Service No: 27955 F(P)

Date of Birth: Jul 10,1982

Service: Air Force

Last Rank: Squadron Leader

Unit : 01 Wing AF

Award: Vayu sena Medal

Date of Martyrdom : May 27, 2014

Squadron Leader Saurabh Raghuvanshi VM

Born on 10 July 1982, Squadron Leader Saurabh Raghuvanshi always wanted to become a fighter pilot in the Air Force. His dream came true when he was selected to join NDA and then into the fighter stream of the IAF. After undergoing training in various stages, he finally graduated as a fighter pilot and joined one of the operational units of the Air Force. By the year 2014, Sqn Ldr Raghuvanshi had accumulated over 1450 flying hrs to his credit and evolved into a professionally competent pilot and a fine soldier.
 
Srinagar Air Operation : 27 May 2014
 
During 2014, Sqn Ldr Raghuvanshi was serving with the  MiG 21 Bison Squadron based at Air Force Station Srinagar. Sqn Ldr Raghuvanshi with an experience of over 1450 flying hrs, was known in the unit for his professional competence and superior flying skills. On 27 May 14, Sqn Ldr Raghuvanshi was assigned a mission to validate the efficacy of Low-Level Light Weight Radar (LLLWR) Air Defence preparedness against enemy raids. Having flown the route through the Himalayas and the Pir Pinjal valleys, the trail element, with Sqn Ldr Raghuvanshi as the wing-man, entered Srinagar valley with an aim to strike Awantipur airfield and descended to low level.
 
During the final run-in towards the target, Sqn Ldr Raghuvanshi experienced a bird hit on the front windshield of his canopy. The bird impact was so hard that it broke the windshield and injured his face which nearly incapacitated him. In spite of the serious injury and critical time available to him owing to the extremely low altitude, he visualized the future flight path of the aircraft to assess the likely damage. He realized that the aircraft was heading towards populated area endangering the lives of numerous villagers on the ground. Without fearing for his life, he courageously steered the aircraft away from the village and ejected in a clear area. The precious time lost in this effort of saving lives, resulted in the life-saving mechanism of the ejection system not getting sufficient time to operate successfully. The aircraft eventually crashed in an open field near Bijbehara in Anantag district of J & K. Consequently Sqn Ldr Raghuvanshi succumbed to the injuries instantaneously on impacting the ground. 
 

Sqn Ldr Raghuvanshi displayed exceptional valor and professional skills in the face of extreme danger. He saved numerous innocent lives of his countrymen and loss to national property by his heroic act. For this act of exceptional courage and supreme sacrifice, Sqn Ldr Saurabh Raghuvanshi was awarded with “Vayu Sena” Medal posthumously. Sqn Ldr Saurabh Raghuvansh was an outstanding air warrior and a fine officer who laid down his life in the service of the nation.

The citation for the Vayu Sena Medal awarded to Sqn Ldr Saurabh Raghuvanshi reads:

On 27 May 14, the officer was planned to fly as No.4 in a four aircraft strike mission towards Exercise Talon in the Northern region. The mission was flown to validate the efficacy of Low Level Light Weight Radar (LLLWR) Air Defence preparedness against enemy raids. Having flown the route through the Himalayas and the Pir Pinjal valleys, the trail element, with Squadron Leader Raghuvanshi as the wingman, entered Srinagar valley with an aim to strike Awantipur airfield and descended to low levels. During the final run-in towards the target, a tactical action towards left was ordered approximately 10 km short of Awantipur airfield. Almost simultaneously, Squadron Leader Raghuvanshi experienced a bird hit on the front windshield of his canopy. The bird impact was so hard that it broke the windshield and impacted his face. The face injury nearly incapacitated him. In spite of the serious injury and critical time available to him due to the extreme low altitude, he visualized the future flight path of the aircraft that would have killed numerous villagers on ground causing loss of lives and property. Without fearing for his life, he courageously steered the aircraft away from the village and ejected in a clear area. The precious time lost in this effort of saving lives an upholding the virtues of ‘service-before-self’ resulted in the life saving mechanism of the ejection system not getting sufficient time to operate successfully. The brave pilot succumbed to the injuries instantaneously on impacting the ground.

The officer displayed exceptional valour, professional skills and unparalleled leadership in the face of extreme danger. He saved numerous innocent lives of his countrymen and national property by his heroic act. For this act of exceptional courage and supreme sacrifice, Squadron Leader Saurabh Raghuvanshi has been awarded with Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry).

 
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Source
  • http://www.hindustantimes.com/chandigarh/vayu-sena-medal-for-six-angels-from-skies/story-SEXKX0kOGhhyjnsvJCgWUJ.html
  • http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=114933
  • http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/SQN-Ldr-Saurabh-Raghuvanshi/articleshow/47438973.cms
  • http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Pilot-killed-in-IAF-MiG-21-crash/articleshow/35651080.cms
  • http://www.news18.com/news/india/president-confers-gallantry-awards-on-83-iaf-air-warriors-for-showing-exemplary-courage-737806.html
  • http://www.akuva.in/2015/01/president-confers-vayu-sena-medal_25.html

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2 Tributes
  • Anil Yadav - Gurgaon,Haryana

    2017 at 10:42 am Reply

    Am awesome guy and a wonderful coursemate. You shall always be remembered buddy

  • Meenal Joshi - Bokaro,Jharkhand

    2017 at 12:06 pm Reply

    I salute your heroism and sacrifice. We shall forever remain indebted to you for your service to the nation. Jai Hind

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