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PAF s' Squadrons

No. 15 Squadron History: 1948-1988

During the expansion of the PAF following the mutual assistance agreement with the USA, No. 15 Squadron was formed on 5th June 1956 at PAF Base, Mauripur; it was designated as a tactical attack squadron. A Cobra was chosen as the squadron insignia. Flight Lieutenant S N Hassan was the first officer posted on the strength of 15 Squadron on 25th May 1956. By the middle of June the squadron had received its first aircraft, a T-33, allotted for transition and instrument flying. The first F-86s were received on 20 July.

It was on 4th September that the first of the legendary F-86s lifted into the skies of Pakistan and 15 Squadron is proud that the aircraft belonged to it. On 5 September Squadron Leader S M Ahmed, the Squadron Commander, became the first pilot to cross the sound barrier and create a sonic bang in Pakistani airspace. On 22nd December 1956 the F-86s of Nos. 11 and 15 Squadrons took part in the first formation aerobatics demonstration on Sabres, which was witnessed by the visiting Chinese Premier Mr. Zhou Enlai.

History was created on 2nd February 1958, when 16 Sabres performed a loop in close formation. This unprecedented event was witnessed by King Zahir Shah of Afghanistan alongwith President Iskander Mirza. A number of 15 Squadron pilots, including its CO, belonged to this historic 'Falcons' team. On 11th February 1958 the squadron bid farewell to Mauripur and moved to Peshawar.

10th April 1959 was a special Eid for No. 15 Squadron. On that day of festivity two Cobras were scrambled at 0715 hours to intercept an intruding aircraft which upon being identified as an IAF Canberra was shot down. Flight Lieutenant Yunis of 15 Squadron created history by being the first Pakistani pilot to shoot down a hostile aircraft.

The squadron moved to Samungli in July 1962, and then to Sargodha in October 1963. Here the squadron once again showed its mettle when on 1st September 1965 Flight Lieutenant Imtiaz Bhatti shot down two IAF Vampires in the Chamb sector, for which he was awarded Sitara-i-Juraat. 15 Squadron flew a number of strike, close 1965 War. In July 1973, the unit was reequipped with the F-6.

In recognition of its commendable performance over a span of twenty years, the squadron was presented with a colour by the President of Pakistan, Mr. Fazal Elahi Chaudhry at an elegant ceremony held at PAF Base, Peshawar on 9th January 1976. The role of the squadron was also changed at that time to that of an air superiority squadron.

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