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Recipient of Param Vir Chakra

Major Somnath Sharma, PVC (31 January 1923 – 3 November 1947), an Indian Army officer, was the first recipient of Param Vir Chakra (PVC), India's highest military decoration.
In 1942, Sharma was commissioned into the 8th Battalion, 19th Hyderabad Regiment. He served in Burma during the Arakan Campaign of World War II, for which he was mentioned in dispatches. He later fought in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947. Sharma was martyred on 3 November 1947 while evicting Pakistani infiltrators from Srinagar Airport, and was posthumously awarded the Param Vir Chakra for his actions prior to his death.
Early life
Sharma was born on 31 January 1923 at Dadh, Kangra, then in the Punjab Province of British India, the present day state of Himachal Pradesh. His father, Amar Nath Sharma, was a military officer. Several of his siblings served in the military.
Military career
On 22 February 1942, upon his graduation from the Royal Military College, Sharma was commissioned into the 8th Battalion, 19th Hyderabad Regiment, of the British Indian Army (later to become the Indian Army's 4th Battalion, Kumaon Regiment). During World War II, he saw action against the Japanese in Burma during the Arakan Campaign. At that time he served under the command of Colonel K. S. Thimmayya, who would later rise to the rank of general and become Chief of the Army Staff from 1957 to 1961.
Battle of Badgam
On 27 October 1947, a batch of troops of the Indian Army was deployed in response to the invasion by Pakistan on 22 October into the Kashmir Valley, which is a part of India. On 31 October, D Company of 4th Battalion of Kumaon Regiment, under the command of Sharma, was airlifted to Srinagar. During this time, his left hand was in a plaster cast as a result of injuries sustained previously on the hockey field, but he insisted on being with his company in combat and was subsequently given permission to go.

 

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