Number Name Branch Died in Service? Picture?

Group Captain Pazhanghat Venugopalan

Service No & Branch 13115 ACCTS

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Date of Birth: -- --- ---- Commissioned: 17 Jun 1972 Course: 50 GDOC Course
Service End: Retired on 30 Nov 1997
Qualifications Held :
Remarks :
Promotions Gazetted
Wg Cdr : 10 Mar 1992
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Notes:1)Branch is at retirement and may not match with branch at Commission 2)Notional seniority is reflected in dates of substantive rank.

Awards and Decorations

Number of Awards: 1
Shaurya Chakra
Flt LtPazhanghat Venugopalan13115 ACCTAward Date 16 Oct 1981Announced 23 Dec 1982
Details :

In the autumn of 1981, the Army organized an expedition to Nanda Devi. The main task assigned to the expedition was to attempt the highest twin peaks of Nanda Devi Main 25,645 ft and Nanda Devi East 24,391 ft., which amounted to launching two major expeditions on separate axis i.e., then West and East, respectively. Flight Lieutenant Pazhangat Venugopalan was specially selected to lead Sub Patrol No.2 of the West Patrol.

Throughout the expedition, Flt Lt Venugopalan displayed selfless devotion above and beyond call of duty and courage of very high order. On one occasion when one of the members absolutely exhausted, dehydrated and frost bitten was located after 8 days, Flt Lt Venugoplan took care of him and parted with one of his crampons and gave it to other members who had none and took the personal risk of escorting him down to Camp II with only one crampon covering the treacherous descent on the steep and hazardous cooks comb ridge. Survival of the said member is purely attributed to this quick evacuation.

Once again, Flt Lt Venugopalan displayed exceptional courage, dedication and selfless sacrifice when on the 16th October, 1981, just 400 ft. short of summit, he felt blurring of his vision and became totally blind. When NK Gyasi Ram was helping to climb the last vertical rock, the anchor of the rope that was fixed gave away and Flt Lt Venugoplan slipped about 100' but was lucky to survive certain death. Because of this miraculous escape and the fact that the expedition had already had four fatal accidents of similar nature, he would have been fully justified to call off the mission but instead he insisted and encouraged other members to complete the mission. In a state of total blindness knowing fully well that a single wrong step could be fatal, or if the weather had turned worse or the other members did not return he might be frozen to death, Flt Lt Venugopalan for the sake of success of the mission voluntarily chose to stay back alone and thus displayed courage of an exceptionally high order at the gravest risk to his life. He sustained very severe frost bite – as a result of which he lost parts of 6 fingers and 8 toes.

Flight Lieutenant Pazhangat Venugopalan displayed total dedication and devotion to duty, tremendous team spirit, selfless spirit of sacrifice, and exemplary courage.

Unit : Para Training School
Reference : Gazette of India , 1st January 1983 - No.54 - Pres/82 dated 23rd December 1982
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Note: All the data available here is publicly available in the Gazette of India, published by the Indian Government, or from public domain sources, press releases about Awards and Right-To-Information (RTI) Requests. Additionally data shared by veterans is added to the page with permission. No data with respect to serving officers below the rank of AVM is displayed. Information in Gazette of India and Award citations and photographs as released by the Indian Air Force are the only details displayed.