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PAF s' Squadrons

No. 11 Squadron History: 1947-1982

This squadron occupies an important place in the history of PAF for having been equipped with first jet aircraft (Attacker). The first three jet planes arrived in August, 1951, and with the induction of this plane the PAF too entered the jet age. Attacker, a British aeroplane, belonging to the first generation of jet fighters, and had problems inherent in the new technology; the main problem was of hydraulics which led to under-carriage troubles. The PAF pilots, however, soon mastered the aircraft and performed aerobatics of very high degree. The legendary name of F. S. Hussain who extracted the maximum out of this aircraft will remain enshrined in the PAF history.

The squadron can take pride that two of its Commanders reached the top leadership of PAF. Sqn. Ldr. Zulfiqar Ali Khan, who later became Air Chief Marshal, took over the command of the squadron in August, 1958. On 6th March, 1963 its leadership passed on to Sqn. Ldr. Muhammad Anwar Shamim, who later became Air Chief Marshal, the man who conducted the epic air war of 1965 as OC No. 33 Wing, Sargodha, against a numerically much superior Indian Air Force. In 1965, the air war was primarily fought and won at Sargodha; it was here that wave after wave of Indian planes launched their attack, and it was here that they suffered the heaviest losses. War came in 1965, but the spirit-the most vital element in a conflict-was built up among the squadron pilots by its leader and senior pilots. In January, 1964, the command of the squadron was assumed by Sqn. Ldr. M. M. Alam, and it was under his command that in May, 1965, the squadron operated against India in the Rann of Kutch. Its moment of true glory came in September, 1965 when operating from its home-base in Sargodha, the squadron faced the brunt of enemy aerial attacks. In the seventeen days war with India, a total of 227 sorties were flown. All squadron pilots put up a commendable performance; amongst the outstanding were Sqn. Ldr. M. M. Alam, Flt. Lt. Saad Hatmi, Flt. Lt. Yusuf Ali Khan and Flt. Lt. Jillani. The squadron shot down 10 Hunters, 3 Gnats and damaged 3 Hunters. Pakistan's air ace M. M. Alam had a personal score of nine Hunters (shot down) and two more Hunters (damaged). Flt. Lt. S. Yusuf and Saad Hatmi shot down one Hunter and one Gnat aircraft. Flt. Lt. Yusuf shot down one Gnat and Flt. Lt. Jillani got one Gnat and damaged one Hunter. The officers who were awarded combat decorations included Sqn. Ldr. M. M. Alam (Sitara-e-Jurat with Bar), Flt. Lt. S. A. Hatmi (Sitara-e-Jurat), and Flt. Lt. Yusuf A. Khan (Sitara-e-Jurat).

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