The Legend of PAF’s ACE Saiful Azam: “The Living Eagle”

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The Legend of PAF’s ACE Saiful Azam: “The Living Eagle”
The Legend of PAF’s ACE Saiful Azam: “The Living Eagle”

Saiful Azam was born in a village of Pabna district, East Pakistan (Present day: Bangladesh). He went to West Pakistan for studies.

Career with Pakistan Air Force

Saif Ul Azam joined PAF school Sargodha in 1958. He completed his initial training on Harvard aircraft. He was graduated from PAF Academy Risalpul in 1960. Upon his graduation, He got commission in Pakistan Air Force. Then, he got training on T-37 jets.

After training on T-37, he went to United States for advance fighter training course on F-86 Sabre. later, he also managed to shoot down one Indian jet while flying F-86 Sabre. During his stay at Luke AFB, Arizona he flew T-33 and F-86s. While stay with USAF, he also got the title of “Top Gun” from United States Air Force. Then he returned to his motherland and posted at No 14 Squadron. After his two years stay at 14 Squadron, he was posted to another F-86 flying Sqn “19 Squadron”.

During 1965 Indo-Pak war, he was posted in 17 Squadron flying F-86 Sabre. On 19th Sept 1965, while flying in a four-ship formation, he managed to shoot down an Indian Gnat.

Royal Jordanian Air Force

In 1966, he went to Jordan on a deputation with Royal Jordanian Air Force. There he flew Hawker Hunter with No 1 Squadron of Royal Jordanian Air Force. In 1967, he participated in Arab-Israel war, which earned him international Fame from all over the world. While flying with Jordanian Air Force, On 5th July, in a dog fight with Israeli Jets, he shot down an Israeli Mystere with his 30 mm cannon gun. Then he damaged another Israeli Mystere with guns of his aircraft.

Iraqi Air Force

After the complete destruction of Royal Jordanian Air Force, services of RJAF pilots were offered to Iraqi air force. After reaching Iraq, he briefed his formation for next mission. He was leading his four-ship formation. Following pilots were present in the formation.

  • Lt Ihsan Shurdom (RJAF).
  • Lt Samir Saleem.
  • 2nd Lt Mohammad (Iraqi Air Force).

Israeli Formation

IAF strike formation consisted of six (6) aircrafts.

  • 4xAutour (No 110 Sqn).
  • Lead: Deputy Sqn Cdr Maj Shlomo Keren along with Capt Alexander Meltzer in a twin-seater.
  • Col Yehexkel Someh (Base Commander, Remet Air Base).
  • Capt Yatzhak Golan.
  • Lt Avshalom Friendman.

Mirage Escort Formation

  • Total jets: 2 (117 Sqn) (both carrying two bombs).
  • Maj Ezra Dotan.
  • Capt Gideon Dror.

In this dogfight, Saif Ul Azam had a credit of shooting down two Israeli jets.

  • Mirage (Capt Gideon Dror).
  • Vautour (Capt Yatzhak Golan).

 Awards

  • Sitara-e-Jurat (Pakistan).
  • Wisam al-Istiqlal (Jordan).
  • Nawt as-Shaja’ah (Iraq).

Bangladesh Air Force

After the independence of Bangladesh, he joined Bangladesh Air Force in 1974. There he served as base commander at Dhaka Air Base, Director of Flight Safety and Director Operation of BAF.

He died on 14 June 2020 at the Combined Military Hospital, Dhaka.

Second to None

  • He served with four different air forces.
  • He shot down 4 jets from 2 different enemies.
  • He received 3 gallantry awards from 3 different countries.

#Bravo

#TeamPakistanStrategicForum

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