PAF pays tribute to martyrs, ghazis of 1971 war

PAF trainer aircraft crashes near Peshawar

ISLAMABAD, Dec 14 (APP): Pakistan Air Force (PAF) on Tuesday in a series of its tributes paid homage to the martyrs and ghazis (soldiers returned with honour from the war) of the 1971 War highlighting their chivalrous war heroics.

The PAF’s Directorate of Public Relations released a short documentary film based on 1971 war deeds.

The documentary underscored the unforgettable role of PAF veterans and soldiers in the 1971 Indo-Pak war who narrated timeless tales of courage and bravery against the enemy.

The documentary also shed light on the renewed the pledge that there was no greater goal for Pakistan’s armed forces than sacrificing one’s life for the defence of the motherland and that the sacrifices of its martyrs would never be in vain.

“These great and everlasting sacrifices of our forefathers will always be remembered in the bold letters of history,” it stated.

The documentary narrated that there were 14 Flying squadrons of PAF who participated in the 1971 War. The No.2 Squadron equipped with light flying T-33 Trainer aircraft was led by Wing Commander Ali Asghar Randhawa.

The aircraft keeping in view the War were prepared for ground attacks, where under his leadership the squadron successfully carried out 43 ground attack missions.

Moreover, the No. 5 Squadron was deputed at Sargodha led by Wing Commander Hakimullah and conducted 390 successful combat missions.

The most successful mission was Mukhrian Railway Yard destruction which he himslef led whereas his squadron destroyed three enemy aircrafts during the war. He was awarded Sitara-i-Jurrat at the end of the War.

The No. 6 Squadron equipped with C-130 aircraft was deputed at Chaklala Airbase led by Wing Commander Nisar Younus that conducted 11 successful bombing missions and broke the backbone of enemy’s ground force. The squadron’s three valiant fighter pilots were awarded Sitara-i-Jurrat.

The No. 7 Squadron equipped with B-57 Bombers was led by Wing Commander Muhammad Younus that from Minawali attacked enemy strongholds. It conducted 130 bombing missions successfully targeting enemy air bases, radar stations and other positions of the enemy.

As many as Six Squadron members were awarded Sitara-i-Jurrat.
The No. 9 squadron equipped with F-104 aircraft deputed at Sargodha was led by Wing Commander Arif Iqbal. However, one of its units was serving at Masroor Air Base and during the war it shot down two enemy aircraft.

The Wing Commander Mervyn Middlecoat of the same Squadron achieved martyrdom during successful attack at Indian airbase and was awarded Sitara-i-Jurrat with Bar.

The No. 11 squadron equipped with F-6 fighter jets was led by Wing Commander Sikander Mahmood Khan and was deputed at Sargodha Airbase.

The squadron shot down one enemy plane while ensuring protection of country’s air territories and made Sargodha’s defence invincible.

The No. 14 Squadron equipped with F-86 fighter jets was led by Wing Commander Afzal Chaudhary. This squadron was deputed at the Pakistan’s Eastern border the only squadron that was fighting against 12 enemy squadrons and remained steadfast till last day of the War. It killed shot down enemy aircraft whereas two of its pilots got martyred.

The squadron’s five pilots were awarded Sitar-i-Jurrat for expressing extreme valour and courage.

The No. 15 Squadron equipped with F-86 jets was led by Wing Commander Nazir Jillani at Mureed Airbase was ready to sacrifice itself against the enemy.

During the War, it presented commendable services at Kashmir and Shergarh War and shot down one enemy jet.

The No. 17 Squadron equipped with F-86 fighter planes led by Wing Commander Syed Mujtaba Qureshi was deputed at Rafiqi Airbase, where it successfully provided air support to Army and their brave heart fighter pilot was given Tamgha-i-Jurrat for his exemplary services.

The No. 18 Squadron led by Wing Commader Ali Imran Bokhari was deputed at Sargodha Airbase. The Wing Commander led 19 combat missions which was a record by any pilot to lead such number of missions. It successfully destroyed many enemy basis and shot down supersonic Su-7 aircraft of Inidan Air Force whereas another pilot of the squadron destroyed enemy’s two MiG-21 aircrafts.

The squadron’s two pilots got Tamgha-i-Jurrat.
The No. 19 Squadron equipped with F-86 jets was led by Wing Commander Saleem Sheikh was deputed at Masroor Airbase and rendered commendable services at Chor Sector during the War.

In its befitting response to enemy attacks, it destroyed many tanks and a train fully loaded with fuel and weapons. During the war its brave pilot got martyred and was awarded Tamgha-i-Jurrat.

The No. 23 Squadron of F-6 jets, led by Wing Commader Manzoor ul Hassan Hashmi was deputed at Risalwala and during the war it shot down two enemy aircrafts. One of its valiant martyr was awarded Sitara-i-Bisalat and another pilot was awarded Tamgha-i-Jurrat for shooting down enemy aircraft.

The No.25 Squadron of F-6 jets, led by Wing Commander Saad Akhtar Hatmi was deputed at Mianwali and Sargodha and got the honour to shot three enemy aircraft during safeguard of the motherland and two of its pilots were given Sitar-i-Jurrat.

The No.26 Squadron equipped with F-86 jets led by Wing Commander Sharbat Ali Chenghezi deputed at Peshawar Base who himself led many air attacks as Squadron Commander at Kashmir and Chamb sector.

It destroyed five enemy jets and two of its pilots embraced martyrdom while exhibiting extraordinary performance and were given Sitara-i-Jurrat posthumously.

In 1971, where air fighters were proving their mettle at all levels on the same the officers, experts and technicians the Radar Squadron developed for Air Defence proved that they were part of the best air force of the world.

Under the leadership of Group Captain Ayaz Ahmed and Group Captain Rehmat Khan radar systems deployed at the PAF bases in Badin and Sakesar delivered extraordinary performances during the War. Moreover, various units of Air Defence during the war played key role. Expert officers like Squadron Leader Rabnawaz and Squadron Leader Farooq Haider Khan through their best skills helped in destroying many aircrafts of the enemy.

Moreover, Squadron Leader Javed Butt and renowned Air Defence Controllers like Fateh Sher, Jalil Akhtar Kermani, Samiullah, Abdul Mueez and Noor Ul Islam wholeheartedly participated in the War to ensure country’s defence.
It concluded that the nation paid salute to these valiant sons of the soil.