COVER STORY - AIR FORCE SPECIAL

CITATION OF PAF SHAHEEDS

Flt Lt Fazal Elahi
(Sitara-i-Jurat)

Flight Lieutenant Fazal Elahi was a young and energetic pilot. He flew the first two missions to Srinagar airfield and subsequent close air support missions every day till 7th December, 1971. On 8th December his aircraft was hit by ground fire in Chhamb-Jurian Sector; the ground fire presumably hit a bomb fuse, causing the aircraft to explode. Fazal always volunteered to fly irrespective of the danger of the mission. He displayed exemplary courage and determination at his young age in spite of limited experience. He has been awarded the Sitara-i-Jurat.

fazal

Flt Lt Samad Ali Changazi
(Sitara-i-Jurat)

Flight Lieutenant Samad Ali Changazi flew eleven missions on F-104s during the war. Despite his limited experience he was very keen and aggressive. He was responsible for the destruction of an enemy radar station and damage to one of their aircraft. In the last mission, disregarding the danger to his life, he pursued his attack on an enemy aircraft till he was shot down by an enemy missile. For his act of valour and for sacrificing his life for the cause of the country, he has been awarded the Sitara-i-Jurat.

samad

Flt Lt Syed Safi Mustafa
(Sitara-i-Jurat)

Flight Lieutenant Syed Safi Mustafa was Flight Commander No 246 Squadron PAF . Towards the end of February ‘71 orders were issued for MOUs to regroup and take shelter with the nearest army garrison due to the insecure conditions created by civil agitation. Flight Lieutenant Mustafa along with 37 airmen thereupon took refuge with the East Pakistan Rifles’ Headquarters at Mymensingh. Throughout the period of civil strife and agitation he continued to look after his men with great courage and dedication. On 16th March he came to Dhaka for a day where he was advised by friends and relatives not to go back to his unit because of the prevailing danger to non-locals. He was, however, determined to return to his post and was last in contact with the Base on 27th March. The evidence available indicates that in all probability he was executed by the rebels on 17th April, 1971. For his gallantry and dedication Flight Lieutenant Syed Safi Mustafa is posthumously awarded the Sitara-i-Jurat.

safi

Flt Lt Saeed Afzal Khan
(Sitara-i-Jurat)

On 4th December, 1971, Flight Lieutenant Saeed Afzal khan was flying as No 2 in a formation of 2 F-86 aircraft when he engaged 4 Indian Hunters and immediately shot one down. Meanwhile another formation of 4 Hunters joined the aerial battle. In the subsequent combat, although facing great odds, he was not deterred from attacking them. He put up a gallant fight with complete disregard to his own safety. Due to his determination and flying skill he prevented every one of them from attacking their target i.e. Dhaka airfield. While being heavily outnumbered by superior performance aircraft he continued the fight but was later shot down by a Hunter. He bailed out safely but was captured by the rebels and has been missing since then. For his courage, determination and devotion to duty he has been awarded the Sitara-i-Jurat.

afzal

Flt Lt Zulfiqar Ahmad
(Sitara-i-Jurat)

Flight Lieutenant Zulfiqar Ahmad was employed as a navigator on a B-57 aircraft. Although he could not return from his very second mission of the war, he displayed outstanding qualities of courage and keenness to undertake the most arduous missions from the very onset of operations. This was a source of inspiration to others since he was one of the youngest crew members in the bomber organization. On the 1st day of the operations, when only experienced and mature aircrew were being selected for the first strikes, Zulfiqar insisted on being included. He was eventually detailed for a mission to Jodhpur which was very successful. For his determination, courage and tenacity he has been awarded the Sitara-i-Jurat.

zulfiqar

Flt Lt Syed Shahid Raza
(Tamgha-e-Jurat)

Flight Lieutenant Syed Shahid Raza flew a total of eleven operational missions during the war. Throughout this period, the officer displayed an extremely high standard of professional skill, aggressiveness and determination. On 5th December ‘71, during an aerial engagement Flight Lieutenant Raza was credited with one enemy Hunter aircraft shot down. On the evening of 17th December, while off duty, he requested to be detailed for a close support mission. His aircraft was hit by enemy ground fire during that mission, and he was heard to be ejecting in enemy territory. He was officially declared missing in action. For his courage, determination and devotion to duty he has been awarded the Tamgha-e-Jurat.

shahid

Flt Lt Ghulam Murtaza Malik
(Tamgha-e-Jurat)

Flight Lieutenant Ghulam Murtaza Malik was an able and experienced navigator. He was a very active member of the squadron and always showed great enthusiasm and determination. He flew two missions against the most heavily defended Indian airfields and showed great bravery and courage in the execution of these missions in complete disregard of personal safety. On 5th December, 1971, he was detailed as navigator on a bombing mission to Amritsar airfield. He failed to return from the mission, and was officially declared missing in action. For his courage, determination and devotion to duty he has been awarded the Tamgha-i-Jurat.

murtaza

Flt Lt Afzal Jamal Siddiqui
(Sitara-i-Basalat)

Flight Lieutenant Afzal Jamal Siddiqui displayed outstanding keenness, enthusiasm and aggressiveness during the 1971 war right till the time he was shot down and killed by our own ground fire, while chasing an enemy SU-7 aircraft on 8th December, 1971. By then he had flown six operational missions. His cheerful, bold and selfless attitude contributed largely to the high morale of his fellow pilots and inspired them to fight the enemy with greater tenacity. For his spirited and aggressive approach towards operational commitments, his sustained display of courage and enthusiasm in the air and on the ground, he has been awarded the Sitara-i-Basalat.

jamal

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