IN MEMORIAM - Syed Mansur Ahmed Shah
(11th March, 1926 – 7th February, 2013)
Another PAF eagle has left this troubled world for his eternal abode.
Air Commodore (Retd) Syed Mansur Ahmed Shah breathed his last in Karachi - he was 87.
The only son of Major Doctor Habibullah Shah and Captain Doctor Enid Flora Shah (predeceased by his two sisters) Mansur was fondly known as Polly Shah.
He received his commission in the Indian Air Force on 9th April, 1945 at Ambala but opted for Royal Pakistan Air force at the time of Partition.
A graduate of Air Command and Staff College USA and Air War Staff College Quetta, Polly was one of the first Pakistani Pilots to fly the Halifax bomber - a four engine WW 2 death trap – in the 1948 Kashmir war with precision para-dropping over very difficult terrain.
In the preceding years he commanded PAF Riaslpur, was an integral member of the PAF nucleus in its embryonic and testing eon under Air Marshal Asghar Khan, commanded the 12th Squadron, served as Base Commander for Chaklala, Peshawar and Mauripur, was assigned to Air Headquarters as Chief Inspector, Director Plans, Director Training and during the 1971 war served as Chief of Operations
After his retirement, Polly with his love for flying undiminished, joined “Agricultural Aviation” a crop spraying company and roamed the skies for the next 10 years.
With his excellent command of the English language he wrote “The Gold Bird” his first book his second is awaiting publication.
All of us who knew and loved him, salute Polly Shah, an officer and gentleman, for his valor, gallantry and wisdom.
AVM Hamid Khwaja - PAF