The actions of those men deserve to be highlighted and explained, especially the contributions of the Pakistani pilot Saiful Azam and the brave Jordanian soldiers of the battle of Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem.
At 12:48 p.m. on June 5, four Israeli jets were descending on Jordan's Mafraq air base to smash the country's tiny air force, shortly after the entire Egyptian air force had been reduced to rubble.
To intercept the incoming attack, Jordanian air force commanders deputized Flt. Lt.
, who was on loan as an advisor from Pakistan.
Once airborne with other Jordanian pilots, Saiful Azam
engaged the attacking aircrafts in an air-to-air combat, shooting down a Mystére commanded by Israeli pilot H. Boleh and shot and damaging another that crash-landed in Israeli territory.
Two days later he
was urgently dispatched to Iraq along with several Jordanian pilots to defend the Iraqi air bases against the Israeli air force
which by then had ruled without any challenge the Arab skies over Egypt, Syria, Jordan and now Iraq.
again was deputized by the Iraqi air force
, along with top Jordanian pilot Ihsan Shurdom, who later became the commander of Jordanian air force
, to fly its Hunters in defense of its H-3 and al-Walid air bases.
Once airborne the Jordanian and Iraqi pilots with Saiful Azam
leading the formation intercepted the attacking Israeli aircrafts that ended up of the shooting down two of Azam's Iraqi wingmen by the attacking Israelis.
It was then when Saiful Azam
air combat skills flying the Iraqi Hunter shot down two of the Israeli attacking planes.
Within 72 hours, Saiful Azam became the only fighter-pilot in the world to hold the record of shooting down three confirmed kills of Israeli aircrafts in air-to-air combat, a record that still stands today.
other records included being the only fighter pilot to fly in three air forces; Pakistani
, and Iraqi
Adding to his
record, was his
downing of an Indian Gnat aircraft during the Pakistani war with India in 1965, making him yet again the only pilot to shoot down three kinds of military aircrafts in two different air forces.
was honored and awarded medals in Iraq and Jordan for his
heroics but despite his
remarkable military achievements and services in the Arab world, he
remains unknown to the Arab public and very little is written about him in Arabic.
A retired colonel in the Jordanian air force told me that very few people know about Azam's services outside the air force; Azam then moved to Bangladesh after it became an independent country and served in its air force until his retirement.
All told, Pakistani Air Force pilots, in addition to Saiful Azam serving in Jordan, Iraq, Egypt and Syria, in 1967 war, downed as many as 10 Israeli aircrafts without losing a single pilot or a single aircraft.