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Air Marshal Cheppudira Devaiah Subbaiah, PVSM, VrC

Air Marshal Cheppudira Devaiah Subbaiah, PVSM, VrC, one of the most prominent Airforce officers was born on 6 March 1924. He was one of the notable World War II pilots from British India, during the Second World War. He was an outstanding sportsman and was noted for his honesty and integrity.



Cheppudira Devaiah


Cheppudira(Maneyepanda) Leela




Family Tree


He studied at Royal Indian Military College (RIMC) Dehra Dun and graduated from defense service Staff College, Wellington.


He joined the Indian Air force in October 1941 and was commissioned at the age of 18 years on April 1942. He was a Flying Officer in the 8th Squadron of the IAF during the Second World War. During the Arakan campaign in the same war, he was a Spitfire pilot. In the early 40s he flew Hurricane fighters, Tempest Fighters etc. He was among the first to be decorated for piloting skill and bravery.


  • He was a part of Squadron 4 that was involved in operations against Japan
  • Flt. Lieutenant C D Subbaiah was distinguished for the operational missions flown during the war in 1947-48 Kashmir Operations.
  • In 1948 he flew Tempest fighters of 10 Squadron out of Jammu, attacking positions of marauders in Kashmir.
  • In November 1948 he was chosen to fly the IAF’s first jet aircraft, the Vampire.
  • In July 1949 he took over command of 7 Squadron, which re-equipped with Vampire aircraft and after months he was the Chief Flying Instructor.
  • In 1951 he was trained at the Day Fighter Leader School in the UK.
  • He was the Commanding officer,7 Squadron(Spitfires/Vampires), Station Commander,5 wings (Mystere IVA), Air officer commanding in chief, Maintenance Command.
  • In 1971 he was the senior Air Staff officer who meticulously planned and coordinated all Air operation and organized an effective low-level air raid warning system for each forward air base.
  • In 1977-1978, he was the commanding officer for MC and stationed at Nagpur as AOC-in-C


He was awarded the Vir Chakra in 1948.

He was awarded Param Vishist Seva Medal in 1972.


He retired at the age of 54yrs as Air Marshal in 1978 after serving a full tenure. He was greatly respected in the IAF.