Major General(Retd) Venkatapathy Rangaswami, Vr.C(Bar), AMC, Indian Army

Major General(Retd) Venkatapathy Rangaswami, Vr.C(Bar), AMC

After graduating from the Madras Medical College, Dr Venkatapathy Rangaswami joined the Indian Army.

During the hostilities in Kashmir in 1948, Captain Venkatapathy Rangaswami was serving with one of the Army units stationed there. The unit was heavily mortared by the enemy on 19-20 May and a large number of casualties started arriving in the main dressing station.

During this difficult period, this officer worked with untiring energy almost nonstop for 72 hours. Despite the risk of being hit by enemy mortar fire, he carried out the operations efficiently and without any show of fear. Casualties were recieved smoothly and in an organised way. Advanced surgery and efficient treatment were provided under the most adverse conditions.

By his personal example and devotion to duty he was largely responsible for maintaining the morale high. But for his endurance and good work, many lives would have been lost. For this he was awarded the Vir Chakra.

In 1951, Major Venkatapathy Rangaswami served as a surgeon in the para surgical team of the 60 Indian Field Ambulance in Korea. This team participated in an airborne operation with 187 RCT behind the opposing forces near Musan Ni on 29th March.

Major Rangaswami had to operate under the most adverse and trying conditions. Several times the operating theatre was under mortar fire. But he performed surgical operations without any respite for five days and nights in a cool and collected manner and with total indifference for his personal safety.

By his initiative, professional skill and selfless devotion to duty, he was undoubtedly instrumental in saving many lives. For this he was awarded the Bar to Vir Chakra. He was also Mentioned in Despatches twice.