The Corps of Engineers was stationed on the western front, during the war of 1971. Thier main task was to clear the enemy minefields that held up the advance of Indian armour beyond Samba, into enemy territory.
The advance had begun on the pitch-dark night of 11th December, but soon ground to a halt as enemy minefields lay strewn over a vast area. Major Vijay Rattan Chowdhury went about his task fearlessly. He moved among his men directing the operations disregarding the threats to his life and safety. Soon a way had been cleared for the armoured vehicles to surge ahead.
Major chowdhury led his men in clearing other minefields at Thakurdwara, Lohara and on the bridge across the river Basantar. It was when he was helping his men clear a lane through a heavy minefield at Basantar, that he was hit by enemy fire. He succumbed to his injuries soon after.
Major Chowdhury was posthumously honoured with the Mahavir Chakra.