on 1 September 1963, as part of the expansion of the Indian Air Force in the aftermath of the 1962 War with China. Upon establishment, the squadron was equipped with Mystère fighter-bombers.[1]

Indo-Pakistan War of 1965[edit]

In the 1965 War with Pakistan, the Lions, commanded by Wing Commander W.M. Goodman, operated from Pathankot and were assigned to fly missions against various ground targets in the sector.[1] On 1 September, Pakistan launched its offensive in the Chhamb Sector, in an effort to cut off communication lines to Kashmir. The Lions were tasked to attack the armoured units. Between 2 and 6 September, the Lions flew several sorties during which they destroyed several tanks, and blunted the offensive. The squadron also flew several reconnaissance sorties and ground attack missions in the sector, performing rocket attacks on tank concentrations at Troti and Chhamb, and strafing Pakistani positions at Jaurian.[3]

On 9 September, two No. 31 Squadron aircraft flew a photo recon and strike mission between Kasur and Raiwind. They attacked a train transporting tanks to the front-line, destroying twenty of them. The Lions also attacked and destroyed a tank and heavy gun concentration at Chawinda. Most of the squadron's missions were led by the Goodman, and he was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra for conspicuous gallantry, leadership, and professional skill, while another pilot was awarded a Vir Chakra for these missions.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "No 31 Squadron(Lions)". Indian Air Force Units. Retrieved 2 August 2012. 
  2. ^ "Squadrons and Helicopter Units". Indian Air Force Units and OrBat. Bharat Rakshak. Retrieved 2 August 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Awards for 31 Squadron". Awards for IAF units. Bharat Rakshak. Retrieved 2 August 2012.