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Images - Pakistan Air Force in the Mirror of History.


Jul 28, 2010
A site was agreed at Karachi (now part of Pakistan since the partition of the country in 1947) in . This was agreed to be the one of the main "terminals" or junctions as part of the Imperial Airship Communications scheme in 1926.

A site was located outside Karachi in 19525, as a preference to Mumbai (Bombay) due to the advantageous weather and thunderstorms were less frequent in the area. The Karachi site was situated some 13 miles east outside of the town, and was almost at sea level. This would have given the airships an advantage with being able to maximise their lifting capacity, despite the heat differential.

The land was purchased and surveying commenced on the land as to where best to place the buildings. Construction began in 1926 and an airship mast, hydrogen plant and hanger. The Mast followed the same basic designs as the Cardington mast, with the same height and construction method. The only exception was that the base of the mast contained buildings followed along the baseline in an octagonal shape. The airship base also contained a hydrogen plant in order that the ships can be repassed at the mast.

The gasometers contained enough gas to refill the R101, at a capacity of 5.5 million cft of gas. The Karachi airship shed was erected which was larger than the original Cardington sheds and of a simpler design. This was decreed that the slanting side areas were not needed as it was not to be a constructional shed, and the sides of the hangers at Cardington contained a lot of the offices and storage space during construction of a ship. The shed also differed from other previous designs of sheds, in that the shed only had doors at one end, with a differing door frame design. Once completed, the Karachi shed was the largest building in the British Empire at that time.

The shed was also designed with the future in mind as it was 850ft long , 170ft high and 180ft wide. This would have fitted the new R102 class ship which was designed to be some 822ft long. Construction of the facility cost some � 93,000 in 1928 ( �5,500,000 - 2017 value).

As there were no major iron or steel works in India at the time, the materials and components were fabricated at the Geriston Steel Works, Glasgow, with the Armstrong Construction Company being awarded the contract for the Shed's construction.

The first piece of structural steelwork being lifted in to place on 9th October 1926. Despite the shed being erected along the lines of previous sheds, the Karachi Shed was the largest. Despite the size, and some 4,000 tons of steel used in the construction, one of the conditions of the assembly and design, was that the shed could be dismantled and moved to another location. The precedent of this had already been made with the moving of the constructional shed in Pulham in Norfolk, to be re-erected and suitably enlarged as Shed 2, at the Royal Airship Works, Cardington.

The mooring mast was constructed along the same design lines as the Cardington and Ismailia mast, and work began in 1929, with the completion of the construction in August 1930. The mast itself was the standard design, however the buildings around the base were added in an octagonal design. As with the Montreal Mast, it was see that administration and other logistical space was needed. Space would have also been needed for customs and official passenger formalities. At Cardington, these were not to be processed at the mast but in what was know as the Administration Building or Short's Building as it's known today. To transport passengers, a 8 mile railway spur was built to connect the base with the city.

The Shed and mast, although never used by an airship remained, and according to records, some eighteen men were employed up until 1939, to maintain the facility which shows the decision on "cancelling the programme" was not as immediate as people believe after the R01 tragedy. With the decisions over the future of the Imperial Airship programme being discussed in London over the next few years, the locals managers allowed the Karachi shed to be used by local soldiers as a sports arena, out of the sun. It was reported that two games of football could be played inside the shed at once. It was also rumoured that the building was large enough to host local polo games, although there is no current evidence to substantiate this, however again the shed was certainly large enough for shelter play.
The shed became involved in aeronautical activities finally in the late 1930's when Imperial Airways took over responsibility of the building as an aero plane hangar and workshops.

It was during the Second World War that the shed was used by both the RAF and the US Army. They utilised the shed for repairing aircraft which were being used in Burma and Indochina. The British Government were always looking for other uses for the shed, as well as offering the facilities to other interested Governments.

The US Navy did investigate the possibility of using the base for it's own airship programme as the shed was large enough, however this did not progress any further. The sheds and mast remained erected until well after India's independence from Britain, and later territory tansferred to Pakistan.

In 1952, Pakistan Aviation issued a tender to dismantle the shed, and it was not until 1961 that it was finally agreed to dismantle it. Not that the building would be seen as going to waste, as the resources could be put to other uses. The steel was used for bridges and other smaller buildings along the vast Pakistan Railways. As with some of the other proposed sites, the Karachi site is the location of the International Airport today.

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Mast and buildings under construction. Seen here, the mast head is still awaiting to be completed, along with the roof's of the administration and winch buildings.

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Karachi shed under construction 1928​

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The mast nearing completion with the uniquely designed administration buildings around the base of the mast.​

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The airfield, showing the shed, and the distance from the mast to the shed. The fuel holders can be seen in the foreground.

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Inside the vast shed. You can see the design differed from the Cardington constructional sheds, by not having and side annex's for construction or storage.

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Karachi Shed showing the door frames and gantry to hold the massive doors. Again, doors were only placed at one side of the shed, unlike the Cardington sheds.

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1930 A rare aerial view of the Imperial Airship Base at Karachi. The shed can be seen with the shadow to the right of the building. The mast can be seen further to the right of the shed.​

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The Karachi Mast from above showing the buildings surrounding the base of the mast. This would have included the seam winch engine room, plus officer and passenger accommodation and waiting room.
Brilliant! Where did you get this? Any link?
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The Airship mast at Karachi never received an airship and was eventually demolished.

