IAF pioneer Air Vice Marshal Surendranath Goyal passes awayMarch 1st, 2009 - 5:07 pm ICT by ANI
By Suresh Panje
New Delhi, March 1 (ANI): Pre-war pioneer and the eldest officer of the Indian Air Force, Air Vice Marshal Surendranath Goyal passed away here on Saturday following a brief illness. He was 92.
He is survived by a son, daughter and grandchildren.
Born on December 11, 1917, Air Vice Marshal Goyal was commisioned in the Royal Indian Air Force on July 30, 1938. During his illustrious career, he commanded Air Forces premier No. 1 Tigers Squadron during 1942-43. He was also the Air-Officer-Commanding-in-Chief of the Training Command for a record ten years.
He retired in 1968 after commanding the National Defence Academy for two years.
The retired Air Vice Marshal was multifaceted personality. He opted to be a yoga teacher. He toured European countries between 1973 and 1983. Since 1983, he was actively involved in rural development work in the village of Sambhalerha in Uttar Pradesh.
Fondly called Surenji, he founded two voluntary organisations World Association for Value Education (WAVE) and Netaji Forum - and also a magazine devoted to good governance and ethical values Peoples Manifesto.
On Sunday, the former Air Vice Marshal was cremated with full military honours.
Marshal of Indian Air Force Arjan Singh, and former chiefs Air Chief Marshal A Y Tipnis and Air Chief Marshal S P Tyagi paid their last respects by laying wreaths on his body. A number of friends, admirers and relatives were present at the cremation. (ANI)
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