Gallant Christians of PAF

Discussion in 'Military History & Strategy' started by x_man, Jun 15, 2008.

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  1. x_man
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    x_man PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT

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    In continuation with a similar ongoing discussion in another thread, I thought it would be appropriate to start another one that exclusively deals with the role of Christian officers in PAF….I will present here a brief look at the citations of these officers who were awarded with Sitara-e-Jurat (SJ is the 3rd highest Military medal of Pakistan) …Many of you might not know that out of a total of 70 Sitara-e-Jurats (SJ) awarded to PAF officers in both the Wars, six were won by Christian officers. Amazing effort…isn’t it???…..and yet it proves the point again….national pride and identity overtakes the religious affiliation….in our case , one doesn’t have to be Muslim to show his affiliation with Pakistan….In Quaid’s own words…

    We are starting with the fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one state. No matter what is his colour, caste or creed is first, second and last a citizen of this state with equal rights, privileges and obligations....
    Pakistan will provide its minorities an ample field for the outlet of their genius and they should come forward and play their role as true citizens in making Pakistan one of the greatest nations....’



    I will paste the citations below that are also available in various airforce history books and additionally I will also add few comments at the end about my personal interaction with few of the Christian officers, presently serving in PAF…..

    So here we go…..


    Group Captain Eric Gordon Hall [​IMG]

    Group Captain Eric Gordon Hall in his capacity as Station Commander, Chaklala, played a very vital role during the war with India. All operations were conducted very successfully under exemplary guidance and inspiring leadership of Group Captain Eric Gordon Hall. No task was too hazardous for him. To set an example, he personally flew and led several operational missions that kept the morale of his officers and men at an exceptionally high level. For his courage and example beyond the call of duty, Group Captain Eric Gordan Hall was awarded Sitara-i-Juraat.


    Wing Commander Nazir Latif [​IMG]

    During the nights of 6th, 7th and 8th September, 1965, Wing Commander Nazir Latif led a flight of bombers on high and low level bombing of enemy airfields. Against intense enemy anti-aircraft fire and fighter opposition, he pressed home his attacks with great determination, courage and a high degree of accuracy. On two occasions, his aircraft was hit by anti aircraft guns but he flew back his aircraft and led the flights back to the base. For exceptional flying skill and valour displayed by him in the bombing operations against the enemy, the officer was awarded Sitara-i-Juraat.


    Flight Lieutenant Cecil Chaudhry [​IMG]
    Sitara-i-Juraat
    On 6th September, 1965, Flight Lieutenant Cecil Chaudhry was No. 2 in a fligth of 3 F-86 aircraft led by Squadron Leader Rafiqui. Their target was Halwara airfield of the Indian Air Force. This formation of 3 F-86s was intercepted by 10 Hunter aircraft of the Indian Air Force. During the engagement, the leader's guns stopped firing and he handed over the lead to Flight Lieutenant Cecil Chaudhry, who very ably and aggressively continued the fight against heavy odds. About 60 miles inside enemy territory, he destroyed two enemy Hunter aircraft with his gun attack. His courage and professional ability in such adverse circumstances was outstanding and he successfully managed to return to base after having lost contact with other members of the formation. On 15th September, 1965, in spite of insufficient information from Ground Radar, Flight Lieutenant Cecil Chaudhry pursued his attack aggressively on enemy bombers and chased them 150 miles from his base. During the engagement, he destroyed one enemy Canberra bomber.The services rendered by him were beyond the call of normal duty and contributed a significant share towards Pakistan Air Force achieving air superiority. For these acts of courage, dedication and professional ability, Flight Lieutenant Cecil Chaudhry was awarded Sitara-i-Juraat.



    Wing Commander Mervyn L Middlecoat [​IMG]
    (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.





    Sqn Ldr Peter Christy [​IMG]
    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.



    Flight Lieutenant William D Harney williamdharneygaw.jpg

    Flight Lieutenant William D. Harney's performance and professional ability during the current operations has been of the highest order. The officer has, in spite of a hand injury, voluntarily undertaken all available bombing missions and especially the most hazardous ones to Ambala, Pathankot, Adampur, Halwara and Jodhpur. In all the missions he has excelled in qualities of leadership, courage and devotion to duty. His mission planning and execution of the missions has been of the highest order in spite of very heavy odds. He has always reached his targets and made very significant contribution to accurate attacks. The officer has during the Indo-Pakistan War completed a total of 14 operational missions and every one of them has been of significant importance to the overall superiority of the Pakistan Air Force. For his courage dedication to duty, Flight Lieutenant William D. Harney is awarded Sitara-i-Juraat.


