COVER STORY - AIR FORCE SPECIAL

CITATION OF PAF SHAHEEDS

Wing Commander
Mervyn L Middlecoat
(Sitara-i-Jurat and Sitara-i-Basalat)

On the outbreak of war on 3rd December 71, Wing Commander Mervyn L Middlecoat was on a training visit abroad. He returned to Pakistan immediately and joined operations with such keen interest that he inspired all squadron pilots. The day after his arrival he was detailed on a strike mission to the heavily defended jamnagar airfield. While returning after the successful mission he was engaged by 2 enemy Mig-21s. In the encounter his aircraft was hit by an enemy missile. He was heard to be ejecting in Indian territory and was officially declared missing in action. For his devotion to duty, determination and courage he was awarded a Bar to the Sitara-i-Jurat and Sitara-i-Basalat.

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Wing Commander
Syed Muhammad Ahmad
(Sitara-i-Jurat and Sitara-i-Basalat)

On 4th December, 1971 one of our combat air patrols over Dhaka was engaged by an enemy formation. With the arrival of more enemy aircraft the patrol was heavily out-numbered and the leader gave a call for help. Wing Commander Ahmad was immediately airborne and his timely intervention enabled the patrol to return safely to base. In the encounter Wing Commander Ahmad’s aircraft was hit by an enemy aircraft and he was heard to be ejecting in territory occupied by rebels. He was officially declared missing in action. For his personal example, courage and devotion to duty, he has been awarded the Sitara-i-Jurat and Sitara-i-Basalat.

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Sqn Ldr Khusro
(Sitara-i-Jurat)

Squadron Leader Khusro had retired from the PAF but was recalled for the war. In spite of many personal problems, he showed great keenness, courage, determination and fighting spirit. On 6th December, 1971, he volunteered for a bombing mission to Jamnagar airfield regardless of the consequences. He failed to return from the mission and was officially declared missing in action. His fighting spirit, determination and devotion were examples to all aircrew of the unit. For his outstanding courage and devotion to duty Squadron Leader Khusro has been awarded the Sitara-i-Jurat.

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Sqn Ldr Muhammad Nasir Dar
(Sitara-i-Basalat)

Squadron Leader Muhammad Nasir Dar, a signals officer, achieved Shahadat as a result of a direct bomb hit on his place of work during war. He continued to work in spite of the heavy air raid and declined to take shelter. For his devotion to his work above and beyond the call of duty, he has been awarded the Sitara-i-Basalat.

Sqn Ldr Ishfaq Hameed Qureshi
(Sitara-i-Jurat)

Squadron Leader Ishfaq Hameed Qureshi was recalled from PIA for operational flying, with a B-57 Squadron. From the onset of hostilities he displayed distinct qualities of patriotism and aggressiveness to achieve positive results. This was a source of inspiration to other aircrew. Unfortunately, he was unable to return from his second mission of the war on 5th December, 1971. Ishfaq displayed exceptional determination and tenacity under very adverse conditions that existed at his base from 4th morning of December till the night he went for his last mission. For his dedication, courage and display of excellent fighting spirit he has been awarded the Sitara-i-Jurat.

Sqn Ldr
Muhammad Aslam Choudhry
(Sitara-i-Jurat)

Squadron Leader Muhammad Aslam Choudhry flew a total of fifteen missions since the outbreak of war. As he had spent most of his service in training establishments, he had to start with a disadvantage in a fighter squadron. But he was a keen pilot and managed to polish up his fighter flying in a comparatively short time. He was always keen to fly operational missions. On 10th December, 1971, while leading a section of 2 F-86s in Chhamb Sector on a close air support mission, his flight was engaged by 6 Hunters. Being heavily out-numbered, he was presumed to have been shot down by one of the enemy. He was officially declared missing in action. For his valour, courage, determination and devotion to duty he has been awarded the Sitara-i-Jurat.

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Sqn Ldr Peter Christy

Squadron Leader Peter Christy was on deputation to PIAC when recalled for war duties. He showed great keenness to fly, and in spite of overwhelming family responsibilities, he was ever willing to take on any mission at any odd hour of the day or night. He was completely devoted to the task in hand. His sense of humour under war conditions, his dedication to the cause of the country and his personal courage contributed immensely to the Squadron’s morale. On 6th December, 1971, he was detailed as navigator for a bombing mission to Jamnagar. He failed to return from the mission and was officially declared missing in action. For his personal example and complete devotion to duty, he has been awarded the Sitara-i-Jurat.

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Flt Lt Javed Iqbal
(Tamgha-e-Jurat)

Flight Lieutenant Javed Iqbal flew two missions against heavily defended Indian airfields. He displayed great courage, enthusiasm and determination. Although he was the junior-most pilot in the squadron, he volunteered for these missions in complete disregard of personal safety. His devotion and dedication was source of pride for all aircrew of his unit. On 5th December, 1971, he was detailed on a bombing mission to Amritsar airfield. He failed to return from the mission and was officially declared missing in action. For his outstanding courage, determination and devotion to duty he has been awarded the Tamgha-e-Jurat.

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