War 1971

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War 1971

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'


No.19 Squadrons over Karachi Coast - Nov, 1971

Three F-86Es returning to their home base at Masroor after a training flight.


Joint Services Operation - Dec, 1971

In a Joint Operation, Navy carried troops, PAF provided air support, enabling Pak Army to recapture the only leftover & largest reserves of food grain from Indian insurgents.


Battle of Tejgaon - 4th Dec 1971 Dacca

Soon after scramble, Fying Officers Shams Shamshad encountered 4 ships of SU-7s, Hunters, MiG-21s one after the other. They publically shot 1 SU-7 & 3 Hunters


Last Encounter - 4th Dec, 1971

In the last air battle in East Pakistan,Squadron Leader Dilawar Hussain of No 14 Sqaudron destraoyed an IAF Hunter over Dacca.


Photo Strike over Pathankot - 4th Dec, 197

The well camouflaged Pathan Kot airfield was heavily bombarded by Mirages during the day & B-57s at night. Mirages also conducted reconnaissance for damage assessment.



Low Level Combat - 4 Dec, 1971

Flight Lieutenant Salim Beg Mirza of No. 26 Squadrons destroys an IAF Hunter near Pimple Hill, west of the Peshawar runway. The Indian pilot did not survive.


F-6 Vs Su-7 - 4th Dec, 1971 Faisalabad

In an encounter over the railway line near Faisalabad, Flight Lieutenant Javed Latif from No 23 Squadron shot down an IAF SU-7.


Sunset Encounter - 4th Dec, 1971 Mianwali

After take off from Mianwali, Flight Lieutenant Javed Qazi gunned down an IAF Hunter at dusk over lake Khabakki. The Hunter pilot ejected & was taken POW.


A Daring Air Rescue - 4 Dec, 1971

Flight Lieutenant Sajjaad Noor being rescued after ejecting from his disabled F-86 during the last dog-fight of No. 14 Squadrons over Dhaka. Noor had parachuted down across river Buri Ganga, close to an Indian Army unit that was advancing toward Dhaka. An Alouette helicopter was immediately airborne and the downed pilot was picked up in a daring rescue - in which PAF ground combatteres fire with the enemy troops that were trying to capture Noor.

Helicopter Pilots:
Squadrons Leader Sultan Khan
Flight Lieutenant Hamid Masood
On Board Guards:
Airmen of the GC Wing, Dhaka


Attack on Okha - 5th Dec, 1971

A single PAF B-57 attacked Okha causing extensive damage by scoring direct hit on fuel dumps, ammunition dump and the missile boat jetty.


Night Bomber, Daylight Raid - 7 December 1971

The painting shows the two-seat B-57C bomber trainer (No. 846) of No. 7 Squadrons on a daylight raid against the Indian Army units massing up along the Khokrapar-Chore railway line leading into Hyderabad. Affectionately nicknamed "Baba", the B-57 followed its bombing attacks by several strafing runs on the freight wagons lined up below. "Baba" and its two F-86 escorts from No.19 Squadrons (top left) stayed over the target for over 30 minutes. A series of such missions from Masroor Air Force Base forced the enemy to abandon its planned offensive.

B-57 Aircrew:
Flight Lieutenant Shabir A.Khan (Pilot)
Squadron Leader Shoaib Alam Khan (Navigator)
F-86 Escorts:
Flight Lieutenant Mustaq A.Laghari (Leader)
Flight Lieutenant Khalid Mehmood Khalid (No. 2)


Su-7 Down over Shakagarh - 7 Dec, 1971

As a fierce ground battle raged in the Shakargarh salient below, 4 F-6s from Sargodha challenged 5+ intruding SU-7s of the IAF. Soon, one of the SU-7s began to disintegrate under a burst of 30 mm shells from the F-6 formation leader, Flight Lieutenant Atique Sufi. In the melee that followed, Flight Lieutenant Mushaf Mir sent one more SU-7 down. The remaining SU-7s quickly retreated as they were pursued by the two F-6s pilots, Flying Officers Salim Arshad and Riaz Sarwar.


Mirage Strike PathanKot - 10th Dec, 1971

A part from the damaged inflicted in the technical area by the bombing runs of the formation, Squadron Leader Akhtar also destroyed two Hunters on ground with guns.


Starfighters Ravage Utterlai - 11th Dec, 1971

Two F-104s flown by Wing Commander Arif Iqbal & Squadron Leader Amanullah conducted a surprise attack & destroyed two HF-24s on ground with guns.


