20 Squadron was raised initially as a flight at PAF Base,
Masroor in March 1956. The unit was upgraded to squadron
status within a year of its formation. Its first CO being
Flight Lieutenant Zulfiqar A Khan. The squadron was
number-plated in June 1972 and was reactivated in June 1977.
Initially the squadron was equipped with RT-33 photo recce
aircraft and its role was day photographic survey and
In June 1977, the squadron was reequipped with French-built
Mirage-III RP aircraft and was assigned the role of tactical
attack and reconnaissance during both day and night. In May
1986, the unit went through another re-equipment, this time
with Chinese built F-6 aircraft, and was assigned the role
of air superiority.
One of the earliest tasks of the Squadron was to conduct a
photographic survey of the northern areas with its RT-33s.
These missions were undertaken over difficult and uncharted
terrain, and often in marginal weather conditions. For his
personal contribution as well as for the performance of the
unit, the squadron commander, Flight Lieutenant M Anwar
Saeed was awarded Tamgha-i-Basalat.
In 1963 the squadron made a major contribution towards an
amicable demarcation of the border between Pakistan and
China by providing detailed and accurate photographic data.
Despite its magnitude the task was completed in one month
and in recognition of the unit's excellent performance the
officer commanding Squadron Leader A Sattar Chaudhry was
In 1964, No 20 Squadron undertook a task of immense national
importance when it photographed the major river basins of
the country to facilitate the work of the World Bank's Indus
Basin Project. The unit can justly be proud of its
contribution towards the siting of Mangla and Tarbela dams,
the two largest the country.
The squadron flew 24 tactical reconnaissance missions during
the 1965 war. In spite of the great disadvantage of
operating a slow and unarmed aircraft, the pilots of 20
Squadron operated well inside enemy territory and
photographed vital targets both for the Pakistan Air Force
and the Pakistan Army.
For this courageous performance the squadron commander,
Squadron Leader Mir Mubariz Ahmed was awarded
Tamgha-i-Basalat. In 1971 a detachment of the squadron was
deployed in East Pakistan also to provide photographic
intelligence to the army. No. 20 Tactical Attack and
Reconnaissance Squadron was presented with the squadron
colour by Air Chief Marshal Zulfiqar Ali Khan on 6th April