I. H. Latif

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Air Chief Marshal
Idris Hasan Latif
Indian CAS flag.jpg 10th Chief of Air Staff
In office
01 September 1978 – 31 August 1981
President Neelam Sanjiva Reddy[1]
Prime Minister Morarji Desai[2]
Preceded by Hrushikesh Moolgavkar
Succeeded by Dilbagh Singh
Governor of Maharashtra
In office
6 March 1982 – 16 April 1985
Preceded by Air Chief Marshal O P Mehra
Succeeded by Kona Prabhakara Rao
Indian Ambassador to France
In office
April 1985 – August 1988
Preceded by Mr. Narendra Singh
Succeeded by Mrs. Soonu Kochhar
Personal details
Born (1923-09-06)6 September 1923
Hyderabad, India
Alma mater Nizam College
Defence Services Staff College
Military service
Allegiance  British Raj (till 1947)
 India (after 1947)
Service/branch  Indian Air Force
 Indian Air Force
Years of service 1941–1988
Rank Air Chief Marshal of IAF.png Air Chief Marshal
Service No. 1804

Chief of Air Staff 1978-1981
Vice Chief of Air Staff
Maintenance Command

Central Air Command
No. 4 Squadron
Battles/wars World War II
Indo-Pakistan War of 1947
Sino-Indian War
Indo-Pakistan War of 1965
Indo-Pakistan War of 1971

Air Chief Marshal Idris Hasan Latif (b.9 June 1923) was a chief of air staff of the Indian Air Force, having served as such from 1978 to 1981.[3] After retirement, he has also served as the governor of the Indian state of Maharashtra (1982–85) and later as the Indian ambassador to France (till 1988).[3][4] He was the first and only Indian Muslim to become the head of the Indian Air Force, or of any Indian armed force.[5]

Early life and education[edit]

Latif was born in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh into a Sulaimani Bohra family in 1923. His father was Mr. Hasan Latif, chief engineer of the erstwhile Hyderabad State.[6] He was educated at the prestigious Nizam College, Hyderabad, and is also a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College. Wellington, and the National Defence College.

Military career[edit]

Air Chief Marshal Latif was commissioned into the Royal Indian Air Force in 1942, and took part in the Burma Campaign on the Arakan Front during World War II.[3] Later, he was a member of the Indian Advisory Group to Indonesia that helped the Indonesian Air Force induct jet fighters. Latif also served as Air Defence commander and Senior Air staff officer in Eastern Air Command. During 1961-65, Latif was the air attaché at the Indian embassy in Washington D.C.[3] During the 1971 Indo-Pakistani war, he was Assistant Chief of Air Staff (plans). In 1971, he was awarded the Param Vishisht Seva Medal. In 1974, Latif was promoted to the rank of Air Marshal and posted as air officer in charge, administration, at Air Headquarters. He led Air Force relief operations during the Patna floods in 1975. In 1977, then Air Marshal Latif was posted as vice chief of air staff and took over as chief of air staff on 1 September 1978.

Later career[edit]

After retirement from active military service, Air Chief Marshal IH Latif was appointed as Governor of the Indian State of Maharashtra, on 6 March 1982, completing his tenure on 16 April 1985. Following this, Air Chief Marshal IH Latif was appointed Ambassador of India to France, a post he held until 1988. Then he was residing in Hyderabad.[7][8]

Personal life[edit]

He was married to Bilkees I. Latif, a noted social worker.[9]

See also[edit]


Military offices
Preceded by
Hrushikesh Moolgavkar
Chief of the Air Staff (India)
Succeeded by
Dilbagh Singh