On this day 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. He received the Sitar-e-Jurat twice for his outstanding flying abilities and valor in air warfare.
During the 1965 Pak-India conflict, Alam, popularly known as “Little Dragon,” shot down five Indian war planes in less than a minute while piloting an F-86 Sabre, totaling nine warplanes downed in aerial action.
MM Alam was the PAF’s first combat pilot, and his name is on the list of Hall of Famers at the PAF Museum in Karachi. Alam is regarded as a national hero in Pakistan and was honored with the prestigious ‘Sitara-e-Jurat’ as well as the BAR medal for his outstanding performance in the 1965 war.
Alam was born in Calcutta, India, on July 6, 1935, as the oldest of 11 siblings. No one in his family had served in the military before him, and he entered the military despite his father’s wishes.
When India went to war in 1965, Alam, who was the first commanding officer of the first squadron of Assaults Mirage III, flew his F-86 Sabre jet plane over the skies of Sargodha, armed with AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles, to kill the enemies.
MM Alam made headlines when he shot down nine Indian Hawker Hunter fighter jets in air-to-air battle amid the Hawker Hunter’s dominance over the F-86. He shot down five Indian planes in thirty seconds, breaking the world record.
Since December 2012, the Air Force legend has been hospitalized at Pakistan Naval Station Shifa Hospital in Karachi due to illness.
Alam died in Karachi on March 18, 2013, at the age of 77, after a long illness. He retired as an Air Commodore in the year 1982.
To know more about MM Alam, watch him explaining how he downed 5 Indian planes in less than a minute.