Havildar (Hony. Captain) Fateh Singh 12742
Maha Vir Chakra
Havildar Fateh Singh was born on 24th Feb, 1920 in village Karsola, Jind district, Haryana. He was the son of Chaudhary Bharat Singh, a Jat farmer. Havildar Fateh Singh could not get education because there were no schools in his village at that time. Against his father's wishes, he joined the Jat Regiment of the Indian Army on 3rd June, 1939. During World War II he served in Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Cairo, Java, Sumatra, Burma and Singapore. On his return to India, his battalion, 3 Jat was posted in Jammu & Kashmir. After the 1948 war, Havildar Fateh Singh was given the Hony, rank of Captain for his bravery. He retired from the Army on 3rd June, 1967 and went back to his native village.
1948 India-Pakistan War: On the night of 13/14 September 1948, an attack was launched by 3 Jat on the Chabutra feature in Zozila Pass area of Jammu & Kashmir. Havildar Fateh Singh was in charge of a platoon of the leading company. The platoon while moving in to attack came under heavy automatic fire from an enemy browning gun. The platoon suffered casualties in both dead and wounded, and Havildar Singh succeeded in leading his platoon to a relatively safer position. But the leading and the rear companies were now pinned down and even the slightest movement resulted in heavy fire. At 1500 hours his Commanding Officer ordered Havildar Fateh Singh to move down to the flat spur to arrange the collection of the wounded and the weapons of the dead. Havildar Singh moved out without hesitation and was hit by a bullet from the enemy browning. He was given up as dead by the rest of his men. But half an hour later, he moved again only to be hit by another bullet in the arm. He lay still and made another bold attempt at 18.30 hours and this time succeeded in reaching the lower slopes. He succeeded in gathering four wounded and eight weapons of the dead. At 1915 hours while attempting to return he was attacked by about 15 enemy soldiers. In spite of being wounded, Havildar Singh protected his post and killed three enemy soldiers by throwing grenades. The rest of the enemy then withdrew.
Havildar Singh was able to return to his Battalion with the wounded and the weapons, helped by Jem Misri Lal and party. His CO was an eye witness to this whole episode. The bravery, courage, patience and determination displayed by Havildar Fateh Singh in successfully helping and extricating the wounded, in spite of himself being wounded was a unique example of gallantry of the highest order. He was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra (MVC) on 14th September, 1948.