Kargil: “In my heart, a voice spoke to me and said that I must save my companions. It is true that if one remembers God with full faith, then the Lord’s power aids you. I prayed to keep me alive long enough to save them”, Subedar Major Mr. Yogendra Singh Yadav, who scaled 16,500 feet, took over 15 bullets and captured 3 strategic bunkers at Tiger Hill, Kargil.
“To ensure that all Indian jawans were dead, the Pakistani soldiers shot at the bodies of Indian soldiers. I sustained about 15 gunshot injuries on my legs, arms, thigh and in other parts of my body. In my breast pocket was my purse which had some 5 rupee coins. The bullet hit the coins and ricocheted away; however the pain in my chest was intense and I felt that I had died. But the next instant, when the enemy soldier bent to take my weapon, my eyes opened and I realized that I was still alive. Within a second, I grabbed the Peeka Rifle of a dead Pakistani soldier lying beside me and opened fire on them.
During the firing, 4 Pakistani soldiers were killed. I fired from one boulder, and then rolled behind another to fire again and then a third. The enemy thought that some Indian reinforcements had reached from below and ran away. I rushed to my fallen companions to check if any of them were alive, but to my deep sorrow, no one was.
Injured grievously and bleeding, I tried to figure out how to descend to Indian post. It’s easier to climb up mountains than climbing down. Then I heard Devi Shakti’s voice “Son, go down the drain”. My broken arm was useless at my side, I tried to tie it, I even tried to break it off with a jerk, but I could not manage. Finally, I fixed it into my belt behind my back and rolled downhill towards my buddies, my team commander, Lieutenant Balwan Sahib and Battalion Commanding Officer, Colonel Khushal Chand Thakur. And the rest is history.”
At the age of 19, Sub Major Mr. Yadav was honored with the Param Vir Chakra. 18 Grenadiers earned 52 gallantry awards, a record for maximum gallantry awards won by any unit in a single operation. Besides, the unit was awarded Theatre Honour Kargil, Battle Honour (Tiger Hill and Tololing) by the President of India and unit citation by the Chief of Army Staff.
A Salute to the living legend.