On 15th march 1948, two companies of Maratha light infantry moved out on offensive reconnaissance to spot enemy positions in the Phir Thil area of Kashmir.
As they approached a hill, the enemy suddenly opened fire from the top. The Indians were caught unawares on open ground and were moved down by the machine guns.
Major Satyapal Chopra who was leading one of the companies rushed forward with a platoon to an intermediate position to provide covering fires while his troops withdrew.
He was wounded on the face but kept on firing.
When the bulk of the troops had withdrawn he rushed out of cover to help his wounded men lying in the open.He succeeded in bringing three of them to safety but was shot through the head while assisting a fourth man.
For his leadreship, devotion to duty and gallantry, he was awarded the Mahavir Chakra posthumously.