|Born||November 11, 1902|
Vilnius, Russian Empire
|Died||November 1, 2002(aged 99)|
|Allegiance||Israel Defense Forces|
|Years of service||1929–1969|
|Commands held||Commander of Sherut Avir, Commander of Israeli Air Force|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
1947–1949 Palestine war
War of Attrition
Yisrael Zabludowski (later Amir) was born in Vilnius, then a part of the Russian Empire. He immigrated to the British Mandate of Palestine in 1923 and joined the newly created Haganah, a Jewish paramilitary group.
Air Force career
Following Israel's declaration of statehood on May 14, 1948, the Israel Defense Forces was formed from the Haganah and Jewish Brigade. The air wing of the Haganah, Sherut Avir, was reorganized as the Israeli Air Force, and Amir was appointed its first commander by Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion on May 16. Sherut Avir had operated a small collection of aged and non-military aircraft, so the greatest problem facing the new air force was the procurement of modern military airplanes. Amir immediately secured an order of several Messerschmitt fighters and US B-17 Flying Fortress which were ferried to Israel through in Czechoslovakia. Amir retired from his military career in 1969. He died 10 days before his hundredth birthday on November 1, 2002.
- Obituary in Haaretz Google cache version
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