Air Mshl Dastur was actively associated with the Marut in its initial stages. Could not do better than paste Gp Capt Bhargava’s tribute to him at the IAF History Group site, for those who are not members there.
“He was the senior-most IAF officer in
Bangalore for the last many years. He lived in the city for over
thirty years from perhaps 1975 when he became Chairman HAL, a
responsibility he carried for around five years. After retiring
from HAL in 1980, he was actively involved in social work such as
steering the Sheila Kothawala Institute for the Deaf via the Deaf
Aid Society, of which he was the head. He also looked after the
Cheshire Home Bangalore for a considerable time.
Air Mshl Dastur’s tenure in HAL was
noteworthy for a number of important milestones. Perhaps the most
important were the planning for the production of Jaguar aircraft
in India, development of Kiran Mk II, HPT-32 Deepak trainer (which
unfortunately had to be grounded due to engine problems with its
American engine) and the Ajeet evolved by HAL from the Sabre
Killer ˆ Gnat – aircraft.
He also ensured the rapid turn around
of Marut aircraft after overhaul. However, despite this. the type
was retired by IAF during his tenure, presumably due to the
insurmountable difficulty in production of its spares..
Referred to as Dusty by his senior and
contemporaneous, he was commissioned as a fighter pilot in the Air
Force on January 19, 1942. He had a fine career in the Indian Air
Force. The citation (see below) for the award of Ati Vishisht Seva
Medal explains some of his achievements.
May his soul rest in eternal peace.
May his grieving family overcome grief at this loss and recall
with pride his good deeds, particularly after his formal
retirement. These were in the true tradition of the Parsi
community in India. A long life may not be full enough but a full
life is long enough. Air Marshal Dastur had the best of both and
left behind some wonderful memories and achievements.