Jalil Zandi

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Jalil Zandi
Portrait of Jalil Zandi
Native name جلیل زندی
Born (1951-05-02)May 2, 1951
Garmsar, Iran
Died April 1, 2001(2001-04-01) (aged 49)
Tehran, Iran
Buried at Behesht-e Zahra cemetery, Tehran
Allegiance Iran
Service/branch IIAF-Seal.svg Imperial Iranian Air Force
IRI.Army Air Force Seal.svg Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force
Years of service 1970–2001
Rank 18- سرتیپ--IRIAF.pngBrigadier General
Battles/wars Iran-Iraq War
Awards Fath Medal.jpg 2nd grade Fath Medal
Spouse(s) Zahra Moheb Shahedin

Brig. General Jalil Zandi (Persian: جلیل زندی‎) (1951-2001) was a fighter pilot in the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force who served for the full Iran–Iraq war. His record qualifies him as an ace and the most successful pilot of that conflict in air-to-air combat[1][2][3] and made him the highest-scoring pilot in the history of the F-14 Tomcat.

Career[edit]

Jalil Zandi began in the IIAF and stayed on to serve in the IRIAF when it was somewhat dangerous for pilots to continue their military service. While a major, he often clashed with his superior Lt. Col. Abbas Babaei,[2] who was a poorly skilled F-14 pilot.[4] Abbas Babaei was "notorious for his merciless treatment of the pilots and officers" considered disloyal to the new regime[5] and because of this Jalil Zandi was condemned to ten years of imprisonment. When he was in prison, he was threatened to be sentenced to death, but by demand of the then–air force commander and many other air force pilots, he was released after six months.[6]

The Iran–Iraq war[edit]

He earned his fame as an F-14 Tomcat pilot. He has been reliably credited with shooting down 11 Iraqi aircraft (8 confirmed victories[7][8] through examination with US intelligence documents released according to FOIA inquiry and 3 probable victories). The victories include four MiG-23s, two Su-22s, two MiG-21s, and three Mirage F1s.[9] This makes him the most successful F-14 Tomcat pilot ever.[9]

Post War[edit]

His last official post, before his death, was deputy for planning and organization of the Iranian Air Force. He died with his wife Zahra Moheb Shahedin in 2001 in a car accident near Tehran.[2] He is buried in Behesht-e Zahra cemetery in the south of Tehran. He had three sons: Vahid, Amir, and Nader.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Imperial Iranian Air Force: Samurai in the skies
  2. ^ a b c Fire in the Hills: Iranian and Iraqi Battles of Autumn 1982, by Tom Cooper & Farzad Bishop, Sept. 9, 2003
  3. ^ Iranian F-14 Tomcat Units in Combat by Tom Cooper & Farzad Bishop, 2004, Oxford: Osprey Publishing, p. 79, ISBN 1 84176 787 5
  4. ^ Bridgewater, Stephen (January–February 2015). "Persian Cats". Jets: 35. 
  5. ^ Iranian F-14 Tomcat Units in Combat by Tom Cooper & Farzad Bishop, 2004, Oxford: Osprey Publishing, p. 23, ISBN 1 84176 787 5
  6. ^ Iranian F-14 Tomcat Units in Combat by Tom Cooper & Farzad Bishop, 2004, Oxford: Osprey Publishing, pp. 23-24, ISBN 1 84176 787 5
  7. ^ http://www.acig.org/artman/publish/article_210.shtml
  8. ^ http://www.acig.org/artman/publish/article_211.shtml
  9. ^ a b Iranian F-14 Tomcat Units in Combat by Tom Cooper & Farzad Bishop, 2004, Oxford: Osprey Publishing, pp. 85–88, ISBN 1 84176 787 5