Shlomo Shamir

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Shlomo Shamir
Born 15 June 1915
Berdychiv, Ukraine
Died 19 May 2009 (aged 93–94)
Tel Aviv, Israel
Allegiance  Israel
Service/branch  Israeli Navy
 Israeli Air Force
Years of service 1929–1951
Rank Aluf
Commands held Commander of the Israeli Navy, Commander of the Israeli Air Force
Battles/wars World War II
Israeli War of Independence

Shlomo Shamir (15 June 1915 Berdychiv, Ukraine – 19 May 2009 Tel Aviv, Israel) was the third Commander of the Israeli Navy (1949–1950), and the first Israeli Navy Commander to receive the rank of Aluf. He was the third Commander of the Israeli Air Force (1950–1951).

Biography[edit]

Shlomo Shamir was born Shlomo Rabinowitch, in Ukraine. He was taken to Palestine in 1925. In 1929 he joined the Haganah and was instrumental in smuggling weapons and illegal Jewish immigrants into Palestine during the time of the British Mandate and the White Paper of 1939. In 1940 he received his pilot license, and in the same year he joined the RAF in order to fight the Nazis and gain experience in warfare. In 1946 he was discharged from the British military with the rank of major.

In 1948 he was ordered by Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion to lead the Israeli 7th Armored Brigade in the fight to conquer Latrun. He was also instrumental in creating the Burma Road. At the end of the Israeli War of Independence he was offered the job of Chief of the General Staff, but he refused. Instead he served other capacities, eventually becoming the third Commander of the Israeli Navy in May 1949. He helped build the small Israeli Navy by purchasing a new corvette and advanced torpedo boats. In 1950, he was replaced as Commander of the Israeli Navy by Mordechai Limon and became the Commander of the Israeli Air Force. Under his leadership, the Israeli Air Defense Network was created, and the Hatzor Israeli Air Force Base built. In August 1951, he handed command of the Air Force over to Haim Laskov and retired from the Israel Defense Force.[1][2]

In civilian life, Shamir became a successful businessman, creating many companies. He received a masters degree in Social Sciences from Tel Aviv University and a masters degree in administration from Harvard University.

On 19 May 2009 Shamir died, leaving his daughter Yael, two grandchildren and one great-grandchild.[3]

References[edit]