• Issue: April 1962
  • Designer: M. & G. Shamir
  • Plate no.: 63 - 64
  • Method of printing: Photogravure

All beginnings of the Israel Air Force go back to the "Air Service," established before the proclamation of the State as a branch of the underground defense organization. This modest force which consisted of seven vintage light planes had a variety of tasks in the War of Liberation. They flew missions in bombing raids - which they carried out by throwing hand grenades out of the aircraft - and took part in the defense against enemy attacks. They also had to supply beleaguered villages, guard waterlines, and assist patrols in the Negev and Galilee and evacuate casualties from surrounded positions.

Another important task of the "Air Service" was to transport arms and ammunition. even before the establishment of the State. On the eve of the famous "Operation Nahshon" - the opening of the road to besieged Jerusalem - seven tons of rifles and machine-guns were flown into the country to equip the units engaged in this operation. Israel fighter planes made their first appearance on "the stage of history" in an unforgettable action, the stopping of the advance of an Egyptian armored column towards Tel Aviv. The four Messerschmitt pilots engaged in this operation became the nucleus of Israel air fighters.

In continuous night operations hundreds of tons of supplies, equipment and arms were flown south by heavy transport planes in preparation for the operation "Ten Plagues" which resulted in the liberation of the Negev. In this operation it was the Air Force which opened the battle and during seven days flew one hundred and seventy-five bombing raids and dozens of combat, reconnaissance and transport missions; more than 200 tons of bombs were dropped on targets and many Egyptian planes were destroyed.

Organization, training, and the acquiring of modern jet planes were the tasks of the Air Force after the War of Liberation. The technical advancement of aviation throughout the world dictated the tempo of development of Israel's Air Force. Propeller-driven planes were replaced by "Meteor" and "Ouragan" jet fighters and, during the Sinai campaign, the famous "Mysteres" appeared in the skies over the battlefields.

The airmen of the Sinai campaign faithfully continued the tradition of their precursors in the war of 1948. In their encounters with the "Vampires" and "Migs", which were employed against our forces, they demonstrated the absolute superiority of Israel's Air Force.

In the future it will remain the task of the Air Force to maintain our sovereignty in the skies of the State.

top top

14th Independence Day