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PAF s' Squadrons

No. 4 Squadron History: 1948-1988

In January 1958, a maritime flight consisting of 2 Grumman SA-16 Albatross amphibian aircraft was established as part of No. 12 Composite Squadron based at Mauripur. On 15 August 1959 the status and strength of this flight was raised to that of a squadron with 4 SA-16s and 4 Bristol Freighters; the unit was designated No. 4 Squadron. On 8 July 1960 its strength was reduced to 2 SA-16s and 2 H-19D helicopters, and it was assigned the role of search, rescue, casualty evacuation and maritime reconnaissance.

No. 4 Squadron carried out all its assigned tasks in a creditable manner. From 9 to 21 November 1964 the unit also took part in CENTO maritime exercise Midlink VII. During the 1965 war, the SA-16s were employed to detect and report movement of all kinds of vessels, particularly the Indian aircraft carrier Vikrant. The H-19s, for their part, helped the army to track down suspicious persons in the coastal areas.

On 19 August 1968 the SA-16s were placed in storage, bringing to a close their commendable ten year contribution to the task of search and rescue. No. 4 Squadron continued operating its helicopters till they too were approaching the end of their useful life. In March 1969 the unit was number-plated.

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