Flt. Lt. Matiur Rahman, Bir Shresto
Bangladesh Air Force
His basic training took place on the Mushak trainer. in which He clocked 200 hours before graduation.
Once again Matiur showed his sporting prowess by representing the academy in various sporting events. He was a very good swimmer and footballer.
Mati enjoyed lawn tennis, squash, billiard, hockey, basketball, volleyball and athletics. Captaining the academy in many competitions.
He was happy, fun loving, intelligent young man and a very professional pilot, an allrounder flight cadet.
Following two years of rigorous training and study Matiur Rahman graduated with flying colours from Risalpur.
On 23rd June 1963 Mati was commissioned as Pilot Officer on a Short Service Commission (SSC) with the Pakistan Air Force.
Matiur was posted to Mauripur AFB (now Masroor) Karachi and number 2 squadron. His service number was PAK/4367.
No. 2 Squadron
At Mauripur, now Masroor Air Base Matiur underwent Jet Conversion Training on T-33 jet trainers.
He successfully passed the course with a mark of 75.66% and was earmarked for Fighter Conversion Training.
Fighter Conversion Training took place in F-86 Sabre Jets, this course he passed with a mark of 81%.
This success earned him a posting to a Top Gun Squadron. No19 Squadron based at Peshawar was to be his new home for the next few years.
At Peshawar Matiur was promoted to the rank of Flying Officer.
During his posting with 19 Squadron Matiur completed Fighter Leadership course at the Fighter Leaders' School back at Mauripur.
Fighter Leaders' School has been redesignated Combat Commanders' School in the mid 1970's
Only top pilots expected to become flight commanders, squadron leaders and wing commanders are sent on this course.
Upon returning back to Peshawar war broke out with India. September 1965 saw Matiur Rahman take part in the Air War against India.
In this 17 day long war Flying Officer Matiur Rahman saw heavy action against the Indians and was awarded Sitara-e-Harb 1965 (Star of War 1965) by the Pakistan Government.
Following his war experience Matiur was selected for Flying Instructors School training and on completion was posted to Risalpur as a QFI (Qualified Flight Instructor).
QFIs trained the future Instructors of Pakistan Air Force. Only the best of the best get this opportunity.
Flying Officer Matiur Rahman (2nd from the left) with colleagues of 19 Squadron at Peshawar
during the war with India 1965. His CO, Squadron Leader SS "Nosey" Haider can be seen 4th from left.
Flying Officer Matiur Rahman (standing, left) with 19 Squadron, September 1965, Peshawar.
Squadron Commander SS "Nosey" Haider is standing next to him.
Flight Lieutenant M. Matiur Rahman, SHb. TJg.
Sitara-e-Harb 1965 and Tamgha-e-Jang 1965, Flying Officer M.Matiur Rahman received both the medals for his daring in the 1965 War against India
No.25 Top Gun Squadron
Sitara-e-Harb 1965 Tamagha-e-Jang 1965
Top Gun Mati flew F-6 (MiG 19s) at Sargodha
No25 Squadron was raised after the 1965 war to train the best of the best in dogfighting. It first Commanding Officer and Chief Instructor was Wing Commander MG Tawab, a son of Sylhet District and later Chief of Air Staff, Bangladesh Air Force.
The posting allowed Moti with his war experience to push the newly acquired Chinese made Mig 19s to it's limits. In 1967 during a mock dogfight he had to eject due to engine trouble.
A Bengali At Heart
daughter of Janab Monir-uz-Zaman Khan at Dhaka
On 19th April 1968 Matiur Rahman went to Dhaka to marry Milly Khan daughter of Monir-uz-Zaman Khan. The marriage nearly did not take place thanks to a report from Milly Khan's brother-in-law, MA Quddus.
Milly's middle sister Rosey's husband MA Quddus was a Squadron Leader at the time. Sqn Ldr MA Quddus reported that Matiur was daring and dangerous. He had already been in two serious accidents. Once he nearly killed himself in a car accident and later in a mock dogfight he just managed to eject before his MiG-19 crashed. Not a suitable match for the Squadron Leader's sister-in-law!
But common sense prevailed and Milly and her family accepted Matiur's proposal.
Milly was a second year BA student at the Holy Cross College Dhaka, when she left her studies to to marry Mati. She planned to complete the course later at Karachi College.
Mati was a true Bengali even to the extent that he refused to marry a West Pakistani girl.
The story goes that whilst driving at night from Sargodha to Lahore with a few friends and colleagues. Matiur was flagged down by a middle aged man on the lonely road. Despite his companion advising him not to, since there are plenty of dacoits about, Mati halted.
It turned out that the man's car had broken down, with him were his wife and only daughter. Saleha, the daughter was of marriageable age.
They along with the car were hiding in the bushes lest dacoits happen to come along the lonely highway.
But Mati, ever the Bengali wanted to hear sweet Bengali words from his wife not Punjabi and thus declined the offer of marriage.
With this he in effect turned down wealth, power and influence. A Bengali with West Pakistani connections usually manages to climb the ladder of power quicker than those without.
Matiur with Milly and their firstborn Mahin
on a horse carriage at Risalpur, 1969
At Risalpur he trained the future Instructors of the Pakistan Air Force.
In January 1970 Matiur was posted to No 2 Squadron Mauripur as a Jet Conversion Instructor
Survival and Evasion training at Murree, January 1971
QFI (Qualified Flying Instructors) at Risalpur
Left to right: Flt Lt Khudadad Khan, Flt Lt Khalil, Flt Lt Mati, Flt Lt Shafi Dar the Flight Commander, Sqn Ldr Saleem the Squadron Commander, Flt Lt Ghaus, the Iranian Exchange Officer, Tony Cunnane RAF Exchange Officer