Bangladesh Air Force was officially formed during the Bangladesh Liberation War against Pakistan in 1971. Its official date of formation has been established as September 21, 1971. Initially, BAF was formed with all officers and trained airmen of Bengali origin serving in the Pakistan Air Force prior to the war. At that time, the embryo of Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) was formed with an air chief and less than a hundred officers and airmen. During the end of the war a symbolic flight known as 'Kilo Flight' was flown to establish the Bangladesh Air Force. Initially, 'Kilo Flight' consisted of three out of date malfunctioning aircraft provided by the Indian authorities. Nine officers and 47 airmen who defected and crossed into India were given a symbolic operation to mark the beginning of the air force. Squadron Leader Sultan Mahmud was appointed as the commander of the 'Kilo Flight' with two transport planes and one helicopter. After repairing the three aircraft into some operational form, 'Kilo Flight' successfully began its maiden flight operation in the new air force. It bombed an old and almost empty fuel storage in Chittagong and Narayangonj area and thus the journey of BAF had commenced. Almost entirely all BAF flight and aviation equipment and gear that was acquired with the nations independence was taken by the Indian armed forces. Bangladesh Air Force History
In 1972, the three aircraft C-47 Dakota, DC-3 and a French Alouette helicopter was left to Bangladesh by India which being obsolete were soon out of operation. Despite the lack of aircraft, the Pakistan Air Force prior to 1971 had a large number of Bengali pilots, air traffic controllers, technicians and administrative officers many of whom distinguished themselves during the Bangladesh Liberation War, this providing the Bangladesh Air Force with a good number of trained personnel.
Notable Air Force Personnel Bangladesh Liberation War 1971 from Pakistan
Wing Commander Muhammad Hamidullah Khan - Commander Sector 11 Bangladesh Liberation War
Squadron Leader Sultan Mahmud - Freedom Fighter
Squadron Leader Islam - Freedom Fighter
Flight Lieutenant Matiur Rahman (military pilot) - Killed during Daring attempt to defect from PAF to BD for participating in Bangladesh Liberation War
Flight Lieutenant Liaqat - Freedom Fighter
Wing Commander Khademul Bashar - Commander Sector 6 Bangladesh Liberation War
Flt Lt Saiful Azam - Flight Lieutenant Saiful Azam has the unique distinction of having kills against air forces of two different countries. As a young Flying Officer during the 65 War, Saiful Azam scored a kill against an Indian Air Force Gnat, in recognition of which he was awarded Sitara-i-Jurat. Two years later Saiful Azam became the first Pakistani pilot to score against the Israeli Air Force in the 1967 Arab-Israel war. He shot down a Vatour Bomber, a super Mystere, and a Mirage IIIC, all in only two missions thus raising his tally to four kills. To-date he remains the highest shooter of Israeli aircraft in history of dogfight. He has been highly decorated with gallantry awards by both Jordan and Iraq for his extraordinary display of skill and courage. He retired as a Group Captain from Bangladesh Air Force. In 2001, he was honoured by the United States Air Force (USAF) and enjoys the status of being one of the twenty two 'Living Eagles' of the world.