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Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh critically ill: All you need to know about India's oldest-serving soldier

September 16, 2017 1:12 PM
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Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh critically ill: All you need to know about India's oldest-serving soldier

Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh, India's oldest-serving soldier, has been declared as critically ill, and is currently admitted in Delhi's Army R and R Hospital.

Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh was admitted to Delhi's Army Research and Referral Hospital earlier today, and has been declared as critically ill.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told ANI that the 98-year-old veteran is suspected to have suffered a heart attack earlier this morning.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sitharaman visited the hospital to see Arjan Singh, who was the only Indian Air Force officer to be promoted to 5-star rank.

1. Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh was born on April 15 Apr, 1919, in Pakistan's Faisalabad (which was then Lyallpur, Punjab) to a military family.

2. Singh joined a still-new Indian Air Force in 1938 at the young age of 19. A year later, he was commissioned from England's Royal Air Force College Cranwell.

3. Arjan Singh is particularly remembered for his operational tenures on the Burma Front during World War II.

4. For his performance, Singh became the first Indian pilot to be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) by the Supreme Allied Commander, South East Asia. He was described as "a fearless and exceptional pilot".

5. After India became a republic in 1950, Arjan Singh held the command of Indian Air Force's Operational Group till December 1952, and then again from December 1955 to April 1959.

6. Post India's independence, Singh was sent to RAF Staff College - Brackwell, Joint Services Staff College, and London's Imperial Defence College, to take a number of courses in military academics.

7. In August 1964, Arjan Singh took charge as the IAF's third Indian Chief of Air Staff at the age of 45.

8. He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 1965 for his contributions in the 1965 Indo-Pak War.

9. After retiring from IAF in 1970, at the age of 50, Arjan Singh became one of the longest-serving chief of the Army services in India.

10. In 1971, he was made India's Ambassador to Switzerland, and then the Indian High Commissioner in Kenya in 1974. He has also served as India's Ambassador to the Vatican. Later on, he returned to India, and the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi.

11. In 2002, Arjan Singh became the only IAF officer to promoted to five-star rank.

12. To honour him, West Bengal's Air Force base at Panagarh was renamed as Air Force Station Arjan Singh last year.


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