The late Air Commodore (retd) Mohammad Mahmood Alam. - Photo from Wikipedia
The late Air Commodore (retd) Mohammad Mahmood Alam. - Photo from Wikipedia

KARACHI: Air Commodore (retd) Mohammad Mahmood Alam passed away in Karachi this morning after a prolonged illness, DawnNews reported.

Alam, 78-years-old at the time of his death, is considered a hero of the 1965 Pakistan-India war.

Alam, popularly known as M.M. Alam, while piloting an F-86 Sabre, shot down five Indian war planes in less than a minute during the war and altogether, downed nine war planes in the aerial fighting. His record remains unbeaten.

Alam was later awarded the Sitara-i-Jurrat. He also became the first and only “Jet Ace” in one mission.

The war hero was born on July 6, 1935, in Calcutta, India and was the eldest of 11 siblings. No one in his family before him had been part of the military, and in fact, he joined the armed forces against his father’s will. He is popularly known as M.M. Alam and was nicknamed 'Little Dragon'. He retired in 1982 as an Air Commodore.

In December 2012, the air force legend had been transferred to the Pakistan Naval Station Shifa Hospital in Karachi due to illness.

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Comments (113)

Dr Imtiaz Ali
March 18, 2013 6:06 am
Sir, you will always live in our hearts. The whole nation is proud of you. We Salute you! May Allah The Almighty, bless the departed soul in eternal peace and grant strength to the family members to bear this irreparable loss with patience and fortitude. (AMEEN)
Sherry Manzoor
March 18, 2013 6:08 am
Shoaib Zafar
March 18, 2013 6:20 am
The True Heroes who were forgotten often in our bz lives and some fakes supersede them such as..............all of know very well!
Nazir K Ali
March 18, 2013 6:21 am
Inna Lillahe Wa Inna Ilaihe Rajeon. A true war hero and the greatest fighter ace of the PAF. He defended the territory of Pakistan like a man possessed with the burning desire of honor, integrity and preserving the homeland. His kind are few and far in between and Pakistanis will always hold dear his memory. The country and the PAF will forever remain deeply indebted to M M Alam. RIP M M Alam. Salams
Mehboob Ahmed
March 18, 2013 6:25 am
Heroes Never die.
March 18, 2013 6:31 am
Innalilahe wainailehe rajeyun
March 18, 2013 6:32 am
Rest in Peace, Ina Lilahe Wa Ina ILehi Rajioon.
Kader Khan
March 18, 2013 6:32 am
we SALUTE you. You will always be Pakistans Pride (Pak Air Force). Thank you for your brave efforts to gurad the country in 65 war. You are true solder & a real Hero. May Allah bless your soul. Ameen!
March 18, 2013 6:39 am
May Allah rest his soul in peace.
March 18, 2013 6:40 am
Allah Pak is hero ko Jannat tul Firdous mai ala maqaaam ata farmay Ameeeeeeen
March 18, 2013 6:47 am
This man was truly a legend in Sub Continent. Indian Air-force instructors talk about him with their students all the time.
March 18, 2013 6:49 am
Such a small article for such a great man!
March 18, 2013 6:59 am
may Allah bless the hero of the nation. Reminds of the saying of Hazrat Khalid bin Waleed, that goes something like, "let the cowards know that if death was to come in battlefield, Khalid would have had it"
March 18, 2013 7:07 am
A true patriot and a hero, his life was a role model and his values very high. May Allah rest his soul in peace; Ameen
Amanullah Rabbani
March 18, 2013 7:08 am
May his soul rest in Peace.!! Amen. You are our true hero Sir.
March 18, 2013 7:12 am
this pathetic piece of journalism highlights the respect we have for the people who gave every thing to this nation!!!!
P. B. Syed
March 18, 2013 7:13 am
May Allah place him in Jannah.
