The fifth death anniversary of the 1965 war hero, Muhammad Mahmood Alam, popularly known as MM Alam, was observed across the country on Sunday.
Alam is considered a national hero of Pakistan, most significantly, for his remarkable show of brilliance in the 1965 Pak-India war when he was posted at Sargodha. During this war, he was involved in various dogfights while flying his F-86 Sabre fighter. He downed nine Indian Hawker Hunter fighters in the aerial fighting and damaged two others.
In one mission on September 7, 1965, Alam crashed down five Indian aircraft in less than a minute, the last four within 30 seconds, establishing a world record with a total of nine aircraft downed in the war.
Alam, born on July 6, 1935, in a well-educated family of Calcutta, British India, was the eldest of 11 siblings. The family migrated from Calcutta to Eastern Bengal which became East Pakistan following the formation of Pakistan in 1947. He joined the then RPAF (now PAF) in 1952 being commissioned on October 2, 1953. His family moved to West Pakistan in around 1971 after the secession of East Pakistan. In 1982, Alam retired from PAF as an air commodore and took up residence in Karachi. Alam died in Karachi on March 18, 2013, at the age of 77.