In 1956 the British government refused to provide the IAF with Hunter F MK-6 as was desired, and only allowed the export of the F Mk-4. The IAF thus selected the Mystere IVA and finally a total of 110 were delivered with the last aircraft being received on 01 Dec 58 (IA 1334), No 1 Sqn being the first to equip with the type. Ultimately, with the rapid expansion of the IAF after the war with China in 1962, a total of six Sqns, including an Armament training Wing were converted to the type.
The Mystere IVA performed exemplarily in both the Sep 65 and Dec 71 wars against Pakistan. The aircraft will particularly be remembered for immobilizing Pak armour during the battle of Chawinda in 65 and the routing of the Pak Ist Armoured Corps’ 67th Infantry Brigade at Fazilka in 71.
Most importantly it will be remembered for the courage of Sqn Ldr AB “Tubby” Devaya attached to 1 Sqn who on 7th Sep 65, flying a 32 Sqn Mystere IVA and after having been hit and left as ‘destroyed’, turned on his attacker, an F-104 flown by Flt Lt Amjad Hussein of the PAF’s 9 Sqn and shot it down before perishing with his aircraft. With its characteristic chivalry, the PAF hid this fact, and decorated the Starfighter pilot.
Only in 1978 after the appearance of John Fricker’s almost fairy tale like version of the 1965 air war- ‘Battle for Pakistan’ did the event come to light. Devayya was posthumously awarded the country’s second highest honour for courage in the face of the enemy 23 years after the event in 1988.
This model is the old match box two colour kit which I bought for $1:00 without decals from a friend in Pretoria RSA. I had decals for No 8 Sqn “the Eighth Pursuit” from an old MiG 21 FL kit and so decided to do the kit in those markings. Pretty much OOB, little putty, three days and here you have it.
The cheat line and tail checks are hand done and the serials are from Hobbycraft’s Otter while the wing walk lines are from a Kfir kit. The IAF markings are from Bright Spark (bless You)!! I hope some one does the 1 Sqns leaping Tiger marking for the 1/48 kit soon!!
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