(Last Updated on : 17-05-2014)
Air Chief Marshal Om Prakash Mehra was born on 19th January 1919 in Lahore. He took his primary education from the Sacred Heart Convent. After completing school education from Central Model School in 1933 Om Prakash Mehra got admitted to Government College, Lahore. He did his masters from the Punjab University. During his University days Om Prakash Mehra was the member of the Northern India flying club of Lahore.
Om Prakash Mehra was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a Pilot Officer in 1940.After completing a short training he joined No.1 Squadron in August 1941.After that he was posted to the newly formed No.3 Squadron, where he served till 1945. In 1943 Om Prakash Mehra attended the Defense Service Staff College at Quetta as the junior most Officer on that Course. He also did a course from Specialized Low Attack Instructors School in 1944.His No.3 Squadron carried out operations against Japanese army at Arakan coast. In 1945 No.3 Squadron was moved to St. Thomas Mount Airfield near Madras. After that this squadron was sent to Risalpur in the North West province and he rose to the rank of Squadron Leader. Later this squadron was positioned at Kolar.
Air Marshal Om Prakash Mehra was the Indian representative at the Joint Chiefs of Staff organization in Australia in 1946.He came back to India and was appointed as the Chief Instructor at the No.1 Advance Flying School, Ambala.After a brief stint he rose to the rank of Wing Commander and was appointed as the Commandant of the Elementary Flying Training School at Jodhpur. After that Air Marshal Om Prakash Mehra served three years Ground Training School at Tambaram, Madras. In 1953 he was appointed as the Director of Training to the Air Headquarters. After that he was appointed as the Senior Air Staff Officer (SASO) at Operational Command, (later known as Western Air Command). After four years he was posted as Commanding Officer of Armament Training Wing and serve two years there. In 1960 Air Marshal Om Prakash Mehra was promoted to the rank of Air Commodore and was posted as Principal Staff Officer of the Policy and Plan Division at the Air Headquarter. After a year he was appointed as the Dean of the Defence Research and Development Organisation.
In 1963 he was promoted to the rank of Air Vice-Marshal and was appointed as the as AOC of Chief Maintenance Command. After 1965 war Air Marshal Om Prakash Mehra was posted as Air Officer Maintenance at Air Headquarters. He received the Param visist Seva Medal in 1968 .In this year he also got promotion to the rank of Air Marshal. After he served as Deputy Chief of Air Staff at Air Headquarters. In 1971 he was appointed as the chairman of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, Bangalore. He assumed the charge of Chief of Air Staff in the year 1973. Air Chief Marshal Om Prakash Mehra retired on 31st January 1976 after 35 years of dedicated service to the nation. In his long flying career he had experienced of over 6000 flying hours. Air Chief Marshal Om Prakash Mehra was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in January 1977 for his impressive flying career. After retirement he served as the Governor of Maharashtra and Rajasthan. Air Chief Marshal Om Prakash Mehra was also actively involved in social service and for that he received the Srimoni Award in 1988, the Rajiv Ratna Award in 1991 and the HELP-Age Indian Golden Award in 1999.During military service Air Chief Marshal Om Prakash Mehra also held some crucial posts including President of the Indian Olympic Association (1975), President of the Asian Games Federation (from 1978 to 1980).