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10th April 1959: A landmark date in PAF’s history


10 April 1959 is enumerated with golden words in history as on this date, two PAF F-86F Sabres from No 15 Squadron intercepted and shot down an Indian Canberra PR57 near Rawalpindi for violation of Pakistani airspace. The Canberra Serial#IP-988 hailing from No 106 Squadron of IAF was shot down by Flt Lt Yunis at an altitude of 50,000 feet marking it the First Aerial Victory for Pakistan Air Force.
The Indian Canberra PR57 was on a photo-reconnaissance mission over Punjab province when Sqn Ldr Naseer Butt and Flt Lt Muhammad Yunis scrambled on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr to intercept the intruding enemy aircraft. The Indian crew, Sqn Ldr Jagdish Chandra Sengupta and Flt Lt Satendra Nath Rampal, after being hit and ejected over Pakistani territory and were later arrested. The captured aircrew during interrogation revealed that they chose 10th April as the mission date, thinking PAF pilots would be busy with Eid prayers. In recognition of his professional acumen and valor, Flt Lt Yunis was awarded Sitara-i-Jurat.
The historic event is the manifestation of the rich history and prowess of PAF aircrew, wherein they have always displayed utmost bravery and professionalism in safeguarding the aerial frontiers of Pakistan.

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