How the Indian AAA shot down a Pakistan Air Force B-57 at Jamnagar on September 6, 1965

History

Pakistan Air Force received its first B-57s when 24 B-57Bs and two B-57Cs from the inactivated 345th Tactical Bomber Group of U.S. Air Forcewere ferried to Mauripur Air Base in Karachi, Pakistan in 1959 and were used to raise the 7th and 8th Bomber Squadrons of the 31st  Bomber Wing. Later, PAF received two  RB-57F high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft.

During the India Pakistan War of 1965, PAF B-57s flew a total of 167 sorties, dropping over 600 tons of bombs. It lost three B-57s and one RB-57F electronics intelligence aircraft in action over the course of the 22 day war. An interesting fact about these losses is that three of the four aircraft were lost to AAA- two to Indian AAA and one in a case of friendly fire.

The first B-57 was lost on September 6 over Jamnagar when the Martin B-57B No. 33-941(Call Sing: ‘Zulu-6’) of  No. 8 Sqn/No. 31 Bomber Wing from PAF Station Mauripur was shot down by Indian AAA during a bombing attack on IAF Jamnagar airfield.The pilot Sqn Ldr Shabbir Alam Siddiqui and the navigator Sqn Ldr Aslam Qureshi were  killed on impact and buried near the crash site. The official account claims that the aircraft crashed due to spatial disorientation and bad weather as the crew was fatigued and the PAF refused to acknowledge that the B-57 was shot down by the AAA. It was only after forty years that PAF accepted that the loss of B-57 was due to AAA. Even Chakarvorty in the Official History of India Pakistan War 1965( pp 251)  mentions that ‘probably an ack ack gun shot it down’.

The AD Regiment deployed at Jamnagar was 129 AD Regiment(TA) and this was not only the first PAF B-57 shot down during the war but also the very first PAF aircraft ever shot down by an TA Regiment. Sadly, in the official records, the Regiment never got the credit for the same.

Note

 

PAF lost the second B-57 to Indian AAA when the B-57 No 33-891( Call sign SG-261) of No 7 Squadron/ 31 Bomber Wing PAF was shot down at Adampur. Both the crew members, the pilot Flt Lt Altaf Sheikh and the navigator Flying officer BA Chaudhary ejected safely. They could evade capture only till morning when the villagers rounded them up, making them the first PAF prisoners of war. This is the only loss of B-57 to Indian AAA that is officially acknowledged by PAF.

 

References

Baugher, Joe. “B-57 with Pakistan.” Martin B-57Joe Baugher’s Encyclopedia of American Aircraft, 6 May 2001. Retrieved: 5 July 2010. http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_bombers/b57_10.html

“PAF and the three wars.” Archived 2011-06-08 at the Wayback Machinedefencejournal.com, 2001. Retrieved: 5 July 2010.

 

Haris Masood Zuberi Unsung heroes: Fate of lost PAF aviators uncovered The Express Tribune, September 10th, 2011.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/248981/unsung-heroes-fate-of-lost-paf-aviators-uncovered/

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