Lt Colonel Harbans Singh Virk Maha Vir Chakra DSO IC-665
Lieutenant Colonel Harbans Singh Virk was born in 1913. He joined the Army in 1931. He was commissioned in the Indian Army on 4th August, 1941. He was awarded the DSO in World War II and the Maha Vir Chakra (MVC) in the 1948 India-Pakistan War. For his bravery in the 1948 Jammu & Kashmir operations, he became known as the 'Hero of Jhangar'. He had five battle scars to his credit. He was wounded once in the North West Frontier, twice in Burma in World War II and twice in the 1948 India-Pakistan War. After retirement he settled in Kaithal town, Haryana.
1948 India-Pakistan War: Lieutenant Colonel Harbans Singh Virk took over the command of 3 (Para) Battalion of the Maratha Light Infantry in January, 1948. At this time the activities of the Pakistani raiders were reaching their climax and Naushera garrison was in imminent danger. He advanced with strong fighting patrols, probing the strong enemy defenses.
At Manpur and Bhajnoa villages the raiders were well dug in and Lt Colonel Virk had to withdraw after suffering heavy casualties but not before he had caused equally heavy losses on the enemy. Then followed a number of battles in and around Naushera where his superior tactics and leadership qualities inspired the men under his command.
The final and most notable of his achievements was the capture of Jhangar. It was after this battle that he came to be know as the 'Hero of Jhangar.' In the rapid advance towards Jhangar, the battle was held up for one day at a very formidable feature called Pir Thil Nakka. In this fierce fight, the 3 (Para) Battalion lost two officers and several men, but Lieutenant Colonel H S Virk was undeterred and after some quick planning launched yet another attack on Jhangar at dawn.
Under a heavy barrage of enemy three inch mortars and small arms fire, the attack went in and was successful. Consolidating his position at night, he began the follow up operations the next morning and gave the enemy no chance to recover. He was in Jhangar the same day. For his able leadership, courage and determination, Lieutenant Colonel Harbans Singh Virk was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra (MVC) in 1948.