Sohail Kizilbash
March 18, 2013 7:17 am
I agree with jav4444. He deserves a fuller article about his life and background. People should know about the heroes.
Muhammad Hasan
March 18, 2013 7:18 am
May Allah rest his soul in peace! I remember in late 90s or early 2000s, once we were invited for celebrating PAF day at PAf Base MAsroor, MM Alam was a chief guest, and during his speech he mentioned that since his retirement that was the only highest official occasion of military, in which he was invited as a chief guest. PAF, though is very nice and force of patriotic people, but it is an irony that on the ethnic basis people are descriminated.
March 18, 2013 7:21 am
May Allah rest his soul in peace and award him a place in jannah. Ameen
irfan nawaz
March 18, 2013 7:22 am
May Allah bless his soul. His entire life was devoted to pakistan. Pakistani flag should be lowered for three days to show respect for a great man. It will be symbolic only; other wise his love and service to the country will remain in our hearts.
Farooq Asif
March 18, 2013 7:24 am
The other day DAWN has an article for Arshad Pappu but only four lines for this legend. Very unfortunate for readers. May Allah give him best place in Jannah Aamin.
akhter husain
March 18, 2013 7:29 am
He was a true Pakistani professional with no arrogance even after achieving professional heights.I had met him in 1966 and found him humble and very polite.His advice to me,that I still remember is",Be a good boy" while I was leaving abroad for training.May god bless his soul.
March 18, 2013 7:29 am
Just 66 words to report the death of an icon…something is seriously wrong with DAWN!
Zeeshan Hasan
March 18, 2013 7:30 am
Considered - Shame on you Dawn News "He is a Hero"
March 18, 2013 7:38 am
A truly national hero.Though ,of late, un-sung!
B. Ally
March 18, 2013 7:39 am
Why Dawn has failed to write a befitting obituary for a National Hero. May be in this ethnic ridden country His Bengali origin was a prohibitive facotor. Why we can not be fair to our national heroes irrespective of the fact of their origin. Mind it our origin remains Pakistan
March 18, 2013 7:47 am
I had honour of meeting him twice. A real life hero with passion and love of nation.
March 18, 2013 7:48 am
Being a Pakistani I am proud of what MM Alam did for our country. I wish I could say the say for our politicians !
March 18, 2013 7:50 am
Waiting for a DETAIL article about him. May Allah bless him
March 18, 2013 7:51 am
May Allah bless him heaven
March 18, 2013 7:59 am
Every HERO is worth living in the hearts of the Nation.
March 18, 2013 8:03 am
March 18, 2013 8:03 am
March 18, 2013 8:04 am
couple of weeks before I had received same news which turned out to be a rumour. I received this again from facebook and searched with high hopes that it migh as well be another rumour, but alas! it is not... ':( Innalillahi wa'inna ilaihi rajioon. May Allah grant you highest ranks in heaven and may every PAF soldier be an M.M. Alam.
March 18, 2013 8:05 am
Alam downed five Indian aircraft in less than a minute — the first four within 30 seconds — establishing a world record
March 18, 2013 8:06 am
M.M.Alam, the hero of 1965 war and an SJ. Dawn had to write just 3 lines. Its a pity. MAV
March 18, 2013 8:14 am
May Allah SWT grant His forgiveness and Paradise to you. You made us proud as a nation.
March 18, 2013 8:16 am
it sshould be mentioned that MM Alam was Bengali and was not allowed to fly in 1971
Farooq Ali
March 18, 2013 8:17 am
I have met M M Alam about 10 years ago he was soft spoken , sober, simple and pious . I was impressed a man so brave so great istead of loaded with pride was so simple that is what we should teach to our generations to come .
Amin Anjum
March 18, 2013 8:25 am
may his soul rest in peace
March 18, 2013 8:28 am
Who told you about IAF instructors talk ?....Like 5 planes in 1 Minute fake story...But salute to a soldier n RIP...
March 18, 2013 8:31 am
A hero and a legend long ignored.
