Legendary Falcons of the PAF

PAF s’ Shaheed Legends of War 1965

Squadron Leader Alauddin Ahmed, Sitara-i-Jurrat

Squadron Leader Alauddin Ahmed, led his squadron in twenty combat missions against the Indian ground and air forces. His leadership throughout the operations was cool, courageous and most determined which inspired the greatest confidence amongst pilots of his formations and resulted in destruction of many Indian tanks and vehicles.

In his last sortie, he attacked and blew up an important ammunition train at Gurdaspur rail-head in complete disregard to his personal safety. During this attack on September 13, his aircraft was damaged and was reported missing over enemy territory.

Subsequently, it was confirmed that the officer died in this action. For his exemplary leadership, courage and valour, Squadron Leader Alauddin Ahmed was awarded Sitara-i-Juraat.


Little Dragon-Muhammad Mahmood Alam


Squadron Leader Muhammad Mahmud Alam emerged from 1965 War as Pakistan’s top scoring fighter ace. Squadron Leader Muhammad Mahmud Alam, Commander of No 11 Squadron in 1965, was already a notable leader and highly experienced pilot. M.M Alam is considered a national hero for his service in the war of 1965 when he was posted at Sargodha. During this war he was involved in various dogfights while flying his F-86 Sabre fighter. He downed five Indian aircraft in less than a minute, the last four within 30 seconds, establishing a world record, with total of nine aircraft downed in the war.


Squadron Leader Muhammad Iqbal

Squadron Leader Muhammad Iqbal flew many operational missions which played a vital part in the success of the Pakistan Air Force during the India-Pakistan war. He carried out these missions with determination, enthusiasm, outstanding ability and at great personal risk.

His performance, throughout, was exemplary and highly inspiring for the personnel under his command. For his outstanding leadership, valour, loyalty and invaluable services to the Pakistan Air Force and the country, he was awarded Sitara-i-Juraat.


Squadron Leader Munir Ahmed, Sitara-i-Jurrat

During the war a high-powered heavily defended radar station near Amritsar was attacked repeatedly by PAF fighters. In all these missions, Squadron Leader Munir unhesitantly volunteered to fly without regard for his personal safety, exposed himself to intense ack ack fire for long periods in attempts to locate and destroy the target.

In the final successful attack on September 11, he made the supreme sacrifice when his aircraft was hit. Before his last sortie, Munir flew eight combat missions and shot down an IAF Gnat on September 10.

For displaying courage and determination in the face of heavy odds and beyond the call of duty, Squadron Leader Munir-ud-Din Ahmed was awarded Sitara-i-Juraat.


Squadron Leader Sarfraz Ahmed Rafiqui, Hilal-i-Jurrat

On 6th September, 1965, Squadron Leader Sarfaraz Ahmed Rafiqui led a formation of three F-86 aircraft on a strike against Halwara airfield. Soon after crossing the Indian border Squadron Leader Rafiqui had been warned about a large number of enemy interceptors being in the air by the leader of a returning F-86 formation. He, however, continued his mission single-mindedly. On the way back, the formation was intercepted by about ten Hunter aircraft out of which Squadron Leader Rafiqui accounted for one in the first few seconds.

After Squadron Leader Rafiqui shot down one Hunter aircraft, his guns jammed due to a defect and stopped firing upon which he refused to leave the battle area as he would have been perfectly justified to do; he, instead ordered his No. 2 to take over as leader and continue the engagement with the enemy. He himself now took up a defensive position in the formation in an attempt to give it as much protection as was possible by continuing fighting maneuvers in unarmed aircraft whilst the remainder proceeded to give battle to the enemy.

This called for a quality of courage and dedication on the part of Squadron Leader Rafiqui equal to the best in the history of air-fighting. The end for him was never in doubt. He chose to disregard it and in the process, his aircraft was shot down and he was killed but not without his action enabling his formation to shoot down three more Hunter aircraft.

Squadron Leader Rafiqui thus provided exemplary leadership in battle and displayed outstanding courage in the face of exceptionally strong opposition.