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تابعونا علي قناة اليوتيوب 400+ فيديو حتي الان **** تابعونا علي صفحات التواصل الاجتماعي ***** تفاصيل العضوية في المجموعة داخل الموقع **** استخدم خانة البحث لمعرفة ما تريد بسرعة

Air-Vice Marshal Reda El-Iraqi


Former MiG-21 pilot.

 



“I’ve joined the air force on October 1963 and graduated in 1965 at 19 years of age and was elected as a fighter pilot amongst the 17th batch of pilot graduates. After graduation, me among 35 of the 65 that graduated were instated in a Fighter Training unit based at Kibrit Airbase on MiG-17 "Fresco"s and MiG-15 "Fagot"s. As we stood in the airbase we would see the MiG-21 "Fishbed"s flying over us and we would feel very enthused and proud that our next step would be this amazing aircraft.
The MiG-21 was a wonderful aircraft, especially the F13 variant. And to this date, in 2010, I'm pretty sure I could challenge any other aircraft that exists today if I had the skills I used to have as a fighter pilot back then. We used its drawbacks as points of advantages to us. For instance, the MiG-21's 30 mm cannon had a very high rate of fire, but a limited round capacity of 60 rounds, which is a minute amount. After the training course was over, we reached a very high level of training that even the Soviets haven't reached. We made use of each single round and made sure it hit its target. On the other hand, the Israeli F-4 "Phantom" pilot had 600 rounds, so, he had no worries what so ever regarding drying his cannon. He could just keep shooting non-stop at the region his target is at and he'll be sure at least some of his rounds would hit."


1st Engagement:
23rd of October 1967
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"It wasn't the first time I engage in a dogfight against Israeli fighters. There were several provocative chases before. We would engage very strongly, but the dogfights would end before anyone manages to fire at the other for various reasons.
The Israeli Air Force had managed to form an elite squadron of their best Mirage pilots, the 101st Fighter Squadron. The least experienced pilot of them had at least 4 aerial kills against Arab aircrafts. So, we thought about forming a similar squadron comprised of our elite pilots, led by Fawzi Salama, the best fighter pilot to exist in Egypt undoubtedly. However, the Egyptian command rejected this for an unknown reason. The idea behind the 101st squadron was very simple. Not all Israeli pilots were of the same skills, experience, bravery, etc... So, they would send the 101st to conduct sorties everywhere to engage the Egyptian and Syrian pilots to cause the highest number of losses to the Arabs to weaken our morale and create a myth that the Israeli pilot is a Super pilot that can't be shot down.
Fawzi Salama then planned an ambush to be executed against Israeli fighters. The plan was sent to the Brigade Commander Colonel Mahmoud Tuleiba to select a region to conduct the ambush against an ordinary Israeli CAP (Combat Air Patrol) sortie to weaken Israeli morale and raise ours. When planning an ambush, we choose when and where it's conducted, while the Israeli Air Force sends any pilot disregarding their experience. Take into consideration that we've shot down numerous 101st Squadron pilots which eventually triggered it's dissolve after the war.
After the approval of Mahmoud Tuleiba, Fawzi Salama, Medhat Zaki, Ahmad Anwar, Ali Masekh, Abdulhamid Tala'at, and I were chosen to conduct the ambush. The ambush involved launching 2 reconnaissance MiG-21s as bait for the enemy to launch his aircrafts to intercept them. And so, 2 MiG-21s were we launched and the Israelis sent an intercept squadron behind the bait MiGs as planned and started chasing them. As soon as the MiGs crossed The Canal West towards the west, the Israeli fighters returned back towards Sinai. So, Colonel Tuleiba ordered the reconnaissance MiGs to turn back and head east of The Canal to lure the Israeli fighters back to chase them. Accordingly, the Israeli aircrafts went back and chased us as we headed east of The Canal.
Simultaneously, the ambush aircrafts were flying below radar coverage altitude. There was a formation of 2 aircrafts flown by Medhat Zaki and Ali Masekh crossing east of The Canal at low altitude behind the Israeli aircrafts who were flying in 2-2 formations. After a secret signal, the 2 aircrafts ascended behind the 2 leading aircrafts and fired their missiles calmly and accurately destroying the 2 aircrafts in a matter of seconds. Then, the rear formation rushed in behind Medhat and Ali to chase them without noticing Fawzi Salama and the 3 other aircrafts flying beneath them. When the Israeli aircrafts chased Medhat and Ali, the controller ordered us to "Zoom Up" meaning to ascend behind the bogies. We quickly ascended to 4 Kms to find that the Mirages were very close to us. So, the controller said "Side Half-Roll to the Left... Go". Immediately, we started to bank strongly to the left and were surprised by the presence of 4 aircrafts not 2. We bolted towards them as we were trained precisely.
Fawzi went in first with me alongside him behind 2 of the aircrafts, while Ahmad Anwar with Abdulhamid Tala'at behind the other 2. Without leaving any room to maneuver for the opposing pilot, Fawzi approached with a dead-heart behind formation leader and launched a missile turning the aircraft into rubble. I miraculously escaped the debris and joined beside Fawzi, eyes on the other fighter who was shocked by the death of his leader, and so, he headed full speed towards his airport at low altitude. A few seconds later we spotted the rest of our formation after they've managed to kill the leader of the other formation.
With great pride and joy, Fawzi ordered all of us to rejoin into a single formation lead by him back to Inchas Air Base. This was the first time ever that an Egyptian formation goes into combat and returns all accounted for to the same airbase. As we arrived at the airport, the moment we disembarked from the aircrafts we were lifted on the shoulders of the mechanics amidst intense cheers and applause.”


