Arjan Singh, only ever Marshal of Indian Air Force dies
Arjan Singh, the only officer to hold the title of "Marshal of Indian Air Force" has passed away at 98. The cause of death was cardiac arrest. Luminaries, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, defense minister Nirmala Sitharaman, and the three services chiefs had visited him at the Army's Research and Referral hospital earlier. Let's know more about his outstanding career while serving the nation.
Arjan Singh is a distinguished IAF veteran. He was the longest-serving Air Force chief (1964-1969) and the first and only person to be conferred the title, "Marshal of Air Force," making him the only IAF officer with a five-star rank.
Singh was born 15 April 1919 in Lyallpur, Punjab and received his training from the renowned Royal Air Force College at Cranwell. He fought the Japanese forces in Burma as a pilot officer in the British-Indian forces during World War II. Singh was also IAF chief during the 1965 Indo-Pak war and served as ambassador to Kenya and Switzerland and Delhi Lieutenant-Governor post-retirement.
Singh received a flying cross for his valor in World War II. He also received a Padma Vibhushan, for his exceptional leadership during the Indo-Pak war (1965). IAF renamed the Panagarh base in West Bengal "Air Force Station Arjan Singh" after him in 2016.
Expressing his condolences, Modi remembered Singh's outstanding service to the nation and his leadership during the 1965 war. President Ram Nath Kovind also expressed his condolences to Singh's family and the IAF community. While West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee called him "the greatest of all time," defense minister Nirmala Sitharaman promised that the government would make all efforts to honor him.