March 18, 2013 8:34 am
Do not expect a glorifying article on Pakistan at as most of its readers are Indians and Dawn is very concerned about their emotions...
Asif Kahsmiri
March 18, 2013 8:44 am
May his soul rest in peace...
March 18, 2013 8:48 am
Great souls do not thrust their greatness on to others like the current crop of leadership we have in Pakistan.
March 18, 2013 8:50 am
Inna lillah hai wa ina ilahay rajeoun a hero a brave muslims, wasted and ignored by our society, he was never given prominance beaicuse he belong to a family migrating from india to former east pakistan, our airforce, discriminated him for his color and cast, when we are going go over it, i pray and plead to ALLAH almighty may ALLAH give him best of Jannah and best of both the worlds ameen. For Pakistan airforce you dont have MM Alam born every day from Punjabi airforce can we see Pakistan airforce, when you change your mind set world will respect us and you will gain your lost glory.. Hope you guys wake up now..............
Mushtaq Ahmad
March 18, 2013 8:54 am
May Allah bless you with high place in JANAT
March 18, 2013 8:59 am
May Allah SWT grant him eternal peace amin, he was a living legend and an outstanding person in life.I personally knew him as a child his family were our neighbors in Purana Paltan, Dacca. His brother Sajjad Alam is a dear friend and we went to school at St. Gregory's High School. Mahmud Bhai used to talk to us whenever he visited Dacca. His entire family were high achievers. All his siblings were highly educated and well recognized in their fields. Sajjad Alam is a nuclear physicist at University of NY at Albany. Muhammad Mahmud Alam was uncompromising on principles. He stuck by those principles otherwise he would have been an air chief. The Pakistan Air Force looked after him till his death.He will be greatly missed, Pakistan has lost a brave son.Most of all a man of principle and strong character which is lacking today's society.
March 18, 2013 9:11 am
pakistan lost the war, again!
March 18, 2013 9:52 am
Rest in Peace, sir
Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad
March 18, 2013 9:56 am
INNA LILLA HAY WA INNA ILLEHEY RAJAYOON. From Almighty God we come and to HIM we all have to return one day, sooner or later. Successful are only those who have spent this mortal life in-line with the teachings of the Holy Quran and the great Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). May God Almighty grant eternal peace and solace to the departed soul of Air Commodore (retd) Mohammad Mahmood Alam (popularly known as M.M. Alam) and grant the bereaved family, relatives, friends, associates, peers, pals, classmates, community members, colleagues, course-mates as well as all of his domestic and global admirers, fans, supporters and well-wishers the courage, strength and fortitude to bear this irreparable and untimely loss. Aamen, Tsum Aameen.
El Cid
March 18, 2013 9:59 am
M.M. Alam: Prince of the Skies. Allah's Ultimate Warrior on Angel Wings. Scimitar Blade Saber Scythe...Nemesis of Enemy Skies. Pride of the Nation. Islam's Champion. Vigilant Valiant Undefeated Shaheen Ace of Pak Skies; On the Wings of Angels he Soars...back to his Maker, "Yeh Ghazi Ye Teray Pur-Israr Banday Jinhain Tunay Bakhsha Hai Zoq-e-Khudai Do-Neem In Ki Thokar Main Sehra-o-Darya Simat Ker Pahaar In Ki Haibat Se Raa-ee" To Allah we belong. To Allah the journeying. To Allah the Return. ALLAH Alone is Eternal.
March 18, 2013 10:44 am
He was certainly a true legend. However, we need to rethink our attitudes, behaviors and ignorance towards our Heroes. We somehow tend to forget our legends and their Heroics. Sometimes we see "past" knocking the doors in the present to remind us of a moment, the person, a glory, sorrows, good days and bad days and it is that moment where we should sit back and review what we have learnt from the past. The glories are for those who remember their past, learn from their mistakes, adapt themselves accordingly in the present and anticipate about the future. Have we as a nation done that. I am afraid not and its the past that is knocking our door today to tell us "always be proud of your glories and never forget your Heroes. May Allah bless him and rest his soul in peace.
