Pratap Chandra Lal

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Air Chief Marshal
Pratap Chandra Lal
Born(1916-12-06)6 December 1916
Ludhiana Punjab, India
DiedAugust 1982 (aged 67)
Allegiance British India (1940-1947)
 India (from 1947)
Service/branch Royal Air Force
 Indian Air Force
Years of service1939-1973
RankAir Chief Marshal of IAF.png Air Chief Marshal
Commands heldChief of the Air Staff (1969–1973)
Vice Chief of the Air Staff
Western Air Command
No. 7 Squadron
Battles/warsWorld War II
Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971

Air Chief Marshal Pratap Chandra Lal (6 December 1916 – August 1982) was the Chief of Air Staff (India) of the Indian Air Force during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971. He served in the IAF from 1939 until his retirement in 1973. He was the CO of No. 7 Squadron, AOC-in-C of Western Command, Vice Chief of the Air Staff before going on to head the IAF. He was the Chief of Air Staff at the time of Operation Chengiz Khan, the preemptive strikes that were carried out by the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) that marked the formal initiation of hostilities of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.

Early life and education[edit]

Pratap Chandra Lal was born on 6 December 1916 in Ludhiana.Having qualified for a diploma in journalism at King's College, London in 1938, Lal expected to return to full-time study of law at the Inns of Court in the fall of 1939.[1]


Military offices
Preceded by
Arjan Singh
Chief of the Air Staff (India)
Succeeded by
Om Prakash Mehra