Jalil Zandi

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Jalil Zandi
Born 2 May 1951
Garmsar
Died 1 April 2001 (aged 49–50)
Tehran
Buried at Tehran
Allegiance Iran
Service/branch Iranian Air Force
Rank Brig. General
Battles/wars Iran-Iraq War
Awards Fath (Silver)

Brig. General Jalil Zandi (1951–2001) was an ace fighter pilot in the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force, serving for the full duration of the Iran-Iraq war. His record qualifies him as an ace and the most successful pilot of that conflict.[1][2][3]

Described as "brazen," he began in the IIAF and stayed on to serve in the IRIAF when it was somewhat dangerous for pilots to continue their military service. While a Major, he often clashed with his superior Lt. Col. Abbas Baba’i.e.[2] Abbas Babaei was notorious for his merciless treatment of the pilots and officers considered disloyal to the new regime and its virtues[4] and because of this Jalil Zandi was condemned to ten years of imprisonment. In the time he was in prison he was threatened to be sentenced to death, but by demand of the then air force commander and many other air force pilots he was released after six months.[5]

His fame came as a F-14 Tomcat pilot. He has been reliably credited with shooting down 11 Iraqi aircraft. The victories include 4 MiG-23s, 2 Su-22s, 2 MiG 21s and 3 Mirage F1s.[6] This makes him the most successful F-14 Tomcat pilot ever.[6]

His last official post, before his death, was 'Deputy for Planning and Organization' of the Iranian Air Force.

He died with his wife Zahra Mohebshahedin in 2001 in a car accident near Tehran.[2] He is buried in Behesht-e-Zahra cemetery in the south of Tehran. He had three sons: Vahid, Amir, Nader

See also

References

  1. ^ Imperial Iranian Air Force: Samurai in the skies
  2. ^ a b c Fire in the Hills: Iranian and Iraqi Battles of Autumn 1982, by Tom Cooper & Farzad Bishop, Sept. 9, 2003
  3. ^ Iranian F-14 Tomcat Units in Combat by Tom Cooper & Farzad Bishop, 2004, Oxford: Osprey Publishing, p. 79, ISBN 1 84176 787 5
  4. ^ Iranian F-14 Tomcat Units in Combat by Tom Cooper & Farzad Bishop, 2004, Oxford: Osprey Publishing, p. 23, ISBN 1 84176 787 5
  5. ^ Iranian F-14 Tomcat Units in Combat by Tom Cooper & Farzad Bishop, 2004, Oxford: Osprey Publishing, pp. 23-24, ISBN 1 84176 787 5
  6. ^ a b Iranian F-14 Tomcat Units in Combat by Tom Cooper & Farzad Bishop, 2004, Oxford: Osprey Publishing, pp. 85–88, ISBN 1 84176 787 5