Even though the airship programme was abandoned in 1930 following the crash of the R-101 airship, the name of the base in Karachi survived, and we have here a cover addressed to it, and also much travelled with several interesting postal marks on the reverse.

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Links? Great post.


Mar 21, 2007
United States
Wali Swat (Miangal Abdul Wood Bacha Sahib) handed over his war plane Pakistan after its independence.
Pictures of its ceremony and speech of Begum Rana Liaqat Ali Khan.







Mar 21, 2007
United States
Pre-1965 war shot of a 4-ship that includes a B-57, RT-33, and two F-86Fs.



Mar 21, 2007
United States
AF pilots and grounds crew men in front of F-104, Mirage, F-6 and T-33 (Left to Right) at a base in the sixties.



Mar 21, 2007
United States
How a young air force organized a Sabre-only fly-past

Maj General Syed Ali Hamid on the 64-ship flypast that thrilled Karachiites on the 23rd of March 1957

by Major General Syed Ali Hamid

March 29, 2019

A group of Sabre pilots with the Base Commander Gp. Capt. F. S. Khan at Mauripur (circa 1961-62). Fighter ace M.M. "Peanut" Alam is second from left

Arguably the most dramatic event during the annual Pakistan Day Parade held in Islamabad on the 23rd of March is the flypast by the Pakistan Air Force (PAF). Led by the Air Chief who pulls up a spectacular vertical climb with full after-burners, four ship formations of F-16s, JF-17s, F-7Ps and Mirages roar past the spectators’ stand. It all started in 1957 with the first all-jet fly past by F-86 Sabres in Karachi on the first anniversary of Pakistan being declared a republic.

In May 1954, Pakistan had signed a Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement with the United States and by 1955, it had also become a member of SEATO and CENTO. Those were exciting times for our young air force because the US had agreed to equip it with 102 North American F-86 Sabres as well as T-33 Shooting Star jet trainers and B-57 Bombers. The F-104 Star Fighters would be released a few years later. The Sabre was a battle proven design that had fought extensively in the Korean War. It was the first jet aircraft designed for an air superiority role and by the standards of the 1950s, it was a sleek, modern war machine – a state-of-the-art weapons system.

PAF Air Base Mauripur on the 14th of August 1956, with a lineup of 80 F-86 Sabres of No. 32 Fighter Group Attack Wing, T-33 Shooting Stars and Bristol Freighters on the large trooping apron

By the end of 1956 the PAF was halfway past in its conversion to the F-86s, when it was asked to consider a dramatic public introduction of its latest weapon system by staging a ‘Sabre Only’ fly-past on the first 23rd March Parade to be held in 1957. The Pakistan Air Force was young in terms of organization and service of its officers, but some of its leaders had flown combat sorties during the Second World War and were not averse to taking risks. Air Vice Marshal Asghar Khan, the Deputy C-in-C Administration had flown bombing missions in Burma and subsequently commanded a squadron of Hawker Hurricanes. Nur Khan, who was the Deputy C-in-C (Air Operations) in 1957, had flown with No.7 Squadron in Burma carrying out high-angle dive bombing attacks in his Vultee Vengeance. The PAF also had legends like Fuad Shahid (FS) Hussain who was acknowledged as ‘The Prince of Pilots’ and was an inspiration for a breed of younger pilots who would perform brilliantly in the 1965 War.

The PAF not only agreed to a ‘Sabre Only’ flypast, it was also prepared to execute it with 64 aircraft which corresponded with the maximum number of Sabre pilots it could muster. In August 1956, the PAF had established the No. 32 Fighter Ground Attack Wing at Mauripur which was being equipped with the F-86. Of its four squadrons that were to participate in the flypast, two had received the Sabres earlier but No.14 and 16 were newly raised and had the least experienced pilots. At the time the decision was taken, the conversion program had produced about 60 pilots whose time on the Sabre ranged from a couple of hundred hours to ten hours or less. Everything was hurriedly put together to complete the total of 64 pilots with a couple of reserves for the Pakistan Day Flypast.

In fact, on the momentous day, some of the pilots in No.14 Squadron had less than 2 hours of flying time on the Sabre! There was no dual-seater version of the aircraft so the pilots first did their jet conversion training on the T-33 Shooting Star, which was a dual-seater. This training was held with the No.2 (Fighter Conversion) Squadron at Mauripur. Then after the necessary classes and cockpit familiarization with the F-86, the first experience of the pilots in flying a Sabre was solo.

A four-ship flight of F-86 Sabres of the PAF landing at the Mauripur Air Base on Runway 27, which had been strengthened and lengthened by the US (circa 1960)

The flypast was to be conducted from the PAF base at Mauripur (renamed as Masroor Air Base in 1967), which had been established in 1940-41, as a temporary staging post and air transport base for the US Air Corps. In 1942 it became the site of Air Headquarters, India, and a transit station for thousands of troops moving to and from the Far East during and after the Second World War. In 1945, the Royal Air Force took over the base as a strategic link for India and the Far East.

