|Service/branch||Pakistan Air Force|
|Unit||No. 7 Squadron, Bandits|
|Battles/wars||Indo-Pakistani War of 1965|
8-Pass Charlie was the codename of an unknown Pakistan Air Force B-57 bomber pilot who raided the Adampur airbase of the Indian Air Force in Indian Punjab a number of times during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 notably starting the series of raids on the base by a solo raid.
He was named "8-Pass Charlie" by his impressed Indian adversaries at the Adampur base as he used to make eight passes, one for each bomb, on selected targets with improving efficiency instead of safely dropping all his bomb load and exiting. He is also known to have expertise in disguising his attack run by confusing anti-aircraft gunners by cutting throttles before entering a dive.
During the war, the bomber wing of the PAF was attacking the concentration of airfields in north India. In order to avoid enemy fighter-bombers, the B-57s operated from several different airbases, taking off and returning to different bases to hop and avoid being attacked. The B-57 bombers would arrive over their targets in a stream at intervals of about 15 minutes, which led to achieving a major disruption of the overall IAF effort.
Named by adversaries
The name was assigned to this unknown pilot by his impressed Indian adversaries at the Adampur base, and appears to be derived from his daring routine of making eight passes in bombing runs during every air raid over the alerted airbase to bomb selected targets with each 500 lb bomb in the moonlight, "and tried to carry out an effective attack each time", instead of dropping his entire bomb-load of 4,000 lbs during the first pass which would have allowed a safer exit for the aggressor aircraft over initial defences.
One of 8-Pass Charlie's confirmed kills is an Indian Air Force MiG 21s on Operational Readiness Platform (ORP) which were about to take off when he executed the first raid on the Adampur base at 2200 hours with his lone B-57 on 6 September, 1965.
“ I have the utmost respect for the Pakistani Canberra bloke who loved to ruin the equanimity of our dreary lives! 8-Pass Charlie was an ace, but he had this nasty habit of turning up about 30 min. after moonrise, just as we were downing our first drink! Seriously, he was a cool dude and a professional of the highest order. To disguise the direction of his run, he used to cut throttles before entering a dive and by the time the ack-ack opened up he was beneath the umbrella of fire. After dropping his load he'd apply full throttle and climb out above the umbrella. ”
- The Class of ’65, The Indian Express, 30 July 2006, retrieved 24 September 2006
- P V S Jagan Mohan; Samir Chopra (May 2005). The India-Pakistan Air War of 1965 (1st ed.). Manohar. pp. 241–243. ISBN 978-8173046414. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
- "B-57 The Intrepid Bomber of PAF". Defencejournal.com. Retrieved 2012-06-24.
- "PAF and the three wars." defencejournal.com, 2001. Retrieved: 5 July 2010.
- Samir Chopra, When old warriors meet., Bharat-rakshak.com
- Air Commodore Rais A Rafi. PAF Bomber Operations: 1965 & 1971 Wars. PAF Book Club.