2nd Engagement:
11th of September 1969
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“Previously on this day, my comrade Medhat Zaki had managed to shoot down an opposing Mirage. I was conducting a CAP sortie East of The Canal alongside Nabil Abbas at dusk. On the other side of the canal was an Israeli CAP sortie 40 Km east of us. A while later, the controller notified us that the Israeli sortie was returning back to base, so I started to descend to prepare for landing. Everything was going smoothly and I had announced on the radio that I was bingo fuel and started the return leg with Nabil alongside me.
Suddenly, the controller shouted "Drop tanks, afterburner on". We automatically executed the orders with my eyes scanning the skies for bogies. I then spotted a large cloud of aircrafts descending on top of us and I saw a rocket engine pod under each engine used to boost the speed for several seconds. We were 2 aircrafts suffering from fuel shortage and uncountable enemy aircrafts trying to shoot us down. The situation turned from calmness to utter mayhem.
I started maneuvering my aircraft as much as the aircraft could possibly do. I executed maneuvers I know, and those I improvised, making me rumble all over the cabin. Only God knows how I survived. Each time I evaded an aircraft I find another on my tail firing it cannon. The only solution was to fly as low as possible to make sure no aircrafts swoop in from below. I descended to below treetop level, which I called horror flying. I spotted Nabil every now and then behind me maneuvering. Although communication between us had been lost, I would see him periodically behind me. I kept flying as fast and as low as possible towards Inchas and it has already become past dusk, so no other aircrafts could've taken off to assist me. As I neared Inchas all the opposing aircrafts retreated except the one directly behind me which I thought was Nabil's. I then started to ascend a little to bank to make sure there were no more Israeli fighters. Then was my second shock that the aircraft chasing me wasn't Nabil's but was a Mirage that had chased me to Inchas for an unknown reason. No single Israeli aircraft had ever chased an Egyptian aircraft even near Cairo, so it seemed in my opinion that the Israeli pilot wanted to avenge the death of the friend or a relative that was shot earlier today.
So I started to maneuver hardly and went in face-to-face with the pilot at some times. I thought I was going to die at this engagement above my airbase, I never thought I was going to live to tell the tale. All my fuel warnings sounded and alarmed me of my dangerous fuel level. The pilot never left my tail for a split second throughout this period knowing about my weak position and expecting me to eject at any moment. We kept at this bold dogfight for what seemed to be forever. I reached a stage that I would to collide with the other ending the chase by death. I was trained that if you were to die, I wouldn't die alone and would take the Israeli with me. The chase was so fierce that at one time we were no more than 2 meters apart. After long seconds he retreated back to base, and after ascertaining that the airspace is clear I approached the runway. Then, at final approach, my engine stalled, signaling the lack of fuel. Upon landing, I stopped half-way down the runway to the surprise of the tears that were streaming from my eyes from the atrocity of the situation.
The Brigade Commander, Colonel Mahmoud Tuleiba, arrived in a jeep alongside him Metwaly the controller responsible for the sortie to my aircraft. Mahmoud was so joyful that he cried out in joy of my survival. He then told me that Nabil's MiG was hit and he had to eject and he thought that I was dead because my aircraft disappeared of radar scope until he witnessed the deadly duel above Inchas from the ground. Metwaly then interrupted holding the Fighter Table saying "Sir, you're a hero; you're a hero- there were 24 aircrafts- six finger-four formations against 2 MiG-21s". I didn’t believe his words. 24 Mirages against only 2 MiG-21s. Only then I understood the atrocity of what just happened.

