Captain Saiful Azam also known as Living Eagle flew for four countires namely Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iraq and Jordan. In his career Captain Saiful Azam shot down one Indian air force(IAF) and three Israeli air force(IAF) aircrafts. Captain Saiful Azam holds the world record of shooting down most number of Israeli aircrafts than anyone else.
“A nation that does not honor its heroes will not long endure.”
Captain Saiful Azam-Living Eagle
- Saiful Azam (1941 – 14 June 2020) was a fighter pilot for the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) (1960-1971).
- And later for the Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) (1971-1979).
- He was born in then East Bengal’s Pabna District in 1941.
“He came, he saw, he conquered”
- Saiful Azam left home at the age of 18. So he can join PAF.
- Later he was commissioned as a Pakistani fighter pilot in 1960.
1965 Indo-Pak War:
- During his 12 ground-attack missions, he inflicted heavy damage to Indian forces.
- Azam also downed an Indian Air Force aircraft and was awarded Sitara-i-Jura’at.
- Later in 1966, he assumed the command of PAF’s No. 2 Squadron.
- Then in November 1966, PAF sent him on deputation as an adviser to the Royal Jordanian Air Force.
1967 Arab-Israel war:
- During the 1967 Arab Israel war, Azam shot down a Dassault Mystère IV belonging to the Israel Air Force while flying a Hawker Hunter.
- A day later, he was shifted to an Iraqi airbase where he shot down a Vautour IIA and Dassault Mirage III belonging to the Israel Air Force.
- In 1969, after completing his overseas deputation, he returned in service to the PAF and spent several years as flight commander at various PAF bases before the Formation of Bangladesh in 1971.
- Azam left the PAF in 1971 and joined the newly-formed Bangladesh Air Force serving as Director of Flight Safety and Director of Operations before being given command of the Dhaka Air Base.
- Later in 1979, he got promoted to Group Captain.
- After retiring as a Group Captain from Bangladesh Air Force in 1979, he developed a career in the civil service.
- Then, he joined the politics.
- He passed away on 14 June 2020 at 13:00 hours at the Combined Military Hospital, Dhaka.
- PAF chief Mujahid Anwar Khan also consoled and stated:
“Azam was an exceptional fighter pilot who would always be remembered for his valor and professionalism.”
Palestinian historian Osama al-Ashqar also hailed Azam as a great airman.
“Our brothers in Bangladesh and Pakistan were our partners in resistance and defending the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”
Al-Aqsa*: Holy site for the Muslims which is in Jerusalem/Al Quds.
- Sitara-e-Jurat (Pakistan)
- Husam-e-Isteqlal (Jordan)
- Noth-e-Shuja (Iraq)
- The only fighter pilot who downed 3 Israeli aircraft during the 1967 Arab-Israel war, which is also a world record.
- He also received various awards from Pakistan, Jordan and Iraq for his heroics.
- Saiful Azam also flew for four air forces (Bangladesh, Jordan, Iraq and Pakistan) at war.
- He also destroyed fighter jets of two different air forces (India and Israel).
- The United States government also awarded him as one of the world’s 22 “Living Eagles” for his outstanding war skills and courage.
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