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M M Alam

Air commodore Muhammad Mahmood Alam (known as "M.M. Alam"; bornMuhammad Mahmud Alam; 6 July 1935 – 18 March 2013) was  a Pakistani fighter pilot, North American F-86 Sabre Flying ace andone-star general who served with the Pakistan Air Force. Squadron Leader Muhammad Mahmud Alam, Commander of No 11 Squadron, was already a notable leader and highly experienced pilot in 1965, when he was awarded the Sitara-e-Jurat ("The star of courage"), a Pakistani military decoration, for his actions during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. In earning his decorations, Alam downed five Indian aircraft in less than a minute — the first four within 30 seconds — establishing a world record. He also excelled in gunnery competition, a skill that without a doubt contributed greatly to his becoming the first and the only jet ace in one mission.

Early life
Born July 6, 1935 to a well-educated family of Kolkata, British India, M.M. Alam completed his secondary education in 1951 from Government High School, Dacca, East Pakistan. He joined the PAF in 1952 and was granted commission on October 2, 1953.  Alam's brothers are M. Shahid Alam, an economist and a professor at Northeastern University, and M. Sajjad Alam, a particle physicist atSUNY Albany. 

His family moved to West Pakistan in around 1971, after the secession of East Pakistan. Being the eldest among 11 siblings in his family, M.M. Alam never married as he had to share the financial responsibilities of his younger sisters and brothers. Several of his younger brothers excelled in various academic and professional careers, owing their success to MM Alam’s hard work. 

Contrary to later accusations that also embittered him towards the establishment, ethnically Bihari Alam remained loyal to Pakistan and not to the newly created Bangladesh. 
Service with the Pakistan Air Force
Indo-Pakistani War of 1965

M.M. Alam's F-86 in 1965 War

Alam is well known for his actions during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 when he was posted at Sargodha. During this war he was involved in various dogfights while flying his F-86 Sabre fighter. He downed nine Indian fighters in air-to-air combat, including six Hawker Hunter fighters.  In one mission on 7 September 1965, Alam downed five Indian aircraft in less than a minute, the first four within 30 seconds, establishing a world record, with total of 9 aircraft downed in the war. Alam's confirmed kills are as follows: 
September 6, 1965, 1× Hawker Hunter 
Squadron Leader Ajit Kumar Rawlley, No. 7 Sqn, KIA near Tarn Taran. 
September 7, 1965, 5× Hawker Hunters[2] 
Squadron Leader Onkar Nath Kacker, No. 27 Sqn, POW 
Squadron Leader A B Devayya, No. 7 Sqn also claimed by Flt Lt Amjad Hussain  
Squadron Leader Suresh B Bhagwat, No. 7 Sqn 
Flight Lieutenant B Guha, No. 7 Sqn 
Flying Officer Jagdev Singh Brar, No. 7 Sqn, KIA, near Sangla Hill. 
September 16, 1965, 1× Hawker Hunter 
Flying Officer Farokh Dara Bunsha, No. 7 Sqn, KIA, near Amritsar. 

The Pakistan Air Force figures have been disputed by Indian sources which claim Alam made four kills, attributing one of the losses ofSqn Ldr Onkar Nath Kacker's aircraft to booster failure or some other cause including the possibility of ground fire. They also claim that gun camera footage of Alam's kills is yet to be made public and therefore some of the kills cannot be confirmed. 

In 1967, Alam was transferred as the Squadron Commander of the first squadron of Dassault Mirage III fighters procured by the PAF. He was removed from staff college based on a false pretext in May 1969. In 1972, he commanded No. 26 Squadron for two months. In 1971 war Pakistan Air Force grounded Alam and was not allowed to fly because of Alam's Bengali origins. 

In 1982, Alam retired as an Air commodore and took up residence in Karachi. Since retiring, Alam had become more deeply interested in religion. 

The Air Force legend had been battling illness since December 2012, and was admitted to Pakistan Naval Station Shifa Hospital in Karachi. After a protracted illness, M.M.Alam died in Karachi on 18 March, 2013, he was 77 then. M.M. Alam had been suffering from respiratory problems but his health had deteriorated lately due to his age. He had been under-treatment for about 18 months. M.M. Alam’s funeral prayer was offered at the PAF Base Masroor, where he served some finest years of his air force life, and was later laid to rest at the Shuhuda (Martyrs) graveyard at PAF Masroor Airbase. Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt, Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad, air chief marshal (retd) Farooq Feroz Khan, Sindh corps commander Lt Gen Ijaz Chaudhry, Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) Director-General Maj Gen Rizwan Akhter, several war veterans of the 1965 war and a number of colleagues of MM Alam attended the funeral. One of the younger brothers of the deceased, Zubair Alam, was also present. 

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