3rd Engagement:
November 1969
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The formation on the ground was composed of Ahmad Anwar, myself, Nabil Ezzat, and Nabil Abbasy. However, Ahmad had to go to the bathroom at the last possible second, so Sayed Saqr took his place as Formation Leader temporarily until he comes back. But fate decides to sound the scramble alarm while Sayed was in place. Immediately we started heading towards the runway and take off. We crossed El-Qantara heading towards The Canal and started to search for the aircrafts we were launched to intercept. The controller continued giving us the opposition's movements as they headed towards Melize Airbase and that they’re far away and everything is calm. However, I've learned through experience to never rely solely on the controller's reports. Suddenly, communications with the controller was lost before he finished his sentence and turned into a very loud ambulance siren. This was the first engagement that involved electronic warfare against the Egyptian Air Force. All communications to any nearby airports, to the controller, and between the pilots, making each of us an isolated island. As soon as the sirens started, I noticed something happening in the air. So, I started scanning the sky looking for targets. We were completely blind. We didn't know what was happening around us nor can we coordinate between each other.
We were flying at an altitude of 4 Kms, Sayed alongside him Nabil Ezzat in front, and trailing by 2 Kms Nabil Abbasy and I. I then spotted Israeli aircrafts trailing by approximately 8 Kms leaving white stripes. These stripes kept closing in, only then was I confident that these were enemy aircrafts that had ambushed us.
Sayed was leading, but I couldn't warn him. The Israeli aircraft swooped in behind Sayed, but couldn't place himself in a suitable position to fire a missile. Behind these 2 aircrafts I spotted 2 others descending upon us quickly. I then chased the 2 lead Israeli aircrafts which have failed to notice me and Nabil Abbasy alongside me. I managed to fire a missile which destroyed the lead aircraft, while Nabil shot down another. As we were engaged, the 2 other Israeli aircrafts shot down and killed Sayed Saqr, who until his death had no idea of what was going on around him as the sirens kept playing. I then headed straight for Inchas fearing the presence of other aircrafts. Nabil Ezzat also managed to reach Abu Suwayer Airbase and land safely. When we landed, we reported to our commanders of the sirens and the rest, but no one believed because the concept of electronic warfare has not yet been known. So I asked Metwaly the controller about the transmissions he made to us after we were told that the Israeli aircrafts have moved further. He said that he lost all communications at that moment although we were visible on his radar scope. The natural results under these circumstances would be 4-0 for Israel, but god was with us and we managed to shoot down 2 aircrafts versus one from us.

3rd Engagement:
4th of January 1970
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Nabil Abbasy, as usual, was my wingman. In fact, he was the best wingman I ever flew with. His task was to cover my back from trailing aircrafts. We launched to fly a CAP sortie above El-Manzala Lake to intercept Israeli aircrafts that were spotted far away on radar. As usual, we kept flying the CAP until we were low on fuel. Israeli tactics were to stay away until we start to become low on fuel to attack us when we are most vulnerable with fully armed and fueled aircrafts. At this time the Egyptian pilot would be confused and under stress caused by the attacking aircrafts and the low fuel level. As we turned for the return leg we were warned by the controller of Israeli aircrafts approaching very fast. A second later I was surprised to see the cannon rounds rushing past me in a pattern that showed the lack of skill of the pilot. I started to maneuver very hard and spotted the aircraft at 200 meters behind me, which was a very very close distance. Meanwhile, Nabil had already caught the tail of the other aircraft. So I maneuvered very hard in a fraction of a second and executed low speed maneuvers to catch the tail of the aircraft. The pilot was either very skilled or a novice as he was extremely close to me. A few seconds and maneuvers later, I’ve managed to put the Mirage in front of my crosshairs. I then unleashed my cannon, damaging the aircraft but I haven't seen it being destroyed. Israeli officials later that day denied the Egyptian public report that the aircraft was shot down. However, Egyptian radio intelligence heard the conversation between the pilot, named Lavon, with his controller telling that he was damaged severely and that he ejected as soon as he crossed The Canal.
I was at bingo fuel, which prevented me from continuing the dogfight and destroying the aircraft that I damaged although it was a very easy kill. On the next day, the Egyptian press released pictures of the Mirage inside my kill circle/crosshairs. Nabil had caught on to the tail of the other aircraft before it returned back to base full speed after its pilot knew that his leader was damaged as Israelis never fight unless they ensure that they outnumber their opponent. Finally, Nabil joined me and we returned o base with only several liters of fuel to spare.

4th Engagement:
30th of June 1970
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We scrambled on a moment's notice due to the "Incoming" sirens. We were composed of Ahmad Anwar, Mahmoud Muneib, myself, and Fahd Al-Taqawy. As soon as we took off we ascended to a high altitude and were informed that a hostile aircraft was approaching Portsaid.
As we banked towards the target, we were informed of another violation directly behind us, leaving us in a very bad position. But to the skill of Ahmad, the Formation Leader, we were ordered to execute a quick maneuver. I saw hostile aircrafts swoop in behind Ahmad and Mahmoud, but due to their high speed, they overtook them. Then, I saw Ahmad chase these aircrafts which made me confident of his position. However, 2 other aircrafts chased behind Ahmad who was already chasing 2 aircrafts, putting him into an "Israeli sandwich". So I immediately joined the dogfight behind the 2 rear aircrafts which it seems haven’t spotted me. Despite my quick reaction to get behind the aircrafts, they managed to fire missiles against Ahmad and Mahmoud which forced them to eject safely. I then managed to launch a missile against one of the Mirages which exploded inside his exhaust. Then, as soon as that happened, the other aircraft very quickly banked and retreated.
I maneuvered in search of the rest of my formation but hadn't spotted any of them. However, I did spot a Mirage flying right past me very close which hadn't spotted me. So, I directly fired my cannon against it destroying it immediately. Amidst the heat of combat, Fahd has split up from me, which is a very grave mistake to do. Later I knew that he split to engage 2 Mirages but was shot and had to eject.


source : group 73 historians interview .

Translated by : https://www.facebook.com/pages/%D8%AD%D8%B1%D8%A8-%D8%A3%D9%83%D8%AA%D9%88%D8%A8%D8%B1/495708033848748

 

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