To handle the large amount of air traffic, a very large apron, known as the ’Trooping Apron’, was constructed. The number of flights during 1945-46 made Mauripur look like a scaled-down version of present-day Gatwick, with daily air movements running into three figures and at its peak, the trooping apron held upwards of 70 to 80 aircraft a day. The picture of the aircraft line-up on the 14th of August 1956 provides a view of the trooping apron.

On the day of the flypast, the ground engineers accomplished a miracle by achieving a 100 percent serviceability. In 1956, the US Army Corps of Engineers had undertaken a program of strengthening the main Runway 27 and extending it from 6,100 to 9,000 feet to accommodate large aircraft of the USAF. Therefore 64 Sabres crammed up to takeoff on the old Runway 04. Since Runway 04 was short, the pilots had to apply 98 percent power, consuming precious fuel. The Sabre had no external tanks which drastically limited its endurance.

A flypast required slow and low-level flight and the internal fuel tanks gave the aircraft an endurance of just over 30 minutes. Within this time, each aircraft had to taxi, takeoff, form up, fly past and land. Mauripur Air Base was only 5 nautical miles from the Karachi Polo Ground – where the flypast had to take place. Therefore the fleet first headed west, assembled into diamond formations, each comprising of four flights of Sabres in a four-ship formation, before turning towards the polo ground.

The flypast was flawless and population of Karachi was thrilled by this new spectacle of air power from the PAF.

The 64 fuel-starved jet fighters now headed back to land on the single Mauripur runway. If Runway 04 posed a problem at takeoff, recovery was even more challenging – not only because of its short length but at its furthest end was a two-feet-high lip of the under construction Runway 27. In spite of this, the recovery was progressing smoothly when disaster struck. On the short final (the last stage of the landing phase and prior to touchdown), the pilots had to reduce speed to the desired 120 knots, flare out to break the glide of the aircraft and fly parallel to the runway for a smooth touchdown.

A young inexperienced pilot was unable to execute this maneuver correctly and crash-landed, blocking the runway. The control tower at Mauripur had no option but to divert the 40 or so Sabres that were still holding pattern to the Karachi Civil Airport, 13 nautical miles to the east. Within minutes, the Karachi airport witnessed a rare spectacle as swarms of F-86 Sabres made a beeline for it, frantically jockeying for position in the landing stream because no one had the fuel to go around! The last few aircraft may well have touched down with only vapour in their tanks.

The risk that was taken may have been the dying echoes of an era gone by when pilots flew by the seat of their pants but the achievement was spectacular, to say the least, and quite memorable. Not one to rest on its laurels, the following year, the PAF put on a flying display at Maripur for King Zahir Shah of Afghanistan, in which for the first time anywhere, sixteen Sabres did a spectacular loop in formation; but that is another story to be told another time.


Mar 21, 2007
United States
Drigh Road Airfield

In Biggles in the Orient, Biggles and his squadron made a transit stop at Drigh Road Airfield, Karachi, on their way to their destination Calcutta. At Drigh Road, they changed from a Wellington to a Liberator for their onward journey.

Drigh Road Airfield, Karachi, is the oldest air base in Pakistan and one of the most famous. Founded soon after RAF India Command was formed in 1918 as an aircraft depot, its main mission at the time was to receive aircraft in knocked down condition off ships, assemble, test fly and then ferry them to squadrons all over India. Here, in 1927, among a group of airmen arriving from Britain was AC2 T. E. Shaw (formerly T. E. Lawrence), who worked in the Engine Repair Shop for over a year. Lawrence's letters to his mother contain interesting details of life at Drigh Road at the time. Drigh Road was also the birth place of the Indian Air Force, as No.1 Squadron IAF was raised there on 1st April 1933 at Drigh Road, Karachi.

In 1942, the Aircraft Depot was redesignated No 1 (India) Maintenance Unit and served as the main supply base not only for the RAF in India but for all of the Burmese and Malayan campaigns. Practically every new aircraft destined for these fronts would have passed through Drigh Road.

In 1947, Drigh Road was handed over to the Pakistan Air Force with two major components No 101 Maintenance Unit looking after main Supplies of newly born aviation units and No 102 Maintenance Unit looking after maintenance of aircraft. It continues to this day as PAF Faisal Airbase.
Also in Karachi was RAF Mauripur (now Masroor Airbase) which was founded in 1942 to serve as a transit airfield to relieve Drigh Road of transit traffic and allow it to focus on its role as a maintenance base. So Mauripur would have been a more appropriate transit stop for Biggles and his squadron, although Drigh Road was probably more well-known to Johns. Still, there could be plausible reasons why Biggles was taken to Drigh Road. The Wing Commander who greeted Biggles there said his "best Liberator" was waiting for him. This Liberator could have just been shipped in and gone through maintenance and test flights and was ready to be ferried to Dum Dum, Calcutta, and it was convenient for Biggles and his squadron to go along in it.


