Idris Hasan Latif

Air Chief Marshal Idris Hasan Latif (9 June 1923[4] – 30 April 2018) was the Chief of Air Staff (CAS) of the Indian Air Force, having served as such from 1978 to 1981.[5]

Idris Hasan Latif

10th Chief of Air Staff
In office
01 September 1978  31 August 1981
PresidentNeelam Sanjiva Reddy[1]
Prime MinisterMorarji Desai[2]
Preceded byHrushikesh Moolgavkar
Succeeded byDilbagh Singh
Governor of Maharashtra
In office
6 March 1982  16 April 1985
Preceded byAir Chief Marshal O P Mehra
Succeeded byKona Prabhakara Rao
Indian Ambassador to France
In office
April 1985  August 1988
Preceded byMr. Narendra Singh
Succeeded byMrs. Soonu Kochhar
Personal details
Born(1923-06-09)9 June 1923
Hyderabad, Hyderabad State, British Raj
Died30 April 2018(2018-04-30) (aged 94)
Hyderabad, Telangana, India
Resting placeHussaini Alam, Hyderabad, India[3]
Bilkees I. Latif
(m. 1951; died 2017)
Alma materNizam College
Defence Services Staff College
Military service
Allegiance British Raj (1941–1947)
 India (1947–1988)
Branch/service Indian Air Force
 Indian Air Force
Years of service1941–1988
Rank Air Chief Marshal
Service No. 1804
CommandsChief of Air Staff 1978-1981
Vice Chief of Air Staff
Maintenance Command
Central Air Command
No. 4 Squadron
Battles/warsWorld War II
Indo-Pakistan War of 1947
Sino-Indian War
Indo-Pakistan War of 1965
Indo-Pakistan War of 1971

Born in an affluent family in Hyderabad, he joined the Air Force during World War II, serving in the Burma Campaign. Later, he also served during the Sino-Indian war, Indo-Pakistani wars of 1947, 1965, and 1971.

After retirement, he has also served as the governor of the Indian state of Maharashtra (1982–85) and later as the Indian ambassador to France (until 1988).[5][6][7]

Early life and education

Latif was born in 1923 in Hyderabad city, in what was then the princely state of Hyderabad into an educated and affluent Sulaymani Bohra Muslim family[8]. His father, Hasan Latif, was chief engineer of Hyderabad State.[9] His mother, Leila Hydari was the niece and adoptive daughter of Akbar Hydari, former Prime Minister of Hyderabad.

He attended the St. George's Grammar School and the Madrasa-i-Aliya. Later, he was educated at Nizam College. His ambition was to join the Hyderabad Forest Service, however, after seeing World War II recruitment posters, he decided to join the Air Force.

He also attended the Defence Services Staff College, and the National Defence College.

Military career

World War II

Air Chief Marshal Latif was commissioned into the Royal Indian Air Force in 1942, and took part in the Burma Campaign on the Arakan Front during World War II.[5] Later, he was a member of the Indian Advisory Group to Indonesia that helped the Indonesian Air Force induct jet fighters. Latif also served as Air Defence commander and as a Senior Air staff officer in the Eastern Air Command.

Post-WWII Career

In 1955, Wing Commander Latif was deputed as an Advisor to the Air Force of Indonesia. Over the next five years, he progressed through a series of staff roles, promotion to Group Captain, and command of Air Force Station at Begumpet, where he had learned to fly for the IAF.

From 1961 to 1965, Latif was the air attaché at the Indian embassy in Washington, D.C.[5]

During the 1971 Indo-Pakistani war, he was Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (plans).

In 1971, he was awarded the Param Vishisht Seva Medal. In 1974, Latif was promoted to the rank of Air Marshal and posted as air officer in charge, administration, at Air Headquarters. He led Air Force relief operations during the Patna floods in 1975. In 1977, then Air Marshal Latif was posted as vice chief of air staff and took over as chief of air staff on 1 September 1978.

Later career

After retirement from active military service, Air Chief Marshal IH Latif was appointed as Governor of the Indian State of Maharashtra, on 6 March 1982, completing his tenure on 16 April 1985. Following this, Air Chief Marshal IH Latif was appointed Ambassador of India to France, a post he held until 1988. Following his later government service he resided in Hyderabad.[10][11]

Personal life

He was married to Bilkees I. Latif, a noted social worker, and daughter of Ali Yavar Jung.[12] She died in 2017, a year before her husband's death in 2018.[13] The couple have two sons and a daughter.[14]


  1. Neelam Sanjiva Reddy
  2. Morarji Desai
  4. Abidi, S. Sartaj Alam; Sharma, Satinder (2007). Services Chiefs of India. Northern Book Centre. ISBN 9788172111625.
  5. "Legends of the IAF: Air Chief Marshal Idris Hasan Latif". Indian Air Force. 6 July 2016.
  6. Air Chief Marshal Idris Hasan Latif, PVSM biography
  7. Idris Hassan Latif profile at
  9. "Former IAF chief Idris Hasan Latif passes away at 94". The Indian Express. 30 April 2018. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  10. "Hon'ble Air Chief Marshal Idris Hasan Latif, PVSM". Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  12. "Awards for 5 persons from State". The Hindu. 26 January 2009. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  13. "Social activist Bilkees Latif no more". Deccan Chronicle. 28 October 2017. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  14. "Former chief of IAF Idris Latif dies at 95". The Hindu. Special Correspondent. 1 May 2018. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 21 August 2018.CS1 maint: others (link)
Military offices
Preceded by
Hrushikesh Moolgavkar
Chief of the Air Staff (India)
Succeeded by
Dilbagh Singh
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