Air Marshal KC Cariappa (retd) was commissioned into the Indian Air Force in 1957 and posted to No. 20 Squadron where he served for six years. He graduated as a Flying Instructor from the Flying Instructor School in Chennai in November 1963 and served at the Pilots Training Establishment in Allahabad till the outbreak of the 1965 war against Pakistan. On 22 September 1965 he was shot down while carrying out attacks on enemy positions and taken Prisoner of War. He remained in captivity till 22 January 1966. He participated in the Bangladesh War of Independence. For his gallantry he was awarded the Vayu Sena Medal. After the war he reverted to flying fighter aircraft. In 1976 he was appointed to command No. 8 Squadron, one of the oldest in the Indian Air Force. In January 1995 he was awarded the Param Vishist Seva Medal by the President of India for his distinguished services to the Indian Air Force. He retired in January 1996. His hobbies include trekking, angling and involvement with wildlife and environmental activities. He was President of the Coorg Wildlife Society for four years. A keen student of international and military affairs, he has written articles for journals and newspapers on matters pertaining to his interests.