Good photo of Drigh Road Airfield showing Hurricanes, Vultee Vengeances and Harvards lined up awaiting delivery to various units in India. Image is courtesy of the Imperial War Museums


Mar 21, 2007
United States
P.A.F History:


The story of air power in the sub-continent relates back to the Royal Air Force days.
The modest start came in 1914 when a small flying group initially called the Royal
Flying Corps (RFC) which was later named the RAF, was established at Sitapur in
India. A Central Flying School thus started functioning with a fleet of BE 2 aircraft.
After the partition of the sub-continent the Royal Pakistan Air Force (RPAF) came
into existence at Peshawar on 15 August 1947. Air Vice Marshal A L A Perry Keene
was appointed as its first Air Commander. At the time of its formation, RPAF
comprised four stations; 16 fighters, 40 training / transport aircraft; two fighter
squadrons; one maintenance depot and a meagre ammunition depot. The manpower
comprised 220 officers and 2112 airmen. The pre Royal was deleted from the RPAF's
title on the republic day in 1956.


At the time of its formation RPAF was headed by an Air Commander. This
appointment was later changed to Commander in Chief. The rank of the C-in-C was
raised to an Air Marshal in 1958 and subsequently to an Air Chief Marshal in 1976
with the appointment redesignated as the Chief of the Air Staff. Air Marshal Asghar
Khan was the first Muslim Chief of the Air Staff and in the history of PAF. He
remained in the office from 1957 to 1965. In 1948, the Air Headquarters were shifted to
Karachi and then back to Peshawar in 1960. The Air Headquarters RPAF East
Pakistan were established in Dacca in 1949. In 1953, PAF Act replaced IAF Act which
was later brought in conformity with the Islamic conjuctions in 1984. In 1982, the PAF
was restructured and was divided into three regional commands namely Northern,
Central and Southern Air Commands with Air Officer Commanding Regional Air
Commands exercising administrative and operational authority over the PAF units
within their jurisdiction. In 1983, the Air Headquarters were again moved
transitionally to Chaklala with a plan to position at Islamabad before the turn of the

Weapon Systems

At the time of its independence, the RPAF inherited 16 Tempest fighters, two HP-57
Halifax bombers, 20 Harvards, 10 Tigermoth trainers and eight Dakota transport
aircraft. the Hawker Fury fighters were inducted in 1949. No. 11 Squadron was the
first recipient of SuperMarine Attacker, the first jet fighter to be inducted in the PAF
in 1951.

Marconi Type 21 was the first radar to be inducted in the PAF in 1954. This was
followed by the induction of FPS-6 and 20 radars in 1959 and Condor High Powered
radar in 1968. AR-1 was the first low level radar system to be installed in the PAF in

Modernization of the PAF started with the induction of F-86 Sabres in 1956 which
resulted in the phasing out of Tempests and Attacker aircraft.

In 1961, No 9 Squadron was the recipient of F104 Star Fighters- the first mach 2
aircraft to arrive in the subcontinent.The last of the piston-engine, Fury fighters were
phased out from the PAF on 22 April 1963. With the successful induction of T-37,
T-33, F-86, B-57, C-130 and F-104 aircraft, the PAF had come of age and was, in
Quaid's Words, second to none.

After the 1965 Indo-Pak war, PAF inducted French built mirages, the Chinese F-6
Farmers and the B-56 Bomber aircraft. The B-56s were phased out in 1969, the F-104s
in 1972, Sabres in 1980 and the B-57s in 1986. The Harvards were phased out in 1976
after the induction of MFI-17 Mashshak in 1974. The FT-5 advanced jet trainer was
inducted in 1975. American F-16 Fighting Falcon and Chinese A-5III were inducted in
1983. Chinese F-7P is the latest induction in the fighter category dating back to 1988.

The Pakistan Air Defence System 1977 commonly known as PADS-77, was an
introduction to modern radars which included American origin TPS-43G and German
MPDR-45, 60 and 90 radars linked through the command and control centres to
provided low level and high level coverage along the entire length of the country.

French built Crotale-2000 was the first surface to air missile system to be
commissioned in the PAF in 1976 .

Bases and Squadron

The RPAF took a meagre start with two fighter bomber, one transport and one
training squadron and seven bases. Soon after its formation, expansion work started
and new bases were commissioned and new fighter and training squadrons were
raised. The first new base to be commissioned was PAF Mauripur, later renamed as
PAF Base Masroor. Within three years of its formation, three squadrons were added
to PAF inventory. Before the 1965 war, PAF had a total of 17 flying squadrons with
adequate number of bases to house these squadrons.

After the 1965 war, the extension of the infrastructure included increasing the number
of bases and raising of another three squadrons. The newly commissioned bases
provided the much needed dispersal and freedom of operations during the 1971 war.
In the recent years, most of the squadrons have been re-equipped with newer aircraft
while maintaining the number of squadrons.

At present, PAF has a network of its operational, training, technical and supporting
bases along the entire length of the
country with adequate number of squadrons and supporting units to effectively
defend the skies against any aggression.

Officers Training

Soon after independence, the Royal Flying School was established at Risalpur which
was raised to the status of Flying College by Quaid-e-Azam during his historical visit
of the school on 13 April, 1948. The Flying Instructors School and Ground
Instructors School was commissioned in 1952.

In 1967, President M Ayub Khan raised the level of the college to PAF Academy.
To overcome the shortage of
technical officers and meet the requirements of new weapon systems inducted in the
PAF, College of Aeronautical Engineering was established at Korangi Creek in 1965.
In 1966, with an aim of combining all the officers training institutions, the college was
shifted to PAF Academy Risalpur.

