This brave soldier has the high honour of being the youngest recipient of the Param Vir Chakra. He received this award at the age of 19 for his actions on July 4,1999, during the Kargil war. Born in 1980 in Aurangabad Ahir village, Uttar Pradesh, Yadav showed immense courage during the war in 1999. He volunteered for the task of capturing three strategic bunkers on Tiger Hill, which were situated at the top of a vertical, snow-covered, 16,500 feet high cliff face.
He was climbing the high cliff with the help of a rope when the enemy bunker started rocket fire. Yadav was hit by three bullets in his groin and shoulder. Despite being severely injured, Yadav kept climbing and finished the remaining 60 feet to reach the top of the cliff. Though in immense pain, Yadav crawled to the first enemy bunker and lobbed a grenade, which killed four Pakistani soldiers and set back the enemy fire. This gave the rest of the Indian platoon the opportunity to climb up the cliff face.
However, this was not it. Yadav continued to fight and destroyed the second bunker too with the help of two fellow soldiers. In fact, he also engaged in hand-to-hand combat with the enemy and killed four more Pakistani soldiers. By the time the rest of the Indian platoon arrived, Yadav had already neutralised the enemy attack. This gave Indian soldiers the upper hand and they managed to accomplish one of the toughest missions of the Kargil war – the capture of Tiger Hill.
‘On the occasion of the 75th Independence Day, Subedar Major (Honorary Lieutenant) Yogendra Singh Yadav, Param Vir Chakra, was conferred the rank of Honorary Captain by the President of India,’ read a statement released by the Ministry of Defence.
According to the ministry, Yadav was awarded for his gallant act during the Kargil war on July 4, 1999, when he volunteered to lead a Ghatak commando platoon of 18 Grenadiers to capture three strategic bunkers on Tiger Hill.
‘He started climbing the cliff face which had a vertical snowbound approach. Halfway up, an enemy bunker spotted him and opened up a machine gun and rocket fire. Despite being hit by three bullets, Grenadier Yogendra Singh Yadav kept climbing and reaching the top, he crawled up to the Pakistani bunker, lobbed a grenade, killing four Pakistani soldiers on the spot,’ the ministry had said.
‘His charge cleared the way for the rest of the platoon to climb up the cliff face. Despite being grievously injured, Grenadier Yogendra Singh Yadav charged towards the second bunker along with seven soldiers.
‘The bunker was captured but only Grenadier Yogendra Singh Yadav survived with 15 bullet injuries, two hand-grenade wounds and an arm hanging from tendons and skin,’ it added.
This unparalleled act of bravery earned Yadav the country’s highest wartime gallantry decoration, the Param Vir Chakra, making him one of the rare living legends in the Armed Forces.
Subedar Major (Honorary Lieutenant) Yogendra Singh Yadav is one of the 1,695 Junior Commissioned Officers who were awarded the rank of Honorary Captain on the occasion of the 75th Independence Day of the country.