PAF F-104 Starfighter
|June 20, 1961||56-802||November 13, 1963||crashed: the aircraft 'pitched up', and went into a spin. F/O Asghar Shah ejected safely at high speed and received major bruises. The aircraft was replaced under the MAP program; other reports (pilots) mention November 9, 1963.|
|June 21, 1961||56-803||September 3, 1964||crashed: ground contact during a low pull-out while practicing ground Strafing. F/L Tariq Masood died in the accident. The aircraft was replaced under the MAP program.|
|June 19, 1961||56-804||December 5, 1971||shot down by AAA fire in Amritsar area, S/L Amjad Hussain ejected, but was captured (POW)
shot down by Hav Ramaswamy, 27 AD Rgt.
S/L Amjad Hussain was shot down by AAA over Amritsar while attacking a radar installation. He is the only pilot who was shot down in both 65 and 71 wars.
804 was modified with SLARD (Short-range Low Altitude Radar Detection and RALOR (Radar Locator)
claim: Indian Folland Gnat F.1 shot down December 4, 1971 by S/L Amanullah Khan in 56-804 over Amritsar Radar.
|June 21, 1961||56-805||July 10, 1968||written off: lost on ground July 10, 1968 due to fire while on ground. Pilot S/L Arif Iqbal survived.|
|June 19, 1961||56-807||April 15, 1968||crashed: lost April 15, 1968 due to an inflight fire. F/L Ghulam Abbasi died in the accident|
|June 18, 1961||56-868||September 17, 1965||crashed
F/L Ghulam Abbasi crashed due to disorientation of the pilot while landing
in low visibility (sandstorm) undershooting the runway at Peshawar, aircraft
exploded, pilot was thrown clear and slightly hurt; F/L Ghulam Abbasi survived the accident
claim: September 6, 1965 Mystere IV-A claim AIM-9 kill overhead the Rahwali airfield
where a low powered radar was located, shot down by F/L Aftab Alam Khan
|June 20, 1961||56-874||preserved||preserved at PAF Sargodha AB (now
PAF Base Mushaf), May 2017 noted
on display outside the Combat Commanders School at Sargodha.
claim: Canberra B-58 AIM-9B kill during night intercept on September 21, 1965;
shot down by W/C Jamal A. Khan
claim: HF-24 "Marut" strafing on ground at Utterlai AB December 11, 1971
(HF: "Hindustan Fighter") by S/L Amanullah Khan
|June 18, 1961||56-875||preserved||preserved
on pole PAF HQ Chaklala, Islamabad-Chaklala, December 2013 last noted.
33°36'49.95"N 73° 5'11.08"E
875 was modified with SLARD (Short-range Low Altitude Radar Detection and RALOR (Radar Locator)
|June 18, 1961||56-877||September 7, 1965|| crashed
over Sargodha AB, F/L Amjad Hussain shot down a Mystere VI A, flown by S/L
A B Devayya, the Starfighter was hit by the debris of the exploding Mystere
and was uncontrollable, F/L Amjad Hussain Khan ejected safely (see remark below).
claim: Indian Gnat forced to land at Pasrur AB September 3, 1965 (F/O Abbas Mirza)
|June 18, 1961||56-879||preserved||preserved on pole PAF Masroor AB, Karachi-Mauripur
claim: Indian Su-7 Fitter shot down December 4, 1971 by S/L Bhatti in 56-879 over Amritsar
|May 1, 1964||56-773||December 13, 1971||shot down Pilot W/C M L Middlecoat
died after the ejection, shot down by F/L Bharat B. Soni in a MiG-21FL
over Gulf of Kutch after attack on Jamnagar AB, pilot ejected but was
not found (KIA); other reports mention December 12, 1971
A formation of two F-104’s was tasked on 13th December to strike IAF airfield at Jamnagar. Wg Cdr Mervin L Middlecoat was to lead this mission with Sqn Ldr Tariq Habib as his No.2. The formation ingressed for the strike at low level, with the Starfighters configured with wingtip tanks and two Sidewinders under the wings. Close to the target the formation pulled-up to 2-3000 feet with target offset to their right by 2-3 miles in order to line up for their strafing runs. For some reason Middlecoat who was leading the strike banked to the left while target was on the right. Habib gave him a call to correct this. Repositioning for the strafing run resulted in formation spending another minute or two near the target area. After repositioning the formation was again going in for a strafing run, Middlecoat gave Habib a call saying that a missile has been fired at him. Habib cleared his six but did not see anything. Moments later while exiting and over the Gulf of Kutch, Habib got a call from Middlecoat saying that he has been hit and is ejecting. Habib inquired if he could make it to overland but he replied the negative. Habib saw Middlecoat ejecting and the Starfighter going into the water while inverted. At that moment Habib noticed a MiG-21 to his right. As he pulled up to convert behind the MiG-21 his auto-pitch control malfunctioned and the aircraft nose started oscillating. After disengaging the APC Habib safely exited from the area. Later from various published Indian accounts it transpired that two IAF MiG-21’s had intercepted the Starfighters while they were lining up for the strafing run. The lead MiG-21 had fired an Atoll missile at Middlecoat’s F-104 which missed, but was able to close-in for a gun kill. Wg Cdr M L Middlecoat was declared MIA.
