Squadron Leader Thirumangalath Kattil Vinay Raj carried extensive flying in Jaffana Peninsula during the month of October 1987 as a part of Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) operation. On the night of 11/12 October 1987, during the course of high Special Heliborne Operation, Squadron Leader Vinay Raj was the Captain of No. 2 aircraft in four aircraft formation, detailed for a special mission. He was responsible for successfully landing three missions at the designated helipad, which was under heavy fire by the militants. During this operation the helicopter received extensive damage but Squadron Leader Vinay Raj was able to fly the helicopter back to base safely.
Squadron Leader Thirumangalath Kattil Vinay Raj thus displayed conspicuous gallantry in the face of heavy militant firing.