    I happened to meet Mrs Peter Christy at Masroor (Karachi) in late 90s, BTW airforce let her stay at the base since her husband is declared ‘missing in action in 1971.Her love for this country is beyond any doubt…and she is damn proud of her husbands sacrifice …Her motivation and courage gave me the goose bumps and despite that she is such a soft spoken and feeble lady, one dares not say anything bad about Pakistan on her face….

    Few other officers I served with were Flight Lieutenant Edwin, he crashed at Samungli in F-6 while flying a 1 V1 mission…his aircraft flicked and went into spin, Edwin couldn’t eject in time and was fatally injured…..although a bit junior but we used to be in dramatics club in Academy together and he was one of the funniest guy I ever met…full of life, a very proud Pakistani and gave his life for his country ….

    Flight Lieutenant Martin…another fine gentleman….unluckily he had a bird hit in F-7 and had to eject….his backbone was seriously damaged during ejection , couldn’t walk for months and unfortunately couldn’t fly again due to his medical condition…..

    Besides these, there are lot more Christian officers who are serving in various PAFs flying squadrons ( even on F-16s) and there are many more who are in ground branches….They all are true professionals and proud Pakistanis…..

    So once again for the individuals who think that only religion is the motivational force or one has to be Muslim to sacrifice his life to prove the love for his country…just wait until you meet these guys...

    The faces, names and the faith of the men in blues
    shall be ever-changing,
    With each generation that will prevail in its time,
    and then pass on into history.
    But the courage and the honour
    of the Pakistan Air Force
    shall endure forever,
    for they are its very heart and soul.
    :cheers:
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  2. AgNoStiC MuSliM
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    AgNoStiC MuSliM PDF Veteran

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    Wonderful post X-Man.

    Thank you for taking the initiative.

    And thank you to all the men and women, regardless of faith and ethnicity, who have served and sacrificed for Pakistan.
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  3. cactuslily58
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    cactuslily58 BANNED

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    Thank you indeed for the information shared.

    Just goes to prove the point reiterated in other threads that loyalty to the nation goes above & beyond religious considerations.

    Are there similar examples in the Pakistan Army too ?

    Just for the record, CQMH Abdul Hamid was awarded the PVC posthumously in '71.
  4. Pakistanisage
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    Pakistanisage PROFESSIONAL

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    Having born in Pakistan Air Force myself, I had met all of these gentlemen personally and they were / are indeed a great lot.
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  5. 53fd
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    That is wonderful. May God bless all people in the Pakistan Armed Forces regardless of religion, fighting for this nation.
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  6. Windjammer
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    Windjammer ELITE MEMBER

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    [​IMG]


    Air Marshall (Equivalent to General in Army)Władysław Józef Marian Turowicz, (April 23, 1908 – November 8, 1980) SP (MI), SK (MI), TP (MI), SQA [MI], SI [MI], usually referred to as Air Cdre. W. J. M. Turowicz, was a prominent and noted Polish-Pakistani military scientist and an aeronautical engineer. He is considered as one of the chief architects of the Pakistan Air Force and Pakistan's space program. Turowicz, an eminent rocket scientist and an aeronautical engineer, was the leading and central figure in Pakistan's drive to develop high-tech rocket and missile technology of its own.As Turowicz was the administrator of Pakistan's Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) from 1967 to 1970, and towards the end of his career, he was appointed to the post of Air Marshal of the Pakistan Air Force. He was one of thirty high ranking Polish pilots who served in Pakistan Air Force during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, and is considered one of the pioneers of Pakistan's space program, playing a central role in Pakistan's aviation and aerospace industry.
    Notable awards Sitara-e-Pakistan [MI] (1965)
    Tamgha-i-Pakistan [MI] (1967)
    Sitara-i-Khidmat [MI] (1967)
    Sitara-e-Quaid-e-Azam [MI] (1971)
    Sitara-i-Imtiaz (1972) [MI]
    Abdus Salam Award in Aeronautical Engineering (1978)
    ICTP Award in Space Physics (1979)
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  7. 53fd
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    53fd MEMBER

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    [​IMG]

    Wing Commander Ronald, 26 Squadron

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  8. DESERT FIGHTER
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    DESERT FIGHTER ELITE MEMBER

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    Bro no offence but this thread is about war heroes not regular..PAF pilots.
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  9. Areesh
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    Areesh ELITE MEMBER

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    Another brilliant and well decorated officer not mentioned on this thread. From Wiki:

    Michael John O'Brian - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    My salute to him for his tremendous services for Pakistan.
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