In order to provide middle level staff training, the Junior Command and Staff School
was established in 1957. The Air War College, originated as PAF Staff College in 1959
was aimed at providing command and staff training to the rapidly growing officers of
all branches of the PAF. In order to provide advanced training to fighter pilots and
Air Defence Weapon Controllers, the Combat Commander’s School was established
in 1976.

Airmen Training

Soon after independence, a Recruits Training Centre was established at Drigh Road.
The next year, the School of Apprentices was commissioned to train apprentices.
Later the school was renamed as School of Electronics. The other institutions
established for the training of the airmen include School of Aeronautics,
Administrative Trades Training School and the Junior Commissioned Officers
Academy .


Mar 21, 2007
United States

Historic Events

Flight Lieutenant A B Awan leads three Westland Wapitis of "A" Flight, No 1 Squadron, IAF from Drigh Road (now Faisal) air base on a coastal patrol in the Arabian Sea. As World War II raged in Europe, Allied air forces in Asia also prepared for possible operations against Germany and Japan. Hailing from Dera Ismail Khan, Wing Commander A B Awan was the first Muslim military avaitor of the subcontinent. He died in 1989, having made a pioneering contribution to what would evenyully become the Pakistan Air Force


Events-Pre Partation

Grumman SA-16A Albatross amphibians were a part of the Search and Rescue Flight at Drigh Road (now Faisal) Air Base, Karachi in the mid-1950s. The aircraft were also used for coastal patrol and maritime reconnaissance during the 1965 War. One of their more important tasks was to keep a sharp look-out for the Indian Navy aircraft carrier 'Vikrant' whose entry into the area would have added a new and far more menacing dimension to the air war in the south.


Tiger Moth

A Tiger Moth was the first primary trainer to take to the air from the newly-established PAF Flying Training School (now PAF Academy), Risalpur, a month after Pakistan came into existence. The painting shows Flight Lieutenant M Khyber Khan, the Flying Instructor and his student, Flight Cadet Akhtar, airborne on the morning of 22 September 1947 from Risalpur.


Mar 21, 2007
United States
Base Masroor

PAF Masroor, the largest and one of the premier
air bases of the Pakistan Air Force derived its
original name - Mauripur - from a small village near
this coastal airfield. It was established during WW
II in 1940-41 as a temporary staging post and air
transport base for the US Air Corps;the facilities of
the staging post were extensively utilized by the
Allies. By 1945, the Royal Air Force had taken over
the base as a strategic link for India and the Far
East. After the creation of Pakistan, the RAF
remained a joint user of Mauripur together with the
RPAF upto 1955; a transit camp was set up to
handle all movement of RAF personnel to and from
Pakistan. The RPAF Station Mauripur was
established on 1st January 1948 with Wing
Commander Zaheer Ahmed as the station commander. In 1948, about a year after the
birth of the Royal Pakistan Air Force, Air Headquarters moved from Peshawar to
Mauripur. Thus in the early days of the RPAF, Mauripur contributed significantly in
giving shape to the newly born air force.

Its primary role was to administer No.6 Transport Squadron. All the officers and men,
were veterans of WW II and their rich experience helped to evolve sound flying
practices, high standards of maintenance and good traditions with regard to customs
of service and social life in the messes.

For the first two decades Mauripur remained
the nucleus of advance flying training as well as an operational base and an
administrative cente. The station had the proud distinction of receiving
Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah on 13th August 1947. On 11th September, the
last journey of the father of the nation from Quetta to his eternal abode also staged
through Mauripur.

In 1967, Air Commodore Masroor Hosain, a brilliant officer of the PAF who was then
the base commander of Mauripur, was killed in a tragic bird strike accident during an
operational exercise, in a B-57 he was flying in the vicinity of Karachi: subsequently
the base was named after him.
In one of its early roles, Mauripur was required to provide air support and protection
to the Pakistan Navy, by undertaking coastal surveillance in SA-16 Albatross
The proximity of the base to the Karachi port and to important sea routes of the
Arabian sea makes it, strategically, a very important base. It is entrusted with the air
defence of the southern air space of Pakistan. The base provides air protection and
support to Pakistan Army and, in conjunction with Pakistan Navy, it defends the
coastal areas of Pakistan. It also has a number of satellite bases in Baluchistan and

In December 45, a Royal Indian Air Force Dakota of No 12 Squadron was positioned
at Mauripur and by March 46 the entire squadron had been shifted to this base. In
1947, No 6 Squadron of the RPAF was formed at Mauripur with several additional
Dakotas fresh from overhaul at the Hindustan Aeronautical Factory in Bangalore. No
6 Squadron carried out intensive missions in support of own troops in Kashmir and
the northern areas in 1948 and 49.

The modern era of PAF Base Masroor, as a multipurpose fighter base, started with
the establishment of No. 32 Fighter Ground Attack Wing in August 56, equipped
with F-86 jet fighters. In 1960, Nos 7 and 8 Squadrons constituting 31 Wing were
formed with American B-57 light bomber aircraft. This aircraft is still being operated
from PAF Base Masroor along with a number of other combat aircraft.

