North American F-86
after the IIAF entered the "Jet age" by receiving
T-33s and F-84s which opened the gates to a modern Air Force,
the IIAF was getting ready for the more advanced F-86 fighter
14April 1960 (24 Farvardin 1339) IIAF received it’s
first squadron of F-86 F.
The pilots were chosen from veteran F-84 and the first squadron
was formed in Mehrabad (1st. T.F.B.)which later expaned to
Vahdati AFB .
The F-86 was involved in supporting the army in uprising of
“Ghashghaees” in Shiraz.
Supporting the United Nation in Congo.
Served in “Golden Crown" for almost 10 years.
Creation and stablishment of our 1St. A.F.B. in Dezful ( Vahdati
Replacing F-84s in Vahdati A.F.B. (Dezfull).
Training F-86 instructors for
Pakistan Air Force which in return Pakistan
agreed to train about 30 of our aviation cadets in Pakistan
( Hooshang Sedigh, Hooshang Vijheh, Mohammad Hadavand, Jahanvar
Kamran, Daryoush Hamzavi,Shahram Roostami, Aboulfazl Hooshyar……….
Were among these group).
The F-86 served the IIAF all the way till 1970 after the F-4
Phantoms came to service Almost all of our F-5, F-4 and
F-14 Instructors,Commanders and Base Commanders were veteran
F-86 truly deserves to be crowned as the best and most important
fighters in IIAF.
2,681 kg (5,910 lb) General Electric J47-GE-27 turbojet engine.
Wing Span: 11.91 m (39 ft 1 in)
Length: 11.44 m (37 ft 7 in)
Height: 4.57 m (15 ft 0 in)
Weight: Gross 9,349 kg (20,610
Maximum Speed: 1,106 km/h (687
mph) at Sea Level
Range: 1,490 km (925 miles)
Accommodation: 1 Pilot
Six 0.5 in machine-guns in nose, two Sidewinder missiles,
two 453kg (1,000 lb) bombs or eight 5 inch rockets under wings.
First flight (XF-86)
in 1 October 1947.
F-86 F “Sabre” Swept-wing version of the Naval
Over 10,000 of F-86 ( first swept wing jet fighter) were built
in America, Australia, Canada, Italy and Japan.
They saw wide-spread service in the Korean war of 1950-1953
and many were still in service with air forces outside the
USA in the 1970`s.
More than a dozen versions were built, for use as tactical
and interceptor fighters, all-weather fighters and fighter
early December 1962 the Iranian Government received a request
from the United Nations to provide some fighter aircraft for
the UN forces (called ONUC) in the Congo, to replace Italian
Air Force which had suffer a total loss in a peace keeping
mission where renewed fighting between the UN and the break-away
Katanga province had been going on.
The rebels had shot down the helicopter carrying Mr. Doug
Hamershold, killing all passengers.
Belgians were supporting the rebels and the French had shot
down the aircraft carrying Mosa Chombe (Rebels Leader). On
27 December after approval of H.I.M Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi,
the mission was given to the Air Force
Khatami the commander of IIAF called Capt.Azarbarzin
(Later Maj. General ),Capt.
Seyed Javadi (
Later Maj. General, Died of brain tumor),
Capt. Jahanbini (was Killed in a Crash
),Capt. Rabii (Later Lt. General
and Commander of IIAF which was Killed by islamic regime in
1979 ) and Capt. Minusepehr ( Later Maj. General
)and asked for volunteer, all 5 volunteered at the same time,
so Maj. Seyed Javadi was "Elected" as "Mission
Saber Jet( F-86-F) of Imperial Iranian Air Force from Vahdati
Air Force Base with 9 pilots and 33 support personal participated
in this mission ( From 16 Jan 1963 to 5 May 1963 = 26 Dey
1341 to 15 Ordibehesht 1342).
Maj. Amir Kamiabipour
was given the task of "Planning"and in charge of
the whole operation, which he did in the best possible manner.
The success of this mission in whole is partly due to Maj.
Mostafa Hadj Seyed Javadi
was appointed as "Mission Commander" , known as
The unit arrived at the Kamina airbase in Katanga on 19 January
The airbase was surrounded by rebels and the crew could not
leave the base for over a month.
By this time there were two other UN fighter units at Kamina,
the Swedish 22nd Squadron with 12 ship SAAB J29s and S29s,
and the Philippine 9th Squadron with 6 ship Canadian built
F-86Es. All three units were now formed into a UN Fighter
Wing, with Swedish Colonel Sven Lampell as its first commander.
IIAF crew were:
Maj. Amir Kamiabipour " Mission Planner"
Capt. Mostafa Hadj Seyed Javadi “Mission Commander“.
1St.Lt. Iradj Mostafavi ( Later Brig. General )
1st. Lt Vahid Kimiagar ( Later Brig. General)
1st. Lt Mohsen Memarian ( Killed in Aircraft Crash)
1st. Lt Mohammad Alaghband ( Killed in Aircraft Crash)
1st. Lt Esmaeel Memari (Killed in Aircraft Crash)
1st. Lt Mohammad Abolmolouk ( Later Brig.General)
1st. Lt Mohammad Pezeshki ( Later Col.)
1st. Lt Nasser Zolali ( Later Brig.General, Died of Cancer
1St.Lt. Ali Akbar Farywar (Later General) “commander
of Support & Maintenance” and 33 maintenance and
( We would like to have the name of these crew )
C-47 “ Dakota” with 6 crew was assigned to support
The Aircraft commander was Capt. Hessam Mirtolooi ( Later
The C-47 made 3 sorties from Tehran to Congo. C-47 had a hard
time climbing over Kilimanjaro Heights.
route of F-86 from Iran to Congo was Dezful –Tehran-
Dhahran (Saudi Arabia)-Jadeh (Saudi Arabia) -Addis a baba
( Ethiopia)–Entebbe (Uganda)–Katanga( Congo).
More than 6,300 Km. And over 10 Hours flight.
IIAF Aircraft were operational
ready at all time and there was no accident only one incident
during the operation which Lt. Alaghband’s aircraft
was hit by bullet and was repaired and ready to fly in less
than 24 hours.
The 4 ships F-86 of IIAF flew more sorties than Philippine
and Sweden with total of 18 aircraft.
Iran was commended by united nation for their excellent performance.
After returning back to Iran Maj. Seyed Javadi, Major Rabii
( Base Operation Commander), Lt. Mostafavi and Capt. Farywar
were decorated with medal for performance.
A special stamp was issued by Iranian Postal services 6 Month
after the mission on United Nation Day.
Mr. Leif Hellström <Leif.Hellstrom@era.ericsson.se>
for his cooperation on Congo Mission