(Last Updated on : 17-05-2014)
Air Chief Marshal Hrushikesh Moolgavkar was commissioned in the Royal Indian Air Force on 30 November 1940.After a short training he was appointed to No.1 Squadron. In 1941 he was sent to Toungoo airfield in Burma with No.1 Squadron. There he fought bravely against the Japanese army, and subsequently became one of the leading pilots. After that battle he was posted to the No.4 Squadron as a Flying Officer Hrushikesh Moolgavkar flew the Hurricane and Spitfire fighters at that time. In 1945 he was seriously injured in an accident. After six months Hrushikesh Moolgavkar came back from hospital and commanded the No.10 Squadron for nearly one year.
After that Air Marshal Hrushikesh Moolgavkar attended a staff course at DSSC. During the Kashmir Operations in 1948 he was appointed as the Commanding Officer of No.1 Operations Wing at Srinagar. He led his team efficiently during the famous Zoji La battle. He did not care about dangers and with his sheer confidence he gave full assistance to the Indian army. For this dedication in this battle Air Marshal Hrushikesh Moolgavkar was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra. In 1949 he was given the charge of newly formed Aircraft Testing Unit. In 1951 he was promoted to the rank of Group Captain and was posted as the Director of Operations. In 1953 he was sent to France for the assessment of Ouragan aircraft. Air Marshal Hrushikesh Moolgavkar was the captain of the first flight of four Ouragan fighters flown to India from France. At that time he became first Indian to fly faster than sound flying a Mystere II fighter-bomber. For the acquisition of second generation Jet Fighter for the IAF he was sent to France and UK along with Air Cmde P C Lal along with Flt Lt Roshan Suri. At that time Air Marshal Hrushikesh Moolgavkar became one of the first to fly the Midge fighter.
In 1957 Air Marshal Hrushikesh Moolgavkar was appointed the Station Commander for Palam, which was then consisted of No.7 and No 10 Squadron. On promotion to the rank of Air Commodore he was appointed as the Maintenance Command HQ as the Senior Air Staff Officer. After 1965 war Air Marshal Hrushikesh Moolgavkar was posted to the air headquarter as a staff officer. He was appointed as the AOC-in-C in Central Command. During this time Sukhoi-7 BMK fighter-bombers were introduced in the Central Command. After that he served as the commander of National Defense College in Delhi. In 1973 he was appointed the AOC-in-C of the Western Air Command. He received the PVSM in 1976 for the distinguished service to the nation and subsequently assumed the charge of Chief of Air Staff of the Indian Air Force. Air Chief Marshal Hrushikesh Moolgavkar retired from the service in 1978.