Khalid Latif
March 18, 2013 10:46 am
My boss when both of us retired in 82. While the world appreciates him as a war hero and an intellectual, we in Pakistan, could not provide him befitting place that he deserved. May God Bless his soul and may his family and friends overcome the grief. Gp Capt Khalid Latif (Retd)
Imran Latif
March 18, 2013 10:51 am
he is the true hero of pakistan. May allah forgive him and rest his soul rest in peace.
March 18, 2013 11:13 am
When some Indian movie hero died dawn was full of articles, news praises etc. about him. But when a real hero died they use words like "considered hero". Wow if people of Pakistan would have been really powerful than dawn or similar trash wouldn't dare to disrespect a real hero of Pakistan like that.
Fawad M. Janjua
March 18, 2013 11:18 am
Appropriately stated...we never even considered our Heroes as Heroes and for those who are ethnically identifying themselves, he showed an example of loyalty and love of motherland that they wont understand. Many won't even understand what I mean by this here.
March 18, 2013 12:30 pm
inah lilayhi wa inah elayhi rajiyoun, a true hero he was.
Z Khan
March 18, 2013 12:47 pm
My hero. RIP M.M Alam
March 18, 2013 12:58 pm
Allah Jannat naseeb kare, aameen
March 18, 2013 1:01 pm
"our airforce, discriminated him for his color and cast," Rubbish. PAF is ours, not yours. We see through you. Stay on your side of the border at least for today. Our great hero, a mighty Muslim warrior passed away today. Leave us be. Have some consideration. A bit of humanity... Go away.
March 18, 2013 1:09 pm
He needs no place in Dawn. It is Dawn's loss. He has an infinitely greater reward waiting for him with his Maker.
March 18, 2013 1:10 pm
Good observation. Very well said.
Kamal Khan Taxila
March 18, 2013 1:24 pm
A legendary pilot of all times and a true muslim, May Allah rest him in peace Ameen
Tonul M.
March 18, 2013 1:32 pm
This is the last straw. Dawn does not value Pakistan's great ones. Shame.
Idalah Saif
March 18, 2013 1:32 pm
Aww... May his soul rest in peace Ameen
March 18, 2013 1:35 pm
Kalashnikov justice for Dawn Hindu Fitna Filth sitting in Haroon House and working against Pakistan. Get them on their way in/way out. At there homes.
PG Bokhari
March 18, 2013 1:53 pm
Be at peace. Thankyou & God bless !
March 18, 2013 2:03 pm
Wait a minute, every one is jumping the gun. For a fact, Dawn is not that disrespectful to its heroes. I am sure a long piece of appreciation is being prepared and waiting to be posted. And then when it comes up, it will still hurt some of the pluralistic readers who are biased about regional, sect, faith and muhajjirs etc. and will then generate disrespectful comments.
March 18, 2013 2:03 pm
A true hero. Will never be forgotten
El Cid
March 18, 2013 2:39 pm
Actually four British made Hawker Hunter fighter jets in 30 seconds. And the fifth one in the next 30 seconds. Our flying Ace made nine combat kills in 1965. He ground the IAF into the dust. No fake. His Saber Jet had gun cameras. This footage was shown to us years later by our instructors at school. We timed in over and over again with our stop watches. No question. One minute: Five kills...! This evidence was viewed by the amazed US Air Force instructors too. None of their fliers could compete with him in flight school. He could pull G's as no one could. That means he could execute very tight turns, maneuver the jet fighter at its design limit. US Top Guns fainted got knocked out well before that limit. Alam's gun camera footage is documented, available in PAF Library archives. So you see this is man over machine. And MM Alam's absolute focus faith in Allah. He blasted the Indian Air Force out of the sky. Total nine kills..! I have seen it, again and again. The last fifth plane took thirty seconds because the Sikh pilot was running away and it took the Pakistani Ace 30 seconds to chase and shoot him down. This is all documented by the Saber Jets gun cameras...NO missiles, no rockets. A gun fight recorded high up...No Fake. Lolz.
