Peter Christy

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Peter Christy
Sqn.Ldr.Peter Christy.jpg
Squadron Leader (Major) Peter Christy, 1965.
Nickname(s) Fire Master
Born 1937
Died December 6, 1971 (Death unconfirmed officially)
60 km away from Jamnagar, India (Assumed dead)
Allegiance  Pakistan
Service/branch  Pakistan Air Force
Years of service 1958–1971
Rank US-O4 insignia.svg Squadron Leader (Major)
Unit No. 7 Squadron Bandits
Battles/wars Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
Awards Tamgha-i-Jurat (1965)
PAK Sitara-i-Juraat ribbon.svg Sitara-i-Jurat (1971)

Squadron Leader Peter Christy (Born:1937 – December 6, 1971), S.J, was a P.A.F bomber pilot and Weapon Systems Officer (WSO). A B-57 Canberra navigator, Squadron Leader Christy is officially declared "missing in action" since December 1971, but widely presumed dead by the Pakistan Defence Forces as of 2004.

Education[edit]

Christy was born in Karachi then-British India in 1937. The son of M.B Christy, he initially completed his secondary school education from St Patrick's High School, Karachi and passed matriculation with good marks.[1] According to Christy’s teachers, he had been a very intelligent student who always performed very well in sports as well.

Air Force career[edit]

Christy entered the Pakistan Air Force Academy in 1955 and graduated from a basic flying training program in 1958. The same year he was sent to the Commanders and Combat Flight School at Shorkot. He graduated from there with a specialization in air weapons system and gained a commission in the air force. Christy began his career in 1962 as Flying Commission Officer (FCO). In 1964, FCO Christ was promoted to Flight Lieutenant.[2]

Christy served as a B-57 Canberra navigator pilot and flew a number of successful operational missions in the 1965 war. His efforts gained him praise and he was conferred with Tamgha-i-Jurat by the Government of Pakistan in 1965 at the colorful public ceremony. In 1968 he was promoted to the rank of Squadron Leader in the Air Force.

In December 1971, Christy was on abroad on deputation with Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). While at PIA, he was informed about the Indo-Pakistani War and volunteered to return to the Pakistan Air Force for war duties.[3] However, the PAF had already selected the teams of fighter pilots to carry out their aerial missions. Undauted, Christy reported to Group Captain Cecil Chaudhry. In December 1971, he was selected for bomber aerial operations.[4]

On December 4, 1971 at 4:00 o'clock in the evening from PAF Base Faisal, he was given a special mission to destroy an Indian Air Force special air station located at Jamnagar because missile attacks had increased from the Indian side and their fighter planes were continuously targeting the PAF flying bases in Karachi.

After attending continuous briefing sessions with his commanders, he, as a Weapon Systems Officer (WSO) and navigator, along with Wing Commander Stephen Israel prepared for the mission. The mission codename was "Do-or-Die (DoD)". On December 6, 1971, Christy was detailed as navigator for a bombing mission to Jamnagar. The mission was completed successfully and the Indian Air Force's air station was completed destroyed but Christy failed to return home.[5]

It was widely speculated that his aircraft was shot down by an Indian Surface-to-air missile and that he had been captured by the Indian Forces. However, after the war, India denied the shooting down of such an aircraft on December 6 and was unable to track down the pilot. On December 8, he was officially declared as "missing in action".[6] The Government of Pakistan posthumously awarded him the third highest military award Sitara-e-Jurat (Star of Courage) in 1971. On September 6, 2006, independent analyst B. Harry published the war study report IAF Combat Kills- 1971 Indo-Pak Air War, claiming that Christy had died while returning to Pakistan when IAF's Anti-aircraft Artillery shot down Christy's plane, and that he had died before capture.[7] However, India's Ministry of External Affairs declined to give any comments. On September 6, 2004, Squadron Leader Peter Christy was honored by the Pakistan Television (PTV) in a program sponsored by the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR).[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Javed, Nabeel (June 25, 2010). "We pays tribute to Peter Christy, a Pakistani Christian war hero of 1965.". Air Commodore Nabeel Javed. Pakistan Christian Post. 
  2. ^ Ibid of Pakistan Christian Post
  3. ^ Hali, Group Captain Sultan M. (December 1998). "PAF’s Gallant Christian Heroes Carry Qauid's Message (See:Squadron Leader Peter Christy)". Pakistan Defence Journal. Retrieved 2010. 
  4. ^ Ibid of Defence Journal
  5. ^ Pakistan Tribute. "Pakistan Air Force: Prides of Nation (See:Sqn Ldr Peter Christy)". Pakistan Tribute Foundation. 
  6. ^ PAF, Pakistan Air Force. "Chronological Listing of Pakistani Air Force:Martin B-57 Losses and Ejections". Pakistan Air Force. Aviation History of Pakistan Air Force. 
  7. ^ Harry, B. (September 6, 2006). "IAF Combat Kills- 1971 Indo-Pak Air War (See:TABLE 2.1- PAF AAA and Ground Fire Losses" (PDF). Retrieved 2010. 
  8. ^ Khan, Air Commodore Sarfaraz A. (September 6, 2004). "Forgotten PAF officers". Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR). Jang Group of Newspapers. Retrieved 2010. 

External links[edit]