Muhammad Mahmood Alam


Muhammad Mahmood Alam
Muhammad Mahmood Alam khan
Nickname Little Dragon
Born 06 Jul 1935
Calcutta, British India
Allegiance  Pakistan
Service/branch  Pakistan Air Force
Years of service 1960-1982
Rank US-O7 insignia.svg Air Commodore (Brigadier-General)
Unit No. 11 Squadron Arrows (1965) [1]
No. 5 Squadron Falcons
Battles/wars Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
Soviet War in Afghanistan
Awards Sitara-e-Jurat and Bar

Air Commodore Muhammad Mahmood Alam (Urdu: محمد محمود عالم ,Bengali: মুহাম্মদ মাহমুদ আলম) is a retired Pakistani fighter pilot, North American F-86 Sabre Flying ace and one-star general who served with the Pakistan Air Force. He was awarded the Sitara-e-Jurat ("The star of courage"), a Pakistani military decoration, for his actions during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965.

Contents

Early life

Alam is a Bengali born on 6 July 1935 in Calcutta, British India. His family migrated to East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) with the onset of the Partition of India. He is the eldest of a total of eleven siblings who are well-educated and in important positions around the world.[citation needed] His father died when he was young, and he himself had to take the reins of his family early in life. The family moved to West Pakistan (now, Pakistan) after East Pakistan broke away to form Bangladesh in 1971. Contrary to later accusations that also embittered him towards the establishment, MM Alam always remained loyal to Pakistan and not to the newly created Bangladesh. In his one mission, five Indian fighters were downed in less than a minute by Alam,[2] which explains his score with a special aiming and firing technique he developed.

Service with the Pakistan Air Force

Indo-Pakistani War of 1965

Alam is well-known for his actions during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965 when he was posted at Sargodha. During this war he was involved in various dogfights while flying his F-86 Sabre fighter. Pakistani sources claim that he downed nine Indian fighters, six of them Hawker Hunter fighters of the Indian Air Force, in air-to-air combat.[3] In one mission, five Indian aircraft were downed in less than a minute by Alam, first four being in first 30 seconds, which explains his score with a special aiming and firing technique he developed.[4][5][6][7][8][9] Alam's confirmed kills are as follows:

The Pakistan Air Force figures have been disputed by Indian sources which award Alam with four kills. They attribute one of the loss of Sqn Ldr Onkar Nath Kacker's aircraft to booster failure.[10][11] They also claim that gun camera footage of Alam's kills is yet to be made public and therefore some of the kills cannot be confirmed.[12]

Transfer to Mirage III squadron

Alam was the commanding officer of the first squadron of Dassault Mirage III fighters procured by the PAF in 1967. However, his unpopularity with the top management of the PAF lead to removal of his command on the excuse that he was "not literate enough".[11]

Retirement

M.M. Alam retired as an Air Commodore in 1982 and currently resides in Karachi. One of the roads of Gulberg in Lahore is named after him as M. M. Alam road.

Family

Alam's brother M. Shahid Alam is an economist and a professor at Northeastern University, Boston. His brother M. Sajjad Alam is a particle physicist at SUNY Albany and is credited for discovering over a dozen particles. However he never married and lives alone in Karachi, often in the company of a vast collection of books, being an avid reader. Although always a spiritual person, he has become even more deeply involved in religion as he has aged..

Citation

"On 6th September, 1965, during an aerial combat over enemy territory, Squadron Leader Mohammad Mahmood Alam flying as pilot of an F-86 Sabre Jet, shot down two enemy Hunter aircraft and damaged three others. For the exceptional flying skill and valor displayed by Squadron Leader Mohammad Mahmood Alam in operations, he was awarded Sitara-i-Juraat. On 7th September, 1965, in a number of interception missions flown by Squadron Leader Mohammad Mahmood Alam against enemy aircraft attacking Pakistan Air Force Station, Sargodha, Squadron Leader Alam destroyed five more enemy Hunter aircraft in less than a minute, which remains a record until today. Overall, he had nine kills and two damages to his credit. For the exceptional flying skill and valour shown by him in pressing home his attacks in aerial combats with the enemy, Squadron Leader Mohammad Mahmood Alam is awarded a bar to his Sitara-i-Juraat." [13]

Official sources

See also

References

  1. ^ "EVENTS - M M ALAM'S F-86". Pakistan: Pakistan Air Force (official website). http://www.paf.gov.pk/mmalam.html. Retrieved 5 March 2010. 
  2. ^ http://www.paf.gov.pk/mmalam.html
  3. ^ Pakistan Air Force official website
  4. ^ http://babriet.tripod.com/articles/art_mmalam2.htm
  5. ^ "Alam’s Speed-shooting Classic". Defencejournal.com. 1965-09-06. http://www.defencejournal.com/2001/september/alam.htm. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  6. ^ "PAKISTAN AIR FORCE - Official website". Paf.gov.pk. http://www.paf.gov.pk/mmalam.html. Retrieved 2011-11-16. 
  7. ^ Fricker, John. Battle for Pakistan: the air war of 1965. http://books.google.com/books?id=RPttAAAAMAAJ. 
    'before we had completed more than of about 270 degree of the turn, at around 12 degree per second, all four hunters had been shot down.'
  8. ^ http://www.yespakistan.com/memorialday/Rebirth%20of%20MMAlam.asp
  9. ^ http://www.ideasevolved.com/pakistan-not-as-seen-on-tv/
  10. ^ Singh, Pushpindar (1991). Fiza ya, Psyche of the Pakistan Air Force. Himalayan Books. ISBN 81-7002-038-7. 
  11. ^ a b Pakistan's Sabre Ace by Jon Guttman, Aviation History, Sept 1998 - Also available at [1]
  12. ^ 30 SECONDS OVER SARGODHA - THE MAKING OF A MYTH: 1965 INDO-PAK AIR WAR, Chapter 5, Bharat Rakshak
  13. ^ Citation of PAF Heros, PakDef.info

External links


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