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PAF s' Squadrons

No. 12 Squadron History: 1948-1988

No. 12 Squadron was formed in March 1950 with Squadron Leader A K S Ahmed as its first commanding officer. It was at first a heavy bomber squadron with 8 Halifax 4-engined WW II bombers and started flying on 5 April with 2 MK VIII and 6 MK V1 aircraft. The squadron was number-plated on 18 August 1950 and all its aircraft were placed in long term storage at RPAF Station Mauripur. The unit was reactivated in 1951 and resumed operations in the month of August. In October, the squadron took part in exercise 'Wise Owl' and carried out practice bombing on Churna Island; parachute flare dropping was also carried out during night practices.

In September 1953 the unit was converted into No. 12 Composite Squadron with Squadron Leader Mukhtar Dogar as its Officer Commanding. It was assigned a variety of tasks including VIP and Air Headquarters communication flights on Viking and Dakota aircraft, target towing for ack on Furies, and heavy bomber operations on Halifax’s.

In early 1954 the squadron received 2 new Bristol Freighters followed soon after by 2 Wayfarers and 2 Tempests. In May a Freighter specially equipped for Para trooping was added to the fleet.

In February 1957, the squadron flew its newly acquired SA-16 Albatross maritime aircraft in a sea rescue exercise in cooperation with the Navy. In November 1958, the SA-16s participated in the CENTO exercise 'Midlink' held at Karachi. The SA-16 that was primarily meant for Sea Search and Rescue, was equipped with special search radars and had an exceptionally long endurance. In August 1959, SA-16s participated in exercise 'Jet North' which also involved the Navies of UK and New Zealand. In November, during exercise 'Midlink-11', the squadron flew its longest ever non-stop flight of 15.45 hours in an SA-16.

On 9 July 1960, the squadron was moved from Mauripur to Chaklala, where it was equipped with a Fokker F-27 aircraft for the use of VIPs and visiting dignitaries. On 15 February 1977, the squadron received a DA-20 Falcon for VIP flights while in October 78, a Piper Seneca-II belonging to the Atomic Energy Commission was also assigned to the squadron for operation.

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