Service No : 4483 GD(P)

Date of Birth : July 18, 1933

Last Rank : Flight Lieutenant

Awards : Kirti Chakra

Martyrdom : May 14, 1962

Flt Lt Jagan Nath Vijayaraghavan KC

Flight Lieutenant Jagan Nath Vijayaraghavan was born on 18 July 1933 and nursed the idea of joining the Armed Forces since his childhood. His dream came true when he got selected to join the IAF.  He got commissioned into the flying branch of the Indian Air Force on 01 April 1953 at the age of nearly 20 years. He completed the 60th Pilots course at Air Force Station Hakimpet and earned his wings as a fighter pilot.


After completing his training he got posted to an Air Force flying base and commenced his operational flying. He got promoted to the rank of Flying Officer on 01 April 1954. Within few years Fg Offr Jagan Nath got promoted to the rank of Flight Lieutenant and also gathered experience of flying various fighter aircraft of the IAF. By 1962, Flt Lt Jagan Nath had put in about nine years of service and developed into a professionally competent air warrior with expertise in various air operations. Later he got posted as a flying instructor to train the young pilots on various maneuvers of operational flying.


Training Air Mission : 14 May 1962


During 1962, Flt Lt Jagan Nath Vijayaraghavan was serving with 53 Sqn operating Harvard T-6 aircraft. He was functioning as a flying instructor with the responsibility of training the young pilots of the IAF on various air operations.  Flt Lt Jagan Nath had to fly many sorties per day along with different trainee pilots in dual-seat trainer aircraft. He was tasked for another such  instructional sortie with Pilot Officer Walter Edward Evans as pupil on 14 May 1962. As  Flt Lt Jagan Nath was carrying out a spinning exercise along with his pupil, he noticed that the aircraft failed to come out of the spin. Realizing the gravity of the situation,  Flt Lt Jagan Nath took over the controls of the Harvard T-6 aircraft, which however still failed to respond and started losing height rapidly.


Flt Lt Jagan Nath then ordered Pilot Officer Evans to bail out but by the time he did so, the aircraft had lost height to a considerable extent. It was at too low height for Flt Lt Jagan Nath to abandon it. Pilot Officer Evans ejected successfully and escaped with minor injuries. However the aircraft crashed and Flt Lt Jagan Nath could not survive the crash. Flt Lt Jagan Nath displayed conspicuous gallantry and spirit of self-sacrifice following the highest traditions of the Indian Air Force. Flt Lt Jagan Nath Vijayaraghavan was given the nation’s second highest peace time gallantry award, “Kirti Chakra” for his bravery, professional competence, camaraderie and devotion to duty.

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