The maintenance wing of the base had the unique privilege of servicing the Vickers
Viking aircraft of the Quaid-e-Azam after independence. Since then, the base has
grown steadily in man-power and size and also in its ability to absorb new systems
and technology. In 1956, with the induction of American weapon systems, technical
know-how started to develop for modern aircraft like F-86, T-33 and B-57. Over the
years a wide range of facilities were installed including jet engine, aircraft structural
and radar shops.

Masroor also house's a number of important lodger units such as the Central
Medical Board, Aero-Medical Institute, Institute of Flight Safety, Office of the
Deputy Controller of Accounts Air Force, PAF Press and Air Tactical Support

During the 65 and 71 wars, the squadrons from this base fought with exemplary
determination and the pilots displayed outstanding courage and leadership.
Mauripur has also had the honor of winning the highest gallantry award, the
Nishan-e-Haider, posthumously conferred on Pilot Officer Rashid Minhas in 1971.

Three of Masroor’s base commanders Group Captains Nur Khan and Rahim Khan
and Air Commodore Anwar Shamim rose to the command of the PAF. Two other
Chiefs, Air Marshal Zafar Chaudhry and Air Chief Marshal ZuIfiqar Ali Khan were
officers commanding of 32 Fighter Ground Attack Wing located at the base. Upon
the creation of Pakistan, Mauripur with its sprawling complex was a veritable
thorough-fare. A refugee colony existed within the camp area.

The USAF's Military
Air Transport Services used to make regular stops here. A missionary school was
functioning here since the early 40s; the present PAF Intermediate College now
stands at the same site. There was no barbed wire along the perimeter of the base. In
course of time, all these security hazards had been removed one by one and before
the 65 war the premises of the base had been made fully secure.
With concerted efforts by all concerned, the social life at Masroor has been so
organized over the years as to make the base a small, well equipped, and self
supporting town.

The Markaz-e-Mujahidda run by the Masroor branch of PAFWA
renders valuable services to the families of air-men. Several sports fields, a nine-hole
golf course and a gymnasium with modern facilities help to keep its men fit. A PAF
Intermediate College and 5 secondary and primary schools established by the
Government of Sind cater to the educational requirements of the children of PAF
personnel and civilians from the adjoining areas. There are 12 mosques in various
camps, out of which 2 are newly constructed and have all the modern amenities.

PAF Base Masroor, by virtue of its strategic location, will always play a vital role in
the air defence of southern and coastal regions of Pakistan. The base has the
necessary infrastructure for the deployment and operation of any modern weapon
system and the potentialities of growth and development to meet any future


Mar 21, 2007
United States

Formation of RAF fighters en route Risalpur to Gilgit along Indus valley - 1937.

[Picture Courtesy: DPR, PAF]


