Saiful Azam, who has served as an Air Force pilot in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Jordan and Iraq. The United States Air Force recognizes him as one of the 22 Living Eagles in the world for his outstanding contribution as an aviator.
The fighter died in the ICU of the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in Dhaka at 1.30 pm on Sunday (Inna Lillahi wa Inna Ilahi Raziun). He was 69 years old.
Saiful Azam was born in 1941 in Pabna district, Bangladesh. He spent some of his childhood in Calcutta because of his father’s career. During the partition of 1947, his family returned to the then East Pakistan (currently Bangladesh). Saiful Azam was sent to West Pakistan at the age of 14 for education. In 1958 he was admitted to the Pakistan Air Force Cadet College. Two years later, in 1960, he completed his education as a pilot officer. In the same year, Saiful Azam joined the Pakistan Air Force as a General Duty Pilot.
Saiful Azam’s initial training was with the US Army’s training aircraft ‘Cessna T-37’. After completing his training, Saiful Azam returned to the country in 1963 and joined the Air Force base in Dhaka.
In the war against India in 1965, Saiful Azam joined the 17th Squadron of the Pakistan Air Force. In recognition of his achievements in this war, Saiful Azam was awarded Pakistan’s third highest military honor, the Sitara-i-Jurat. In November 1966, Flight Lieutenant Saiful Azam joined the Royal Jordanian Air Force as a representative of Bangladesh – Pakistan Air Force (Before separation Bangladesh and Pakistan).
During The Six-Day War, also known as the June War, 1967 Arab–Israel, He holds the record for shooting down the largest number of Israeli aircraft in the history of air warfare as a single person. Jordan gave Husam-e-Istiqlal’ award for this achievement.
Then he took charge as the Flight Commander of the Pakistan Air Force’s Fighter Leaders School. In 1971 Saiful Azam tried to join the war of liberation. He wanted to fight against Pakistan to support Bangladesh. But in early 1971, he was temporarily banned from flying in the Pakistan Air Force.
Saiful Azam returned to the bangladesh after independence. In 1977, he was promoted to the rank of Wing Commander. He was made the commander of Dhaka base of Bangladesh Air Force. He also served as Director of Flight Safety and Director of Operations in the bangladesh Air Force.
He was also the managing director of Bangladesh Film Development Corporation. Saiful Azam was elected Member of Parliament from Pabna-3 constituency in 1991-96. Later He became the managing director of his own business, Natasha Trading Agency.