No. 24 Squadron IAF
|No. 24 Squadron|
|Active||16 February 1962- Present|
|Country||Republic of India|
|Branch||Indian Air Force|
No return without Conquest
|A Flying Hawk|
|Attack||de Havilland Vampire
Indo-China War of 1962
During the 1962 Indo-China War, the squadron, equipped with Vampires, and was tasked to fly Combat Air Patrols over Assam. Alongside these, the squadron had to fly recon missions in some of the narrowest and most treacherous valleys in the area, to facilitate the supply drops carried out by Dakotas. The squadron also carried out COIN operations in the north-east.
Indo-Pakistan War of 1965
The squadron saw considerable action during this war. It operated from AFS Kalaikhunda, in West Bengal, tasked with providing Close Air Support to the ground units in the Eastern Sector. It continued for the first few days of the war, and then relocated to Barrackpur, from where it launched daylight strikes over vital targets, most of which were in hostile weather conditions. During the latter part of the war, the Hawks flew Combat Air Patrol in Gorkhapur Sector.
After the War
After the war, the IAF embarked on its modernisation programme, and the Hawks were chosen to be equipped with Folland Gnats. By the end of the year 1966, the squadron had achieved total operational capability with Gnats. During this period the squadron pilots and technicians underwent lots of training and retraining alongside several other squadrons.
Bangladesh Liberation War
In 1971, the Hawks were operating from Tezpur AFS. On 2 December, the squadron received a message to move to Kumbhighram Sector in Assam, to provide CAS to ground troops in Eastern India, against heavily defended positions. Within six days of the war, the squadron had flown several sorties attacking enemy gun positions and vital target systems in Brahmbaria, Maulavi bazaar, Munch bazaar, Sylhet, Kalaura, Narainganj, Dolanganj and Mainwati. The squadron was also the first of the IAF to provide air cover to helilift operations.
- Nirmal Singh Jamwal, VM (Devotion to Duty)
- Umesh Rakhra, VM (Devotion to Duty)
- Kothapalli Venkata Rama Raju, VM (Devotion to Duty)