Colonel Prithipal Singh Gill, the Indian officer who had the unique distinction of having served in all three defence services – Army, Navy and Air Force – passed away on 5th December, Sunday.

He would have turned 101 on 11th December, this year.

The celebrated officer started his career with the Royal Indian Air Force in 1942. He joined as a flight cadet in Karachi.

Apparently, his father, who was also an army officer did not consider his career in the Air Force safe and insisted that he quit. So he gave up and joined the Indian Navy.

He served the Indian Navy for 5 years during which he was posted on a mine sweeping ship, INS Teer, an escort for cargo ships during World War-2.

As an Army officer, he was posted to the Regiment of Artillery. The 71 Medium Regiment, raised and commanded by him, played a crucial role during the India-Pakistan War of 1965.

Netizens paid tributes to the brave officer.

Let’s not forget his service to the nation. RIP Sir.