Lieutenant Colonel Dewan Ranjit Rai

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Lieutenant Colonel Dewan Ranjit Rai

Born: 6 February 1913

Died:  27 October 1947   

  • He was a senior Indian Army officer who played a key role during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947.
  • He was the first recipient of Maha Vir Chakra (Posthumous).
  • 27 October is celebrated as ‘ Infantry Day’ by the Indian Army to commemorate the day when troops of 1st Sikh under command of Lt Col Dewan Ranjit Rai were airlifted from Gurgaon to Srinagar on 27 Oct 1947 at the start of the War.
  • Under the bold and decisive Command of Col Rai, the glorious battalion of high repute fought with tremendous spirit and bravery and played a key role in saving the valley of Kashmir from the invaders at the start of the 1947 war.
  • He was killed in action on 28 Oct 1947 and was awarded the countries first Maha Vir Chakra (Posthumously).
  • He was commissioned on 1 February 1935 .
  • He was first-course IMA and he is IC 12. On commissioning he was attached for a year to a British Army regiment, King Shropshire Light Infantry stationed in India.
  • He was appointed to the Indian Army and posted to the 5th battalion, 11th Sikh Regiment on 24 February 1936.
  • He was promoted Lieutenant 4 May 1936 He was promoted Captain 4 February 1942 and by April 1944 he was serving as a temporary Major on the Recruiting Staff.
  • He was selected for posting as Military Attache to Washington just before the break out of the war but was selected on this mission to Kashmir due to his exemplary credentials as a fine officer.
  • He was the first officer of the Indian Army after independence to fight a battle on 27 October 1947.

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