Service No : IC-64530
Place of birth : Vizianagaram, (AP)
Service : Army
Last Rank : Major
Unit : 13 Guards
Arm/Regt : Army Aviation Corps
Awards : Sena Medal
Martyrdom : February 2, 2011
Major Bhanu Chander hailed from Vizianagaram city in Andhra Pradesh. Son of Sri Narayanam Bhanu Murthy, Maj Bhanu Chander belonged to a business family but instead of pursuing a career in business he wanted to serve in the Armed Forces. Thus soon after his graduation, he appeared for the Combined Defence Services Examination and got selected to join the Army. He joined the Indian Military Academy Dehradun and was commissioned as an officer in the year 2003.
He got promoted to the rank of Captain in 2006 and after serving for couple of years with his parent unit, he volunteered to become a helicopter pilot. He went through the stringent selection process for becoming a pilot and completed his flying training with very high grades. He was a member of the World Army Peace Committee and also participated in anti-terrorist operations in the North Eastern states. He got married in 2010 and got promoted to the rank of Major in Jan 2011.
Exercise Vayu Kaushal: 02 Feb 2011
During Feb 2011, Maj Bhanu Chander’s unit was participating in the war game exercise Vayu Kaushal. As part of the exercise, Maj Bhanu Chander along with Maj Atul Garje was tasked for an air operation on 2nd Feb 2011. As per the plan they took off from Army Aviation Base, Nasik, but soon experienced an aircraft emergency over a built-up area, necessitating an immediate force landing. Maj Bhanu Chander and Maj Atul Garje had only a few seconds to decide the further course of action and they decided to maneuver the aircraft away from the built-up area. With exceptional flying skills and utter disregard to their own safety, they maneuvered the helicopter away from civilian habitat and ensured no loss to civilian life and property.
However, in the process of recovery, the helicopter impacted the ground and crash landed. Maj Bhanu Chander and Maj Atul Garje got grievously wounded and succumbed to their injuries. Their courageous action at the cost of their lives not only saved many human lives but also averted a major disaster as various military ammunition stores were located in that area. Maj Bhanu Chander was a valiant soldier and a competent pilot, who at the age of 29 laid down his life in the service of the nation. Maj Bhanu Chander was given the gallantry award, “Sena Medal” for his exceptional courage, professionalism, devotion to duty and supreme sacrifice.
Major Bhanu Chander is survived by his parents and his wife.
Citation of the Sena Medal awarded to him reads:-
Major Atul Garje and Major Bhanu Chander as part of an Exercise were carrying out flying operation to rehearse Indian Army war plans. On 02 February 2011 at about 0848 hours, soon after takeoff from Army Aviation Base, Nasik, the pilots experienced an aircraft emergency over a built-up area, necessitating an immediate force landing. With exceptional flying skills, following the highest traditions of the Indian Army and selflessness, with utter disregard to their own safety, they maneuvered the helicopter away from civilian habitat and ensured no loss to civilian life and property. In the process of recovery, the helicopter impacted the ground and crash landed which resulted in the loss of their lives. Unmindful of their personal safety, the officers have displayed indomitable spirit, boundless courage and an exceptional degree of professionalism by their valiant act of selflessness in the duty to the nation.