The 1965 war is full of dramatic and thriller stories of how Pakistan’s armed forces defended Pakistan from the Indian intrusion. There are events that are hard to believe, and things that are impossible were made possible. Despite being outnumbered by the Indian Army, the Pakistan Army not only successfully defended its territory but captured many Indian check posts while retaliating. In 1965, Pakistan Air Force Pilot MM Alam made history by shooting down five Indian planes in less than a minute. Commonly known as M M Alam, the “1965 War Hero”, the war hero still holds a record for the heroic act.
MM Alam is a name that was feared by the whole Indian Air Force during the 1965 war between India and Pakistan. He was an asset of the Pakistan Air Force, a secret weapon. One of the finest pilots Pakistan Air Force has ever produced in its glorious years of defending Pakistan’s airspace. MM Alam’s profound service has placed him at the top of the hall of fame list at the Pakistan Air Force Museum in Karachi.
MM Alam was born in an Urdu-speaking Bihari origin family on 4th July 1935 in Calcutta. He was fluent in both Bengali and Urdu languages. He completed his secondary education in East Pakistan and graduated from a Govt High School in Dhaka in 1951. In 1952 MM Alam joined the Royal Pakistan Air Force which is now called the Pakistan Air Force PAF. After the fall of Dhaka in 1971, his family moved to Pakistan.
During the 1965 Indo-Pak war, MM Alam was posted at Sargodha
He scored an “ace in a day” on 7th September 1965 with a total kill of 5 Indian jets. MM Alam’s unwavering services have placed him at the top of the hall of fame list at the Pakistan Air Force Museum in Karachi. During the war, MM Alam flew an American-made F-86 Sabre while Indian Air Force used British Hawker Hunter jets which were far more modern and lethal than Sabre.
According to the official reports of the Pakistan air force, MM Alam shot down five Indian aircraft in less than a minute on 7th September 1965. Regarding the last four Indian Hunter jets, Alam stated that “Before we had completed more than about 270 degrees of turn at around 12 degrees per second, all the four Hunters had been shot down”. Later in 1978, in a speech at the Karachi university, he claimed he saw spiritual forces coming from the sky.
In 1967 Alam was appointed Squadron Commander of the first squadron of Dassault Mirage. MM Alam was awarded the Sitara-e-Jurat twice which is the nation’s third highest military award for his courage, bravery and gallant response in the 1965 war. He retired as Air Commodore from the Air Force in the year 1982.
To give tribute to MM Alam’s gallantry services, a major road in Lahore is named after him. In 2014, on his death anniversary, the airbase of PAF in Mianwali was renamed after him as PAF Base M.M Alam.
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