Mar 21, 2007
United States

List of Pioneering Officers as on 15th August, 1947
(Ranks stated are Substantive)
Date of BirthDate of Commission
Squadron Leaders
Mohammad Khan Janjua19-05-1415-07-35
Haider Raza23-09-1615-02-40
Flight Lieutenants
Maqbool Rabb12-11-1415-02-40
Edwin Nazir Ullah18-10-1801-08-40
Mohammad Asghar Khan17-01-2122-12-40
Mirza Abdul Rahman01-01-2030-11-40
Mohammad Akhtar10-07-2106-01-41
Mohammad Mukhtar Ahmad Cheema05-08-1506-01-41
Flying Officers
Malik Nur Khan22-02-2306-01-41
Zahiruddin Ahmad24-01-1803-03-41
Balwant Kumar Dass30-04-1803-03-41
Stephen Aratoon Joseph27-03-2110-11-41
Mohammad Ibrahim Khan19-01-2310-11-41
Mian Ata Rabbani30-09-1915-12-41
Mohammad Salim Khan01-07-1705-04-42
Said Akhtar Aziz13-07-2107-09-42
Abdullah Beg03-08-2429-06-42
Sahebzada Manzur Hussain01-09-1629-06-42
Abdul Naeem Aziz01-11-2329-06-42
Mohammad Jamiluddin Khan17-10-1929-06-42
Abdul Majeed Khan23-08-2429-06-42
Shei kh Niaz Ahmad03-02-2021-12-42
Mohammad Khyber Khan15-03-2421-12-42
Saleem Jamal-ud-Din03-02-2121-12-42
Syed Inam-ul-Rehman Bokhari19-02-2329-03-43
Aziz-ul-Rehman Khan24-03-2029-03-43
Abdul Oadir24-08-2227-09-43
Nawabzada Haider Mirza21-10-2227-09-43
Abu Khaled Salahuddin Ahmad01-03-2308-11-43
Mohammad Mazhar Jaffrey09-07-2108-11-43
Eric Gordon Hall12-10-2220-12-43
Mohammad Sarwar Khan01-10-1831-01-44
Mohammad Hasan Jamil18-06-2112-03-44
Janmast Afridi17-08-2524-04-44
Abdur Rahim Khan25-07-2305-06-44
Mohammad Wasim Khan13-07-2317-07-44
James Jebb Robin Louis26-02-2217-07-44
Mohammad Iqbal Rahman23-10-2417-07-44
Zaffar Mahmud12-04-2304-09-44
Masroor Hosain29-12-2204-09-44
Fuad Shahid Hussain20-07-2404-09-44
Zafar Ahmad Chaudhry19-08-2609-04-45
Syed Mansoor Ahmad Shah 11-03-2609-04-45
Mohammad Ashraf Sheikh01-05-2521-05-45
Mohammad Sajjad Akhtar17-02-2525-06-45
S Mohammad Shamsul Haque01-05-2607-08-45
Saeedullah Khan23-07-2617-09-45
Pilot Officers
Nazir Ahmad Siddiqui28-08-2309-04-45
Mohammad Abbas16-01-2517-09-45
Patrie Desmond Callaghan16-07-2617-09-45
Mohammad Ashraf02-12-2429-04-46
Stephen Israel25-05-2629-04-46
Mahmood J an01-09-2629-04-46
Chaudhry Rab Nawaz15-05-2429-04-46
Michael John O'Brian05-01-2829-04-46
Mohammad Saleem Sheikh28-08-2429-04-46
Khalid Bin Majid15-08-2701-06-46
Oswald Lionel Springett 18-07 -2701-06-46
Suleman Soni Afzal12-09-2616-09-46
Aubrey Neil Macleish Game16-10-2616-09-46
Shamsuzzoha Khan23-11-2316-09-46
I mtiaz Hussain Khan23-11-2322-09-46
Mohammad Zafar Masud17-10-2725-02-46
Flying Officers
Mir Abdul Jalil03-08-1728-03-42
Leslie H F De'Cruz18-04-1314-06-42
Yusuf Ali Aziz16-05-2127-09-42
Kamal Ahmad31-07-2325-02-46
Malik Mohammad Iqbal15-11-2306-10-46
Tahir Saleem Jan18-05-2606-10-46
Sher Afzal Khan01-01-2406-10-46
Air Gunners
Flying Officers
Mian Mohammad Shafi08-12-1320-04-42
Alfred Jag J ivan09-02-2028-08-42
Ghulam Ali10-02-1817-02-43
Technical Engineering
Flying Officers
Jalil-ur-Rahman Khan01-08-1721-12-42
Abdul Hai13-05-1412-10-43
Mohammad Mahboob03-02-0912-12-43
Mohammad Siddiq01-06-1019-11-46
Pilot Officers
Syed Khalilur Razzak12-06-1410-10-42
Technical Electrician
Flying Officers
Abdul Mannan Khan17-07-1713-06-43
Technical Signals
Flying Officers
Zulfiqar Ali Aziz05-08-1729-06-42
Rana Mohammad Saeed13-04-1831-10-42
Abdus Salam Butt30-12-1429-03-43
Malik Bashir Ahmad14-07-1412-08-43
Mohammad Mustafa Khan03-07 -2212-10-43
Technical Armament
Pilot Officer
Vivian Deryck Marston19-01-2014-05-43
Admin And Special Duties
Flight Lieutenants
Abdul Mofazil Alahdad21-02-1501-08-40
Said-ud-Din, M B E19-08-1314-08-41
Flying Officers
Abdul Rahman15-12-0012-03-42
Mohammad Ilyas Khan15-12-1526-01-42
Mustafa Kamal02-05-2215-12-41
Sardar Hamid Omar17-12-1705-04-42
Hamid Ali Soofi09-08-0608-08-42
Lal Mohammad Dutta06-10-9429-08-42
Rana Fakher-uz-Zaman18-12-2212-10-42
Mohammad Mahbub Piracha22-10-2231-10-42
Mohammad Khalil Khan08-07-0431-01-42
Shahzada Taimur Shah20-01-2231-10-42
Syed Munawar Hasan16-02-0531-10-42
Agha Habib Ahmad20-01-1127-11-42
Flying Officers
Mohammad Akbar Khan11-07-0927-11-42
Dost Mohammad Khan01-02-1427-11-42
Ghulam Safdar Khan12-07-1629-12-42
