No. 26 Squadron was raised on 30th August 1967 under its
first Commanding Officer Wing Commander Rehmat Khan, to
systematize the operational training of fighter pilots on
the F-86. It was originally located at Masroor but later
moved to Peshawar with its complement of Sabres. For about
ten years it was the only unit of its kind and can proudly
claim to have trained over 300 fighter pilots for the PAF.
In fact a majority of the present combat force of the PAF
was introduced to fighter operations in this squadron which
also has the distinction of graduating over 150 trainees
from other friendly countries.
The squadron participated in the 1971 war under the command
of Wing Commander S A Changazi. It flew over three hundred
sorties in the air defence, counter air and close air
support roles. IAF bases at Srinagar and Awantipura were
frequently attacked by the daring pilots of 26 Squadron
throughout the war. The unit also flew close support
missions in the Chamb and Shakargarh sectors.
In addition to hitting the enemy on the ground the
Squadron's pilots also challenged him in the air where they
destroyed 7 and damaged 2 enemy aircraft. The kills included
front line Indian Air Force fighters, some of which were a
generation newer than the faithful old Sabres of 26
Squadron. These kills were achieved during classic aerial
engagements as well as during pursuit of with drawing enemy
fighters. Flight Lieutenant Salim Baig Mirza shot down a
Gnat over Srinagar and a Hunter close to Peshawar; both
kills were confirmed through target wreckage.
Squadron Leader M Aslam Chaudhary flew a total of fifteen
missions before he went down fighting valiantly. On 10th
December 1971 while leading a section of two F-86Fs on a
close support mission in the Chamb sector his flight was
attacked by six Indian Air Force Hunters. Totally
outnumbered he chose to hold his ground and fight the enemy.
In the ensuing combat he was apparently shot down by one of
them and was officially declared missing in action. For his
courage and devotion to duty he was decorated with
Sitara-i-Juraat (posthumous). Flight Lieutenant Fazal Elahi
flew intensively during the first two days of the war. He
was never daunted and displayed exemplary courage and
determination for his young age. On 8th December 1971, while
on a close support mission, his aircraft was hit by ground
fire which resulted in its disintegration in the air. He was
awarded Sitara-i-Juraat posthumously.
By the end of the 1970s, the Sabre had become obsolete and
it became essential to replace the old faithful. In December
1980, the Squadron was reequipped with Chinese-built F-6s,
and designated an air superiority squadron. Four years
later, the squadron's F-6s were replaced with A-5s and its
role changed to a tactical attack squadron.
At a solemn ceremony held on 27th April 1982, Mir Ali Ahmed
Khan TaIpur, the minister of defence, awarded the squadron
colour to the unit. The colour has always been a symbol of
pride and a reminder to the unit personnel of the high
traditions, achievements and sacrifices of their
The Squadron won three top trophies of the PAF in the year
1985, after converting to A-5 aircraft. These were the
Professionals trophy, the flight safety trophy and the
command armament trophy.