B-57 light bomber wing of the PAF - No 31 - was established
in May 1960 with Nos. 7 and 8 Squadrons at PAF Station,
Mauripur (Masroor). No. 8 Squadron was raised in August 1960
with Squadron Leader Muhammad lqbal as its first officer
commanding. He saw the squadron through its infancy and was
succeeded by Squadron Leader Saeed A Ansari in November
1963. On 27 October 1964, the squadron became the first in
the world to form a regular formation aerobatics team of 4
bombers which coolly performed loops in full view of
Squadron Leader Rais A Rafi succeeded Squadron Leader Ansari
in October 1964 and remained in command till April 1968. It
was thus during his tenure that this squadron saw action in
the 1965 war with India. During the war the squadron carried
out counter air operations against enemy airfields at
Jamnagar and jodhpur in the south and Ambala, Adampur,
Halwara and Pathankot in the north. The squadron also
carried out daring day and night close support missions in
the Shakargarh sector. During most of the night strikes the
squadron flew in single aircraft stream raids at low level.
In the attack phase, the aircraft were pulled up for bomb
delivery from multiple diving attacks. The squadron followed
this attack mode despite much greater exposure to ground
fire because it ensured the best probability of killing
their targets. During one of these missions Squadron Leaders
Alam Siddiqui and Aslarn Qureshi - pilot and navigator -
were killed in action.
After the war, the squadron was awarded two Sitara-i-Juraats
and eleven Imtiazi Sanads. for the gallantry and dedication
of its crews during operations.
In the post-1965 period the squadron trained hard to achieve
even higher standards in the light of lessons learned during
the war. The unit was number-plated on 1 May 1970, and its
assets amalgamated with those of No. 7 Squadron. This became
necessary because of dwindling spares support following the
American arms embargo.
In May 1982, the squadron was reactivated at PAF Base,
Masroor with Mirage-V aircraft under the command of Wing
Commander Khalid A. Sattar. The re-equipment ceremony was
presided over by the Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Tariq
Kamal Khan. In March 1986, No. 8 Squadron won the award for
the best formation in the Pakistan Day fly past.