A Salute Team Report
Debananda Gohain took premature retirement from Air Force in May 2004 after serving for almost 31 years. He was a Group Captain then. A alumnus of Sainik School, Goalpara and the National Defence Academy(NDA), he had a copy book career of a combat fighter pilot during which he flew over 3000 hours on the Gnat, Hunter and MiG- 21 aircraft after his commission in the IAF in June 1973.
He was groomed for greater responsibilities having received advanced learning as a Fighter Combat Leader and at the DSSC at Wellington and some of them he shouldered with great success having commanded a MiG 21 squadron, an Air Defence Direction Centre and serving at several staff tenures at senior formations. Debananda was attracted to painting during his school days and an art teacher from Shantiniketan background helped him nurture his hobby in creating floral paintings in water colour on paper and silk. This hobby remained with him, albeit quite dormant, in NDA and in Air Force. In 2010, six years after retiring from Air Force, at the age of 58 years, he took part in a Group Art Exhibition in State Art Gallery, Guwahati, with three other amateur artists from Assam.
Next year another exhibition followed at Jorhat. Main theme of his paintings remained flowers. New found exposure nto art world encouraged him to experiment with new ideas and in 2012 for the very first time he attempted to paint aircraft of the IAF, some of whom he had flown in his career. He gifted his first painting, “Two Sukhoi 30s in formation” to No 2 Squadron , one of the erstwhile squadron where he had flown Gnats.