Squadron Leader Saurabh Raghuvanshi was born on the 10th of July 1982. He had dreamt of becoming a fighter pilot in the Indian Air Force. And he completed his dream by joining Air Force Academy, Hyderabad after joining National Defence Academy. After completing his rigorous training of 4.5 years, he got commissioned from the academy. By 2014, Squadron Leader Raghuvanshi had accumulated over 1450 flying hours to his credit and evolved into a professionally competent pilot and a fine soldier.
|Service Number||27955 F(P)|
|Unit||01 Wing (Air Force)|
|Award||Vayu Sena Medal|
|Date of Martyrdom||27th May 2014|
During 2014, Squadron Leader Raghuvanshi was serving with the MiG 21 Bison Squadron based at Air Force Station Srinagar. On the 27th of May 14, Squadron Leader Raghuvanshi was assigned a task to validate the efficacy of Low-Level Light Weight Radar (LLLWR) Air Defence preparedness against enemy raids. Having flown the route through the Himalayas and the Pir Pinjal valleys, the trail element, with Squadron Leader Raghuvanshi as the wing-man, entered Srinagar valley intending to strike Avantipur airfield and descended to a low level. During the final run-in towards the target, a bird hit Squadron Leader Raghuvanshi’s plane on his canopy. The bird hit so hard that it broke the windshield of the plane. The brokerage of the windshield injured his face which nearly incapacitated him. The aircraft lost balance and the aircraft was going towards a civilian area and that would have killed numerous civilians. Squadron Leader Raghuvanshi assessed the situation and steered the plane away from the populated area, to save the lives of the civilians. But in this, he lost precious time to save himself, and he 4ejected very late after assuring the plane is not going to affect much damage. But when he jumped off from the pane, he got injured and succumbed immediately. Squadron Leader Raghuvanshi displayed exceptional courage and professional skills at the time of extreme danger. He saved the lives of numerous innocent people by sacrificing his own life.
For this act of exceptional courage and supreme sacrifice, Squadron Leader Saurabh Raghuvanshi was awarded the “Vayu Sena” Medal posthumously.