War 1965

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War 1965

PAF heroes form a galaxy of dedicated men who have expanded their lives in the service of Pakistan Air Force, each leaving behind the best of himself, and adding yet another measure to the courage and honour poured into its foundations by those before him; that endless cavalcade of men who look back with swelling pride and say, ' I was in the Pakistan Air  Force'


Rafiqui Opens the September Account - 1st Sep, 1965

PAF scored its first victories when Squadron Leader Sarfraz Rafiqui and Flight Lieutenant Imtiaz Bhatti shot down two Vampires each who were attacking Pakistani troops in Chamb.


Indian Fighter Surrenders - 3 Sep, 1965

Squadron Leader Brijpal Singh Sikand, Commander of an Indian fighter squadron, surrenders to a PAF F-104 in combat. The painting shows him landing his Gnat fighter at Pasrur, a Pakistani airfield near Gujranwala. The F-104 was flown by Flight Lieutenant Hakimullah who became the Air Chief two decades later. Sikand was taken prisonar and later rose to be an IAF Air Marshal. This encounter was the most unusual event of the 1965 Air War.


The First Encounter - 6th Sep, 1965

The start of the Indo-Pak War over Pakistan was marked when Squadron Leader Aftab Alam destroyed a Mystere & damaged another. Apart from being the first encounter to start the War in earnest, the engagement was also significant in other aspects. It marked a new era of dog-fighting at very low altitude. It was also the first combat kill by any Mach-2 aircraft, and the first missile kill for the Pakistan Air Force.


Close Support at Wagah - 6th Sep, 1965

The advance of Indian army in Wagha sector was stopped when a formation of six F-86 aircraft destroyed scores of tanks, armoured & soft vehicles.


Pathankot Strike - 6th Sep, 1965

At 1705 hours on 6 September 65, 8 F-86Fs of No. 19 Squadron led by Squadron Leader Sajjad Haider struck Pathankot airfield. With carefully positioned dives and selecting each individual aircraft in their protected pens for their strafing attacks, the strike elements completed a textbook operation against Pathankot. Wing Commander M G Tawab, flying one of the two Sabres as tied escorts overhead, counted 14 wrecks burning on the airfield. Among the aircraft destroyed on the ground were nearly all of the IAF's Soviet supplied Mig-21s till then, none of which were seen again during the War.



End of a Hero - 6 Sep, 1965

Deep into enemy territory, three F-86s - not the originally planned eight - tightly manoeuvre in mortal combat against ten or more IAF Hunters near their Halwara air base. Seconds earlier, the formation commander, Squadron Leader Sarfaraz Rafiqui, had shot down a Hunter and now his second mark was perfectly under his guns. Suddenly, Rafiqui slided back, his guns jammed and became useless, but he was determined to fight on. Saving precious moments he instructs his No.2, "Cecil, take over lead" and falls behind to let his wingman shoot and to give him cover, and while doing so was hit and lost his life. Cecil downs another Hunter but they were many more, in every direction. The remaining two, Flight Lieutenants Yunus Hussain and Cecil Chaudhry decided to fight on in the footsteps of their leader.The formation claimed a total of 5 kills whereas they lost two . Only Cecil Choudhry returned to Sargodha to tell the take of proud heroes who fought with courage till the end .


Kalai Kunda Strike - 7th Sep, 1965

A formation of five Dacca based F-86 led by Squadron Leader Shabbir H Syed,who later became Vice Chief of the AirStaff, PAF, destroyed a large number of bomber aircraft parked at Kalai Kunda airfield.


F-86 Kills Mystere - 7th Sep, 1965

In a low level chase at tree top height, Flight Lieutenant AH Malik shot down an IAF Mystere, whose pilot Flying Officer Goha was killed in the encounter. The Mysteres were exiting at such a low height that the F-86s in pusuit were practically touching the tree tops. The entire bottom of No 2's aircraft was geen when it landed back at Sargodha.


High Speed Reconnaissance - 9th Sep, 1965

An F-104B flown by Flight Leiutenant Aftab Alam Khan of No 9 Squadron Sargodha, on a high speed reconnaissance mission over Halwara, on 9 September 1965.

There was an urgent requirement to survey the enemy concentration at the forward airfields and to observer the effectiveness of PAF's B-57 night bombing raids. To fulfil this need, the PAF immediately employed the F-104B. The rear seat observer operated a hand held camera and made visual observations; in this case it was Squadron Leader M. L Middlecoat. En route the aircraft was flown at tree top level, at a speed of 600 knots. Approaching the target the aircraft was accelerated to a speed greater than Mach 1. In this way the high speed capability of Starfighter was fully exploited. This was the first time such a profile was flown by an F-104 pilot. The mission was so successful that it was later repeated several times.


