Major Som Nath Sharma was the first recipient of Param Vir Chakra (PVC). Param Vir Chakra is the highest Indian gallantry award. Major Somnath Sharma was awarded PVC for his bravery in Badgam, Kashmir in November 1947 while fighting Pakistani invaders.
Major Somnath Sharma, was born on 31 January 1923, in Himachal Pradesh.
He was commissioned in the Kumaon Regiment on 22 February 1942. On 22
October 1947, Pakistan launched the tribal invasion of Jammu &
Kashmir. The intention was to grab the Kashmir valley by force. To save
the State from a tribal invasion, India dispatched troops to Srinagar.
On 3 November 1947, Major Somnath Sharma's company was ordered on a
fighting patrol to Badgam Village in the Kashmir Valley. He was soon
surrounded by the enemy from three sides and his company sustained heavy
casualties from the ensuing artillery bombardment. He realized the
importance of holding onto his position as both the city of Srinagar and
the airport would be vulnerable if it were lost. Under heavy fire and
outnumbered seven to one, Major Somnath Sharma and his troops fought
till last blood and halted the advance of Pakistani invaders for a few
crucial hours till Indian reinforcements arrived.