A Dawn Reader
March 18, 2013 2:43 pm
Yes more concern about Indian emotion than the truth. Excellence in journalism award for Dawn.
March 18, 2013 2:47 pm
muhammad akhtar hussain
March 18, 2013 2:52 pm
INNA LILLAHE WA INNA ALAIHE RAJEOON may Allah bless his soul.A true muslim, a true Pakistani,pride of the nation and a devoted soldier. Like other heroes of this nation we have not given him the honour he deserved at national level but for long he will live in the heart of those who love pakistan.
March 18, 2013 2:55 pm
"ethnic basis people are descriminated" This says exposes more about you than the PAF.
March 18, 2013 2:55 pm
March 18, 2013 2:57 pm
No sir. Not we. But Dawn.
March 18, 2013 3:01 pm
We should show the achievement of our Muslim and Pakistani heroes who fought bravely for the sake of their religion, and Country. Like the Western Country who shows documentary on TV and repeat again and again the achievement of their heroes. It is engrained in the brain of the next generation, and they feel proud of them. Our Country media should make documentary of our hero's,should held talk show. So that our coming generation remember them, and try to be like them Inshallah
adam memon
March 18, 2013 3:35 pm
Inna Lilahey Wa Inna Elahey Raajey Oon. May Allah rest his soul in peace and give courage to beriefed familly to bear the loss.Let us pray to Allah give us his replacment.
March 18, 2013 4:07 pm
We are proud of you, our hero M.M.Alam. May his soul rest in peace Ameen.
March 18, 2013 4:20 pm
Now everybody should know whose perspective Dawn represents. Just like most other newspaper/channels, Dawn too has been hijacked by anti muslim groups. Quaid e Azam, the founder of the newspaper would have been ashamed.
March 18, 2013 4:23 pm
Thanks for highlighting the great saying by the greatest General to have ever lived
March 18, 2013 4:25 pm
A true hero for our generation !
March 18, 2013 4:29 pm
kamran shakil
March 18, 2013 4:45 pm
Allah us ki maghfirat farmaee Ameen!
March 18, 2013 7:58 pm
He should be air marshall, i am surprised he retired as commodore
Kamran nawaz
March 18, 2013 8:49 pm
Pakistani media has time to mourn Rajesh khana and Bal thakray. However they dont have much to say about real heroes.
TK from USA
March 18, 2013 9:21 pm
Ware Hero but died as 1 star Air Commodore? Some reward for his Heroism? May you rest in peace, Mr. M M Alam and thank you for serving our beloved Pakistan.
Akil AKhtar
March 18, 2013 10:41 pm
We should have realised by now that DAWN is catering for indian readers not Pakistanis. Either they ahve an agenda against Pakistan or they are only looking after their market.
Akil AKhtar
March 18, 2013 10:43 pm
you people cannot get over your narrow mindedness and hatred
Akil AKhtar
March 18, 2013 10:50 pm
I do not think it has anything to do with being a Bengali. Almost everywhere the senior military generals are uncomfortable of a serving hero in the lower ranks who they find difficult to manage. That is why they are normally given medals and the deserved appreciatioan and moved aside.
Muhammad Hasan
March 19, 2013 1:05 am
Sir! you are right. I have already mentioned in my comments yesterday about his sad feelings when I attended the PAF Day at PAF Base Masroor in late 90s or early 2000s. He was a Chief Guest and there MM Alam sb mentioned that was the highest military occassion in which he was invited as a Chief Guest after his retirement. He was really not given the right what he truly deserved. Just due to ethnic basis!
s noor
March 19, 2013 5:24 am
It's really shame that there's very little coverage about our greatest war hero in the media including in DAWN. He should've been given front or at least back page coverage. Instead these pages get filled with our no-good politicians.
