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The First Encounter
Size: 2ft x 3ft Oil   Date: 6-Sep-65
Artwork Located:
Air War College - PAF Faisal

Dawn over Wazirabad. Flight Lieutenant Aftab Alam Khan in an F-104A Starfighter destroys a Mystere IV and damages another, to mark the start of the India-Pakistan war. India launched the war over West Pakistan with an attack by a formation of four Mystere IV aircraft. The Mysteres crossed the international border to attack a Pakistani train near Wazirabad. Flight Lieutenant Aftab Alam Khan was on a routine morning combat air patrol in the Chamb/Mangla area. He was directed by the Controller at Sakesar, Flight Lieutenant Farooq Haider, to intercept the intruders. First contact with the enemy was made as the F-104 passed head on through the Mystere formation. In the ensuing combat at tree top level, he skillfully outmanoeuvred the opponents to destroy one Mystere and damage another. The remaining members of the formation managed to slip away in the poor light conditions, only to tell the tale of the "dreaded F-104 and the deadly Sidewinder". Apart from being the first encounter to start the war in earnest, the engagement was also significant in other respects. It marked a new era of dog-fighting at very low altitude. It was also the first combat kill by any Mach-2 aircraft, and the first missile kill for the Pakistan Air Force.

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