M M Engineer

Birth nameMinoo Merwan Engineer
Born1 December 1921
Died31 December 1997
Allegiance British India (1940–1947)
 India (1947–1973)
Service/branch Royal Indian Air Force
 Indian Air Force
Years of service1940–1973
Rank Air Marshal
Service number1614 F(P)
Commands heldWestern Air Command
Eastern Air Command
Air Force Station Lohegaon
Air Force Station Srinagar
No.4 Squadron
No. 8 Squadron
Battles/warsBurma Campaign
Arakan Campaign 1942–43
Indo-Pakistani War of 1947
Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
AwardsPadma Bhushan
Param Vishisht Seva Medal
Maha Vir Chakra
Distinguished Flying Cross
RelationsAspy Engineer (brother)

Air Marshal Minoo Merwan Engineer, PVSM, MVC, DFC (1 December 1921 – 31 December 1997) was a former Air Officer in the Indian Air Force. He is one of the most decorated officers in the Indian Air Force, with the second-highest civil decoration - the Padma Bhushan, two gallantry awards - the Maha Vir Chakra and the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the highest peace-time distinguished service award - the Param Vishisht Seva Medal.

His elder brother, Air Marshal Aspy Engineer served as the 4th Chief of the Air Staff.

Early life

Engineer was born Aspy Merwan Irani on 1 December 1921 in Lahore, Punjab Province, British India[1] to Meherwan Irani and Maneckbai. Meherwan was a Divisional Engineer for the North Western Railway,.[2] His interest in mechanics led his friends to rename him Engineer.[1][3][4][5] He was the sixth amongst eight siblings - two girls and six boys. His brothers, Aspy, Jungoo and Ronnie, also joined the Indian Air Force, while another brother, Homi, joined the Indian Army. Aspy, Minoo and Ronnie were recipients of the DFC, a unique feat where three brothers were decorated with gallantry awards.[4][2]

Military career

Early career

Engineer joined the Indian Air Force in 1940, being commissioned on 1 August. He was the third Engineer brother to join the Air Force, after his elder brothers Aspy and Jehangir (Jangoo). During World War II, he served in Burma as a part of No. 3 Squadron IAF. He was awarded the DFC for his part in the Arakan operations.[6] On 30 November 1945, Engineer was promoted to the acting rank of Squadron Leader and appointed commanding officer of No. 8 Squadron IAF.[7]

After the war, on 1 November 1946, he was appointed commanding officer of No. 4 Squadron IAF. The squadron relocated to Miko, Japan as part of the occupation forces. Engineer led the squadron in the relocation and operations in Japan.[8]

Post-Independence

In March 1948, Engineer took command of Air Force Station Srinagar. As Station Commander at Srinagar, he was responsible for all air force operations in Jammu and Kashmir. For this operation, he was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra, the second-highest war-time gallantry award.[8]

The citation for the Maha Vir Chakra reads as follows:[9]

Gazette Notification: 2Pres/50, 26-1-50

Operation: 1948 Effective Date of Award: 06 November 1948

CITATION

WING COMMANDER MINOO MERWAN ENGINEER, DFC

(1614) GD(P)

Wing Commander Engineer was in charge of the Kashmir operations for nearly a year. Under his able guidance and leadership the enemy has been hit hard and effectively on a number occasions. e.g. KISHEN GANGA BRIDGE, SKARDU AND GILGIT besides the normal close support sorties. The most effective support by the IAF to our land forces in the capture of GURAIS was largely attributable to the planning and drive shown by this officer in personally directing the air operations. Throughout he has set a fine example of leadership.

After the war, in 1949, he was selected to attend the RAF Staff College, Andover. After completing the staff course, he returned to India and was appointed Senior Air Staff Officer (SASO) of the Training Command in Bangalore. On 1 Oct 1954, he was appointed Station Commander of Lohegaon Air Force Station in Pune.[8] He then commanded the newly formed 2 Tactical Air Support Group and 2 Tactical Air Centre at Mumbai and Pune. On 15 April 1959, he was appointed SASO of the Eastern Air Command.[7]

During the Sino-Indian War in 1962, he was appointed Air Officer Commanding (AOC) of the No. 1 Operational Group based at Tezpur. For his services in the Eastern sector, he was awarded the Param Vishisht Seva Medal.[10]

On 5 August 1963, Engineer was promoted to the rank of Air Vice Marshal and appointed Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Air Command. After a little over an year, he moved to Air HQ in October 1964 as Deputy Chief of the Air Staff (DCAS).[8] On 1 March 1968, the appointment of DCAS was upgraded to the rank of Air Marshal and Engineer was promoted to the rank.[11]

Indo-Pakistani War of 1971

At the time of Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, he was Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Western Air Command. For his part in the war, Engineer was awarded the Padma Bhushan for his leadership and services.[12]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Aspy Engineer (1912 - 2002) - SP's Aviation". www.sps-aviation.com. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  2. ^ a b Singh, Farida. "Brothers-in-Arms : The Flying Engineer Brothers". www.bharat-rakshak.com. Archived from the original on 19 February 2019. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  3. ^ Pillaristetti, Jagan (6 February 2007). "Air Marshal Aspy Merwan Engineer DFC [Air Chiefs Since 1947]". Archived from the original on 6 February 2007. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  4. ^ a b Sorabji, Rusi (2012). "The First historical landmark in the annals of Aviation, both Civil or Military in the Sub-Continent, the Aga Khan Race 1930" (PDF). Hamazor (2): 47–53.
  5. ^ Sapru, S. (2014). Combat lore : Indian Air Force 1930-1945. KW Publishers. ISBN 978-9383649259.
  6. ^ "No. 37291". The London Gazette (Supplement). 28 September 1945. p. 4859.
  7. ^ a b "Service Record for Air Marshal Minoo Merwan Engineer 1614 F(P) at Bharat Rakshak.com". Bharat Rakshak.
  8. ^ a b c d "BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES" (PDF). archive.pib.gov.in. 1 March 1968.
  9. ^ "WG CDR MINOO MERWAN ENGINEER | Gallantry Awards". gallantryawards.gov.in. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  10. ^ "FORTY ONE AWARDS FOR AIR FORCE PERSONNEL" (PDF). pibarchive.nic.in. 24 January 1964.
  11. ^ "UPGRADATIONS IN DEFENCE SERVICES APPOINTMENTS" (PDF). archive.pib.gov.in. 1 March 1968.
  12. ^ News Article in Depth Archived 23 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine
Military offices Preceded byShivdev Singh Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Air Command 1969–1973 Succeeded byHrushikesh Moolgavkar Preceded byRamaswamy Rajaram Deputy Chief of the Air Staff 1964–1969 Succeeded byOm Prakash Mehra Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Air Command 1963–1964 Succeeded byY V Malse