March 19, 2013 5:30 am
Shot down 5 Indian war planes in less than a minute? Any gun camera footage to confirm this claim?
S. Khan
March 19, 2013 6:13 am
Yes, our media is disgrace! They'll cover Reema and Veena malika news and not of a greatest war hero. Our people are doomed.
March 19, 2013 6:33 am
he looked dark skinned person , cannot be be considered as true marshal race.
March 19, 2013 6:35 am
Must cancel my subscription to Dawn both at home and office, and advise my friends to do the same.
March 19, 2013 7:01 am
Inna lillah-e-wa inna illege rajeon
March 19, 2013 7:14 am
Now that he is dead, he is now great muslim pakistani hero. nobody knew who he was until now. besides are there any indigenous pakistan heroes other than people who migrated from india, bangladesh, arabia, uk, us and lately china...
Ahmed Jawaid
March 19, 2013 7:21 am
may Allaah rest his soul in jannath Ameed
Muhammad Kamran
March 19, 2013 8:27 am
M.M. Alam are very very very great person. The heroes of nations never died. This world cannot be introduce any person in future that can fulfill the gap of such great hero.
Muhammad Hasan
March 19, 2013 9:24 am
Dear that ceremony was attended by thousands of people. Please contact some PAF officer at PAF Base MAsroor and ask him to show you the record of years in which MM Alam sb was invited as a Chief Guest. After learning it then ask him to show you the video recording of that ceremony. Then you can listen by yourself the words of great hero. By the way I myself was a part of PAF and I am proud of it.
Muhammad Hasan
March 19, 2013 9:33 am
Organizations are formed by people. And people always reflect their cutlure and human limitations. Great nations always try to find out the problems in their social fabric to make their future better. We all love our country and its patriotic forces. I am proud of serving PAF. But we should know that organizations are led by people not by robots. If we don't try to address the problems in our society then we can't stop our patriotic organizations to be influenced by these social problems. I should not mention here what happened in 1971. I just salute my leader Air Cdr. M.M. Alam for his heroic services for the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
Muhammad Hasan
March 19, 2013 9:38 am
wow! you were lucky who watched such an important video. I wish to get such a chance too! Regards
Mazher Haroon
March 19, 2013 1:52 pm
Inna lillah-e-wa inna illege rajeon.We will always remember you and the history of 1965 war will be incomplete without you. may Allah (swt) be kind on you..
March 19, 2013 2:33 pm
I am so sad and pray for his forgiveness.MAY ALLAH HIM WITH ALL YOUR MECY AND A PLACE IN PARADISE.Can PAF honour him by naming any airforce base after his name.
March 19, 2013 5:16 pm
You will always be my hero. RIP.
March 19, 2013 6:03 pm
You misunderstand me. I was requesting proof of your charge against the PAF: "...on the ethnic basis people are descriminated". Please provide proof of this accusation...otherwise you come through as a divisive bigot. A whole lot of them are running around sowing hate...
El Cid
March 19, 2013 7:32 pm
What about the President and COAS...they have achieved the highest positions in Pakistan. Is that your criteria for being a Hero, or its reward...pathetic! Fighter Ace MM Alam SJ lives in our hearts. Among the great warriors of Islam. The most skilled of Muslim soldiers. In Pakistan's history. In the enemy fighter command's history. In aerial combat history of the world. In War history of the air forces of the World. Those others will soon be room temperature, despicable reviled dust. Nothing. MM Alam's reward is infinite waiting for him with his Maker. MM Alam lives forever...
March 19, 2013 10:20 pm
March 20, 2013 2:36 am
Every time I hear his name I get emotional. What a great person. May Allah swt grant him a home in Firdaus.
March 20, 2013 5:50 am
a real Hero . RIP
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