Low Level Death - 7th Sep, 1965

An F-104, Star -fighter flown by Flight Lieutenant Amjad Hussain killed an enemy fighter near Sargodha, 7 September 65. The IAF always seemed to have an inordinate fear of the aircraft's un-matched basic performance; its rate of climb and its acceleration as well as its top speed were so exceedingly superior to any other aircraft in the sky that the very mention of its name on the radio would instantly clear an air space of all enemy aircraft! And this role of 'bouncer' turned out to be the Star-fighter's primary contribution to PAF's operational effectiveness.


Attack on Bagdogra - 10th Sep, 1965

Four F-86Fs, from No 14 Squadron, Dhaka, attaked IAF Base, Bagdogra. Four enemy aircraft were destroyed on ground and damage inflicted on the ATC building and hangers.


Destruction of Amritsar Radar - 11th Sept. 1965

The last of several strikes against Amritsar radar was led by Wing Commander M Anwar Shamim on 11 September 65. The leader's No 2 was Squadron Leader Muniruddin Ahmed, who attained Shahadat when his aircraft was hit by a heavy ack shell.


Interdiction at Gurdaspur - 13th Sep, 1965

Four Sabres led by Squadron Leader Alauddin Ahmed commonly known a "Butch" destroyed a long line of freight wagons. Fragments of an exploding train resulted in leader's shahadat.


B-57 Lost Over Adampur - 14th Sep, 1965

After a dive bombing attack over Adampur airfield, Flight Lieutenant Altaf's B-57 received a direct hit from Ack Ack guns. The pilot & navigator ejected to become first POWs.


Air Battle over Lahore - 19th Sep, 1965

In a publically witnessed encounter over Lahore, four PAF Sabres were pitched against eight IAF aircraft (four hunters and four Gnats). Two IAF Hunters were shot down.


End Night Intruder - Sep, 1965

An Indian Canberra on a night bombing mission against Sargodha was shot down by Squadron Leader Jamal A Khan. The IAF pilot ejected and was later captured .


Hercules Bomber - 21st Sep, 1965

After a modification to open the rear ramp of C-130 aircraft at speed above 150 Knots, it was used for night bombing over moderately defended targets.


F-86 Strike Heavy Guns at Wagah - 21st Sep, 1965

On 21 September, A formation of eight Sabres from 32 Wing claimed 15 medium & five heavy guns destroyed together with two tanks & a number of other vehicles.


Battle of Chowinda - 1965

PAF Sabres from No 32 Fighter Wing based at Sargodha contributed decisively at the battle of Chawinda in Pak Army's counter armour operations.


Jet Ace - Sep, 1965

Squadron Leader MM Alam became the first and only "Jet Ace" in one mission when he shot five superior performance IAF aircraft on 7 September, 1965 out of these , 5 aircraft were shot in a less than one minute. He has a total of nine kills and two damages to his credit.


Post War Reconnaaissance - 10th Sep, 1965

During a post war reconnaissance mission over IAF airfields, one RB-57 was hit by three SA-2s. Despite severe damage, crew safely landed the aircraft at Peshawar.


The Cobras on Patrol - Nov, 1965

The painting shows a pair of No.15 Squadron Sabres near the K-2 peak. The tail fins of the squadron F-86Fs carry the unit's emblem - a cobra poised to strike. Until the Base Commander ordered it off the air base, a fully grown cobra mascot and its basket were kept for a time in the flight commander's office, and fed by volunteer pilots.


F-6 Joins the PAF - 20 Dec , 1965

The first two F-6s (Mig-19s made in China) arrived at Sargodha Air Base. The pilots flew over the Karakorams directly from the Chinese airfield at Hotian. The F-6 carried VHF radios, Soviet style instruments and many pieces of equipment that were strange to the PAF pilots and technical hands. The Pakistani markings were not yet painted and the pilots wore leather helmets and throat mikes. Many officers and men of Sargodha gathered near the runway to watch the landings.


Unarmed Combatant - Sep, 1965

The operational inventory of the PAF at the start of '65 War included five Lockheed RT-33A tactical-reconnaissance aircraft of No. 20 Squadron based at Sargodha. These slow and obsolescent aircraft completed no fewer than 60 hazardous target reconnaissance mission across the border, in which most of the times they were un-escorted.