Saturday, January 22, 2022

Air Forces

Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un

PAF Ace and later BAF Hero Gp Cap (R) Saif ul Azam passed away today in Dhaka. He has the unique distinction of having kills against airforces of two different countries and serving in four different air forces. As a young flying officer during the 65 Conflict, Saiful Azam managed to shoot down an IAF Gnat on Sept 18th, a rarity as such the Gnat was seldom lost in Aircombat. His victim Fg Off V Mayadev ejected to become a POW. Azam participated two years later in the Arab Israeli conflict of June 1967. deputed to the Royal Jordanian Air Force, flying Hunters, the RJAF Hunters were flown out to the Iraqi Airbase of H-3 in an attempt to put them out of range of Israeli Air Force. It was here he accomplished a unique feat, flying in a Hawker Hunter as a No.2 His formation intercepted an Israeli formation of Four Vautours and Two Mirage IIIs. One of the Mirage IIIs was flown by Capt. Gideon Dror. Dror shot down Azam's Wingman, but himself fell to Azam's Guns. Dror ejected to be taken POW. Moments later, Azam intercepted the formation of four Vantour Bombers and bought down one of them flown by Capt Golan, who ejected. . Azam had earlier bought down a Super Mystere the previous day over Jordan. Azam , being a Bengali did not fly in the 71 conflict. In the final reckoning Azam ties up with Alam in terms of kills, but his tally has a range of kills including the enviable credit of a Mach 2 Mirage III Fighter. Azam later entered service with the newly-formed Bangladesh Air Force after the independence of Bangladesh, serving as Director of Flight Safety and Director of Operations before being given command of the Dhaka Air Base. He retired in 1979 as Group Captain.