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 16 Squadron Air Force
December 27, 2005

16 Squadron Air Force

A commemorative postage stamp on the 55th Anniversary of the No. 16 Squadron Indian Air Force (Black Cobras), a counter-air and interdiction unit of Indian Air Force (IAF) :

Fighter PlanesIssued by India

Issued on Dec 27, 2005

Issued for : The Department of Posts is proud to issue a commemorative postage stamp on 16 Squadron Air Force.

Credits :
Stamp & FDC : Kamleshwar Singh
Cancellation : Nenu Gupta

Type : StampMint Condition

Colour : Multicolour

Denomination : 500 Paisa

Stamps Printed : 0.8 Million

Printing Process : Photogravure

Printer : India Security Press, Nashik

About : 

  • 16 Squadron Air Force has been in the service of the nation for fifty years. The Squadron has actively participated in all the post independence wars and continues to be one of the mainline strike squadrons of the Indian Air Force.
  • Initially a flight of Spitfires and later Tempest aircraft, 16 Squadron Air Force, known as “Cobras” was formally formed on 15 September 1954 with Liberator aircraft. At this stage, its role was changed from Bomber to that of Heavy Bomber. In addition, the task of training the Bomber aircrew was also assigned to the squadron.
  • On 19 November 1957, the squadron was re-equipped with Canberras and the role was re-defined as Light Bomber/Interdictor Squadron. In 1957, the squadron moved to Kalaikunda and formed a part of operational forces of Central Air Command. Towards the end of 1965, the Squadron moved to Gorakhpur. On 10 November 1986, the Squadron was re-equipped with modern aircraft and the role has now been defined as Counter Air and Interdiction.
  • The Squadron has participated in the various operations such as:
    • Liberation of Goa : After being re-equipped with Canberra aircraft, the Squadron got its first operational assignment during liberation of Goa, and carried out bombing attacks over Dabolim airfield. A few sorties were also mounted in support of operations against Diu.
    • Indo-China 1962 : During the Chinese aggression in 1962, the Squadron operated a dett from Kalaikunda.
    • Indo-Pak Conflict 1965 : During Indo-Pak conflict in 1965, the squadron was deployed in the Eastern Theatre for Counter Air Operations and carried out a number of successful missions. Subsequently, the Squadron also carried out a number of strike missions over vital targets including the formidable Sargodha airfield, Chakjkhumra and Badin SU. The most significant of these strikes was the one mounted in day light against a very well defended static radar at Badin. The radar was put out of action, thus disrupting the enemy air defence organization in the sector.
    • Indo-Pak Conflict 1971 : During the Indo-Pak war of 1971, the Squadron went into full scale operations under the command of late Wg. Cdr P Gautam, MVC and Bar VM. It carried out successful bombing missions over heavily defended targets in both East and West Pakistan. In spite of difficult operating conditions, the Squadron maintained aircraft serviceability at its peak and undertook all the missions assigned to it. In these operations, the Squadron earned a Bar to MVC, three Vir Chakras and two VMs.
    • Kargil and Operation Parakram : During Kargil Operation and later Operation Parakram, the Squadron was the Indian Air Force’s mainstay in the South Western sector.
  • In recognition of the distinguished services rendered by this Squadron to the nation and its meritorious record, the then President of India, Mr. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed presented the president’s Standards to the Cobras on 13 November 1976.
  • The Squadron has so far won one Bar to MVC, four Vir Chakras, six VM’s, five VSMs, one Mention in Dispatches and a number of Commendations by the CAS and AOC-in-C.
  • Text : Based on material given by the proponent.
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