Desert Strikes in the South - 13 Dec, 1971

Preparing to launch a piercing attack towards Hyderabad, the Indian Army was stopped in its tracks astride the Khokrapar-Chore railway line. The air campaign involved several missions and a mix of combat aircraft from Masroor Air Base. The painting shows one of these missions that employed 5 F-86s and 4 T-33s. It was led by Group Captain Wiqar Azim seen here in the F-86. At some distance are the T-33 that were led by Wing Commander Asghar Randhawa. The loan escort was flown by Flight Lieutenant Kamran Qureshi.


F-86F Downs Gnat - 14 Dec, 1971

The Pilot of the Gnat going down in flames, Flying Officer Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon, was posthumously given the param Vir Chakra, India's highest gallantry award. Nirmaljit had taken off behind his group from Srinagar (in the background) to intercept the approaching air strike of four F-86s with two escorts. Before being shot down with a gun burst by Flight Lieutenant Salim Beg Mirza (leader of the escorts F-86 pair), Nirmaljit was claimed by the IAF to have scored hits on two of the six F-86s but infect all of them had returned to Peshawar without a scratch. The painting shows Salim and his wingman in the foreground. Two of the four strike F-86s can be seen at a distance, attacking their targets at the Srinagar air base, through the bursting ack ack shells.

Strike Element:
Wing Commander S.A.Changezi
Flying officer H.K.Dhotani
Flying officer Amjad Endrabi
Flying officer Maroof Mir
Flight Lieutenant Salim Beg Mirza
Flying officer Rahim Yousefzai


F-6 Strikes Armour - 14th Dec, 1971

During a major assault in the Shakargarh area, F-6s from No 23 Squadron inflicted heavy losses on the enemy armour providing valuable support to own troops.


Desert Encounter - 15th Dec, 1971

An F-86 of No 19 Squadron, piloted by Flight Lieutenant Farooq Qari shot down an IAF Hunter in the Thar desert.


F-86 Kills Mig-21 - 17th December 1971

The last aerial encounter of 1971 War turned out to be a dog-fight between a supersonic Mig-21 and the relatively slow and much older F-86 Sabre. The F-86 flown by Flight Lieutenant Maqsood Amir emerged as the victor and the Indian Mig-21 pilot Flight Lieutenant Tejwant Singh who ejected after being hit, was taken prisoner. Squadron Leader Rab Nawaz was the Radar Controller for this interception.


Mirages Disable Mukerian Railyard - Dec, 1971

One of the most successful strikes during the 1971 War, was at Mukerian Railyard south of Pathankot, The mission was led by Wing Commander Hakimullah with Flight Lieutenants Najeeb Akhtar, Hameed Malik and Hasnat as his team members, where a number of trains laden with ammunition and fuel were destroyed.



Mig-19 OutFights Mig-21 - 14 December 1971

A flight of F-6s (Chinese built Mig-19s) from No.11 Squadron was on a search and destroy mission over the Shakargarh salient when Flight Lieutenant Aamer Ali Sharieff spotted four maneuvering Mig-21s, much superior in performance to Aamer's F-6. Quickly sliding into the blind zone of the trailing Mig-21, Aamer launched his Sidewinder. The Mig-21 burst into flames and crashed.


F-5 Fighter arrive in Pakistan - Dec, 1971

During the 1971 War, different types of fighters from some friendly countries were temporarily transferred to the PAF. Of these groups, a formation of three F-5As with PAF markings are shown here entering the Pakistani territory.

The pilots who ferried the F-5s:
Squadron Leader - Tahir Kheli
Squadron Leader - Zaigham Aizad
Flight Lieutenant - Bilal Khan


Air Borne Assault

A highly versatile and capable cargo aeroplane, PAF's C-130s have carried out many crucially needed tactical airlift, supply drop and para-trooping missions in support of Pak Army during both the 1965 and 1971 wars. In peace time they have been used extensively for disaster relief and other humanitarian missions. The painting depicts a commando assault in the midst of a battle field during the 1971 war in East Pakistan.


Cluster Bombing by Mirage

The French Mirages are high-speed, all weather delta wing, long range fighter-bombers which can also be employed in the interceptor role. The Mirages entered service with the PAF in 1968. In the 1971 War, these aircraft were effectively used for day and night air defence as well as offensive roles. The Mirage has a maximum speed of Mach 2.2 and a service ceiling of 54,000 feet. The painting shows PAF Mirages releasing cluster bombs during a low level attack.


Mirages in Zoom Attack

"Zoom Attack" is carried out with the assistance of a radar controller to achieve surprise over the enemy. Precise positioning demands close pilot-controller co-ordination. The weapon used in this type of attack is the Matra-530 air-to-air guided missile.