The Squadron being a dedicated maritime reconnaissance Squadron was given a new emblem depicting a Sea Dragon signifying flying over the sea. The Squadron has always lived upto its motto "Sada Satark" which means "Ever Alert".
Formation And Growth
No. 6 Squadron was formed on 01 Dec 1942 at Trichinapally under the command of Sqn Ldr Meher Singh. The Squadron took final shape at Bhopal in Mar 1943, with and aircraft establishments of 15 Hurricanes.
In 1943, the role assigned was Tactical reconnaissance, message dropping, contact reconnaissance and air to ground firing.
The Sqn had its first taste of operations in Nov 1943 itself. The Sqn took part in army cooperation exercises and flew 350 operational hours in a short span of 18 days in areas comprising Naungdaung, Razabin and Judian on the Burmese coast and areas in the May and Kalden valley during EX TRUMP and EX FOG. During Mar 1944, the Sqn took part in the battle of Buthidwang, maintaining close contact with the Army and successfully carrying out offensive patrols and photo recce sorties.In May 1944, the Sqn moved to Cox's Bazaar.
For its part in Ex FOG, the Sqn was commended by the then AOC 225 Group for its efficiency, enthusiasm excellent maintenance record and good discipline.In Nov 1943, the Sqn was assigned to XV Corps on the Arakan front and operating from Cox's Bazaar. From 13 Nov 1943 to end Feb 1944, the Sqn carried out 1000 operational sorties totalling 1350 hrs, the highest recorded by any allied Sqn in the third Tactical Air Force.
During the days of the Second World War, the Sqn was led brilliantly by Sqn Ldr Mehar Singh, whose name became a legend in the Indian Air Force. He was awarded the DSO, a unique and well deserved distinction for an Indian Officer. Also, Flying Officer JD Acquino and Pilot Officer Blunt were commended by the then AOC and Flt Lt JC Verma was awarded the DFC. By mid 1946, the Sqn was re-equipped with Spitfire Mk XIV E in fighter recce role.
In April 1947, the Sqn was moved from Ranchi to Karachi for re-equipment with Dakota aircraft and a new role of tactical transport support. With the dawn of Independence the Sqn assets were divided in a ratio of 2:1. These assets were there - after merged with the assets of 12 Sqn to make a composite Sqn and 6 Sqn was temporarily number-plated.
Post Independence Activities
Following a few years of obscurity the Sqn was reformed on 01 Jan 1951 with a fleet of Liberators with Maritime Recce and Air Sea Rescue as its role. Sqn Ldr HSK Gohel was given Command of the Sqn.
Operation Vijay- 1961
During Dec 1961, Sqn took part in operation Vijay.
Acquisition of Superconstellations
In Oct 1961, the Sqn acquired a fleet of 9 Superconstellation aircraft and was given and added role of transport support.
Chinese Aggression 1962
During the 1962 Chine aggressions the Sqn operated from various unused air strips for trasportation of troops and equipment and during Kutch operations in 1965, the Liberators and Supercontellations were utilised for Naval tasks, such as searching the surrounding seas for intruding Pakistani ships and submarines.
Indo-Pak Conflict 1965
During this operation the Liberators were used in maritime reconnaissance and Superconstellations in transport support roles. The Liberators patrolled the West Coast from Okha to Cochin. The superconstellations were used for transportation of casualties, medical support equipment and troops.
Roles Played by the Squadrons in Sea Rescue Flood Relief Operations
On numerous occasions, the Sqn aided the civil authorities in flood relief and troop movement operations.In addition, the Sqn played a Key role in air-sea search and rescue of sea-men in distress.
Indo-Pak Conflict 1971
On break out of hostilities in 1971 the Sqn was extensively used for maritime reconnaissance operations.
Maritime Strike Role
The Sqn was re-equipped with Canberra the interdictor aircraft in Jan 1972. It was the begining of a new era for the Sqn, from a passive role of maritime reconnaissance.It was now assigned the active role of maritime strike.
Additional Roles - Target Towing Training
In addition to the maritime strike and trasport support roles, the Sqn was tasked to carry out Target Towing Operations for the Army and Navy. For this purpose five additional Canberra Mk TT - 418 aircraft were added to the establishment of the Sqn in July 1979. Thus becoming the second Sqn in the world, the first being the RAF Sqn, to operated this type of aircraft.
In June 1987, a small but potent force of 6 Jaguar aircraft joined the Sqn and eventually took over the role of maritime strikes by day and night. Once the Jaguar flight was fully operational in its role, the Canberra op role of maritime strike was deleted, thus limiting its roles of Target, Bombing and Type Training. The initial 6 Jaguars were fitted with Agave radar and DARIN system, which were subsequently enhanced by two more DARIN strike Jaguars . The Canberra bid good bye to 6 Sqn and on 15 Jun 92 and with the ouster of Canberra aircraft, the second flight of the Sqn was re-equipped with strike variant Jaguar aircraft and an additional role of counter air operations was assigned.
Investiture - Colour Presentation
The Sqn was awarded the president's standard by Shri Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy, President of India, by 20 Dec 80. The Presidential Standard was conferred on the Sqn as a mark of Presidential esteem, in recognition of outstanding merit achieved by the Sqn during the various campaigns and conflicts since its inception.
In its checkered history, whatever be the nature of task bestowed upon the Sqn, it has on every single occasion distinguished itself. In doing so, the Sqn has always lived upto its reputation and motto "Sada Satark" which means "Ever Alert".