You may have heard a lot about FM Manekshaw but less about his brother Air Vice Marshal Jemi Hormusji Framji Manekshaw (Aka JHF Manekshaw/ Jemi) Who pioneered aviation medicine during his service in the Indian Air Force (IAF).
His brother also hold a distinguished service in the Indian military. Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw’s brother “Jemi” served in the Indian Air Force and made it up the ranks all the way to Air Vice Marshal.
He was born on 28 Oct 1916, and was younger by two years to his brother Sam. Air Vice Marshal Jemji Hormusji Framji Manekshaw or “Jemi” joined the Medical Corps in February, 1943.
He was posted to No. 4 Squadron, Air Force during World War Il and saw active service in the Arakan offensive against the Japanese in Burma, while his brother Sam fought the land battles of the Burma campaign. In 1946, he was the first Indian Officer to be posted as the Deputy Senior Medical Officer of a Group of the Royal Air Force. After Independence, he held a number of important administrative as well as specialist appointments creditably.
He served as Senior Medical Officer of an operational Group of the Indian Air Force during the Kashmir Operations in 1948, and was the first to organise air transportation of sick and wounded soldiers on a regular basis from the forward areas. His suggestions regarding modification of Dakota aircraft by installation of portable oxygen equipment therein, helped greatly in air evacuation and the survival of combat casualties at altitudes above 10,000 feet.
In 1948, he was selected for training in Aviation Medicine at the US Naval Aerospace Medical Institute in Pensacola, Florida. After completion of this advanced diploma course, he was further selected to undergo flight training where he won the Wings of a Flight Surgeon.
In 1961, he was deputed as Deputy Air Adviser (Medical) to the High Commission of India in UK, where he helped to resolve many aero-medical problems, which were being experienced by aviators in the Indian Air Force due to the induction of high performance aircraft into the Service. In 1964, as Principal Medical Officer, Eastern Air Command, he displayed sound ability for proper planning, cooperation and distribution of medical facilities in that sector. He exhibited great qualities of leadership, as his brother Sam did, by visiting all remote combat areas at the time of crisis, even at the peril of his own safety.
He himself had more than 700 hours of flying, including solo, to his credit. In 1967, he was appointed Commandant of the Institute of Aviation Medicine, Bangalore. He brought about further improvement to suit the needs of the modern Air Force and India’s military aircraft industry.
This Institute is one of the leading establishments of the Indian Air Force today, and plays an important operational role. In recognition of his outstanding service, he was awarded the nation’s ‘Ati Vishisht Seva Medal’ in 1971. He was appointed as Director of Medical Research within the office of the Director General Armed Forces Medical Services in March 1973, and in this appointment with his usual drive, professional acumen, determination, energy and tact, he geared up the Medical Research unit of the Indian Armed Forces to a very high pitch of efficiency.
He was promoted to the highest rank of Air Vice Marshal on 22 Mar 1973, thirty years after he had first joined the Air Force as Flying Officer.