Cecil Chaudhry 27th August 1941 - 13th April 2012 (RIP)
Group Captain Cecil Chaudhry, a veteran fighter pilot of Pakistan Air Force, breathed his last breath at Combined Military Hospital Lahore on Friday 13th April 2012.
At the ripe age of 71 Cecil was suffering from lung cancer as he passed away to a new life.
He has left behind three daughters and a son to mourn his death. Michelle Chaudhry founder of the Iris Foundation has often written articles for the BPCA blog.
His father FE Chaudhry, a veteran photographer of Pakistan Movement, remains alive and is said to be over 100 years old.
Cecil Chaudhry was a legendary fighter pilot of Pakistan Air Force who participated in a number of aerial battles during the 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak wars.
He was credited with several air-to-air kills and was one of the distinguished Pakistani strike and fighter pilots of the period.
Cecil Chaudhry is renowned for displaying outstanding professionalism, unflinching devotion and exemplary courage during combat. It has been said that services rendered by the legend were beyond the call of normal duty and contributed a significantly towards PAF achieving air superiority during the Indo-Pak war of 1965. He was part of the famous attack formation which was responsible for the destruction of Halwara airfield and the Amritsar radar during the 1965 war.
In recognition of his meritorious services, he was awarded with Sitara-e-Jurat and Sitara-i-Basalat. Two of the highest military honours available within the Pak- Air Force.
Group Captain Captain Chaudhry was born on 27 August, 1941, in a Christian (Roman Catholic) family of the village Dalwal, located in the Salt Range. He joined Pakistan Air Force on March 12, 1958 and got commission in the GD (P) branch on 26 June, 1960.
During his career in Pakistan Air Force, he commanded two Mirage squadrons and Combat Commanders School (CCS).Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt, Chief of the Air Staff Pakistan Air Force, has expressed his extreme grief on the demise of the PAF legend.
The CAS has extended deepest sympathies and profound condolences to his family over the sad demise of the great fighter pilot and a true patriot. He was taken as the beacon of inspiration for all ranks and files of Pakistan Air Force.
The BPCA would like to extend its heartfelt condolences to the friends and family of Group Captain Emeritus Cecil Chaudhry.
Wilson Chowdhry said:
"Cecil Chaudhry was undoubtedly a great Pakistani and a great Christian, a man who served his country with bravery and honour and who strove for a more equal Pakistan. He proved that every Pakistani can contribute to the nation if given an opportunity - regardless of faith. It is with sorrow that we remember the loss of a national hero."
Please do write about your memories of Cecil in our comments page below.