Firman Wali Khan10-08-1812-01-43
Syed Masud Ahmad01-10-2012-01-43
Mohammad Yousaf Khan05-10-1212-01-43
Munir-ud-Din Ahmad20-07-2021-10-42
Aminullah Khan12-01-1305-02-43
Hamid Ullah Bhatty13-02-0512-02-43
Abdul Khair Sayidur Rahman19-02-1904-03-43
Syed Shamsuddin Khalid12-03-0914-03-43
Aftab Ahmad08-09-1814-03-43
Sahebzada Anweruddin Ahmad07-02-1614-03-43
Malik Aqil Khan02-03-1814-03-43
Mohammad Fazil Khan27-03-1314-03-43
Mohammad Amir Khan10-07-2031-07-42
Melville Robert Ritchie10-09-2329-03-43
Abdul Ghayur Kakar16-07-1811-04-43
Zia-ud-Din Ahmad17-10-1111-04-43
Johnson Edward Lewis14-12-97 11-04-43
Sultan Ahmad30-12-1613-06-43
Mohammad Shafi13-10-0913-06-43
Mohammad Tufail Khan01-02-0913-06-43
Sultan Salahuddin Fatih10-09-2213-06-43
Abdus Sattar Saggu10-07-1212-07-43
Syedul Islam26-01-1512-07-43
Sheikh Ghulam Hassan20-09-1212-08-43
Mohammad Akram05-10-1512-08-43
Rahat Bokhari03-03-0312-08-43
M Mohammad Said24-01-1412-08-43
Malik Shabbir Hussain27-03-1712-08-43
Hubert Joseph Cardeaux19-11-9912-09-43
Archibald Vivian Engles10-11-1612-09-43
Mohammad Hafeezullah20-07-1012-09-43
Anwar Mansoor jafree12-02-1612-09-43
Syed Riaz Qutb01-05-1312-09-43
Syed Ghazanfar Ali Shah01-01-0812-10-43
Abdul Rauf Khan13-05-1712-10-43
Joseph Martyn Octavious26-01-1112-11-43
Sufi Ahmad Hussain05-08-1512-11-43
Mohammad Baqir01-01-0912-11-43
Mohammad Afzal Khan16-09-1812-11-43
TasiLdduq Hussain Gardezi,14-09-1212-11-43
Chaudri Ataullah Mahes12-08-1112-11-43
Kamaluddin Ahmad15-04-2028-03-42
Noel Ternice Monis26-11-1511-03-44
Chaudri Shahbaz Khan28-06-2222-01-43
Mohammad Yahya Butt01-09-2331-03-43
Sahebzada Imtiaz Khan30-09-2003-03-41
Sarfaraz Ali15-06-9812-10-43
Najib Ullah Khan19-06-1914-03-43
Khurshid Ahmad Hashmi09-01-0913-05-45
Syed Mustafa Hussain Razvi05-05-0613-05-45
Anis Ahmad Khan Shirwany16-01-2319-08-45
Mohammad I kram Khawaja05-07-1419-08-45
Mohammad Afazur Rahman01-08-1419-08-45
Zafar Husain Khan06-11-1221-10-45
Pir Ataullah Shah20-12-0421-10-45
Herbert Winston Hyland23-10-1421-10-45
Mumtaz Khan09-03-1721-10-45
Syed Taqi Zaidi16-11-1521-10-45
Pilot Officer
Mohammad Nizam-ud-Din Ansari11-06-1709-12-45
Mohammad Abid Faruqi15-07-1411-03-44
Mohammad Abdul Baaquie01-01-2008-04-45
Flight Lieutenant
Malik Abdul Rashid Khan15-10-1122-10-40
Flying Officers
Syed Mushtaq Ahmed10-01-1525-01-42
Mohammad Amin Rizwani19-05-2131-10-42
Rafiq Ahmad Qureshie03-02-0231-10-42
Nazir Ahmad Rishi08-10-1111-04-43
Mohammad Hamim Khan30-06-1819-05-43
Rafi-ur-Rahman Khan22-10-2220-05-43
Abdul Hamid Khan12-11-2113-06-43
Syed Ishrat Hussain Zaidi01-05-0712-09-43
Abdul jabbar Khan01-01-1212-09-43
William Satis Chandra Biswas11-04-9414-03-43
Mirza Haider Raza11-05-1112-11-43
Taj Ahmad Khan16-03-0412-12-43
Saidullah Butt05-06-1212-12-43
Sirajuddin Zafar24-03-1212-12-43
Abdul Majeed Khawaja02-01-1619-08-45
Flying Officers
Qasim Hussain10-03-1527-11-42
Syed Zahurul Askari14-04-1208-02-43
Iftakhar Ahmad Qazi18-05-1712-09-43
Hashem Jamal Dhannani24-12-1412-10-43
Mohammad Akram Butt21-08-1812-11-43
Mohammad Anwar Toor10-01-2212-08-43
Hassan Ali Shah10-05-1021-10-45
Sheikh Ghulam Sadiq19-11-1113-06-43
Aftab Ahmad Bilgrami10-06-1421-10-45
Zahir-ud-Din Uraizee02-08-1512-08-43
Flight Lieutenants
Basheer Ahmad01-04-1605-10-41
Mohammad Masudal Haque01-03-1417-10-43
Syed Baqir Hussain Gardezi13-04-1605-06-42
Mumtaz Hussain22-04-2018-02-43
Syed Abid Hasnain15-05-1718-02-43
Mir Rifat Mahmood12-02-1818-02-43
Nawab Khan10-03-2114-07-43
Sheikh Abdul Ghafoor21-10-1818-11-43
Mohammad Aslam Khan06-04-2314-07-44
Syed Ahmad Raza Peerzada05-04-2114-07-44
Flying Officers
Syed Fayyaz Mahmud03-10-0613-06-43
Asghar Husain01-08-1412-09-43
Mohammad Daud09-03-1712-10-43
Malik Mohammad Ibrahim01-01-1612-10-43
Ahbabullah Kakakhel01-07-1511-02-44
Charles Malcolm Revis01-02-0511-02-44
Mirza Nisar Ali Beg15-06-0811-03-44
Qamqam Hussain) afri15-01-1513-07-44
Syed Mohammad01-01-1805-10-44
Mohammad Nazir Qazi06-08-0803-03-45
Mohammad Ismail Qureshi15-11-0913-05-45
Abbas Akhtar Sheikh02-12-1617-06-45
Flight Lieutenant
Syed Mohammad Aslam

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