(by Usman Shabbir & Yawar A Mazhar)
|March 1, 1965||56-798||preserved||preserved inside Pakistan Air Force Museum at Faisal AB, Karachi
April 2011 last noted
|June 21, 1961||57-1309||preserved||preserved at PAF Academy, PAF Risalpur AB
June 22, 2010 last noted
|June 21, 1961||57-1312||preserved||preserved with false code "57-1309" in the open in the Pakistan AF Museum at Faisal AB, Karachi
January 15, 2004 first noted (after Karachi-Sharea Faisal, Drigh Road)
February 8, 2012 last noted
The F-104 Starfighters remained in service with Pakistan Air Force
for twelve years and flew 11.690 hours.
RJAF F-104A loss calls for 56-787, but this serial number was never operated by the RJAF, but was lost by the ROCAF on October 10, 1964
An unsavoury surprise came on the morning of December 17th, the last day of the war, when two Uttarlai-based MiG-21FLs escorting a flight of four HF-24s on a morning army support mission, bounced a pair of patrolling F-104s near Naya Chor. After a head-to-head blow through, both pairs turned for each other. Flt Samad Changezi, the F-104 wingman, apparently having spotted the pair earlier, split from the formation and maneuvered to get behind the lead MiG-21. He had to close in to gun range as no missiles were being carried – an inexplicable error by the mission planners.  In the meantime the MiG-21 wingman, Flt Lt Arun Datta, was able to close in behind Changezi’s F-104 and fire a missile which missed its target. The F-104 leader, Flt Lt Rashid Bhatti, flying 56-839 (RJAF), warned Changezi to disengage and exit as he had been fired at, but the warning was disregarded in the heat of combat. That inattention earned Changezi a fatal penalty, when a second K-13 missile slammed into his aircraft with an explosion that left no chance of ejection.  A squirming Bhatti thought of chasing Datta’s MiG-21 but, being low on fuel and unsuitably armed, he wisely decided against any more recklessness.
 It was decided to use the RJAF aircraft for night air defence without missiles (i.e. gun only), making the wingtips available for carriage of drop tanks instead of carrying them under wings, which increased the drag by about 45%. The rationale was that with the limited effort available, staying in the air for a longer duration was a better pay-off in terms of deterrence, rather than carrying out futile night interceptions in the absence of an effective low level GCI radar or a worthwhile AI radar.
 The downed aircraft was RJAF F-104 serial number 56-787.
The mentioned aircraft was 56-767 (Flieger Revue Extra Nr.30 September 2010, ISSN 0941/889X, Usman Shabbir)
2 more Indian kill claims!
The IAF also claims 2 other F-104's on the last day of the conflict, but lucky for the PAF, both those F-104's returned to base with severe gun and missile damage from prowling IAF FL's. Apparently both of these were also RJAF Starfighter!
F/L Amjad Hussain shot down a Mystere, 56-877 on September 7, 1965
|STARFIGHTER in the PAF battle fleet|
|Flieger Revue Extra Nr.30 September 2010, ISSN 0941/889X-Usam Shabbir|
|compiled by: Hubert Peitzmeier|
|update: @ February 1, 2019|
|Given information is based on best available references, any proven correction is welcome!|
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