‘Kilo Flight’ fighter Group Captain Shamsul Alam Bir Uttam dies

Group Captain (retd) Shamsul Alam Bir Uttom

Group Captain (retd) Shamsul Alam Bir Uttom breathed his last at a hospital in the capital on Thursday afternoon, reports news agency UNB.

He was 74.

He was a brave fighter of “Kilo Flight,” the code name for Mukti Bahini combat aviation formation during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971.

Group Captain Shamsul breathed his last at 4:47 pm at the capital’s Evercare Hospital, according to the Inter Service Public Relations Directorate.

He was born in 1947 in Patuakhali district. In 1964, after completing his education in Dhaka, he joined the then Pakistan Air Force Academy in Risalpur in 1964 and was commissioned in the GD (P) branch.

On 3 June, 1971, he deserted his post in West Pakistan and came to Dhaka to join the Liberation War. But he was arrested immediately after his arrival at Dhaka airport as the Pakistan law enforcers realised he would join the Liberation War.

Unable to make him confess, they tortured the then Flight Lieutenant Shamsul in jail and tried to bring him under the jurisdiction of a court-martial but failed.

He was later released from jail on a general amnesty and was allowed to return home.

On 13 September, 1971, after contacting the freedom fighters through a news correspondent, he left the country for India.

He reached Dimapur on 24 September and met the members of Kilo Flight. Initially, he started flying with DC-3 and subsequently flew Otter aircraft.

On 3 December, 1971, Flight Lieutenant Shamsul along with his co-pilot got the first opportunity to prove their skill against Pakistani occupation forces. He flew from Kailashahar at 11 pm and entered Bangladesh to strike oil depots near Chattogram airport. He returned to the base after a terrible flight with extreme craftsmanship avoiding enemy gunfire.

He was awarded the gallantry award Bir Uttom by the government. Group Captain Shamsul was also awarded the Independence Award in 2017 for his outstanding contribution to the Liberation War.