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No. 1 Squadron



Sunday, November 13, 1966

First Lieutenant Muwaffaq Salti

First Lieutenant Muwaffaq Salti  of the Royal Jordanian Air Force had spent two years in the UK, training with the Royal Air Force and received his wings there in 1962.  Returning to Jordan he was stationed at the King Hussein Air Base which was near the village of Mafraq in northern Jordan, and was flying Hunter jets.

On the morning of Sunday, 16th November 1966 the Israelis moved over the border and approached the village of Samoa which was a village about 12 kilometres south of Hebron on the West Bank.  A Jordanian army unit happened to be in the area and engaged with the Israelis.  The Air Force was then scrambled. The Jordanian Hunters were intercepted by Israeli Mirages. Lieutenant Salti  was engaged in an eight minute dogfight with a Mirage III of the Israeli Air Force flown by Major Ran Peker. The combat took place at very low altitude and as Lieutenant Salti climbed over the hills towards the Dead Sea on his way home his Hunter was hit several times on the fuselage and wings and its fuel tanks began to burn. He managed to straighten his aircraft into level flight but it then violently rolled, Lieutenant Salti ejected and the aircraft crashed into a canyon wall.

It was not until late in the afternoon that an Air Force helicopter found the body of Lieutenant Salti near the shore of the Dead Sea.  Despite managing to eject he did not survive.

He was the first and only RJAF pilot to be shot down in combat and killed.


First Lieutenant Muwaffaq Salti   
          No.1 Squadron Royal Jordanian Air Force

photo via Mrs Patricia Salti      

Gunsight -camera footage from Major Ran Peker's Mirage III aircraft showing the final moments of his aerial combat with "Red Leader" Lt. Salti on the morning of Sunday, 13th November, 1966. (IDFAF)

Extracts from RJAF No 1 Squadron’s Diary of Sunday, November 13, 1966

‘It was a lovely morning and at 0700 hours everybody was in the squadron on duty.  Our OC flying was giving a briefing when a phone call came through reporting heavy activity over the Hebron area.  All operational pilots were called and two minutes later it was 'SCRAMBLE',  everybody rushed to the aircraft and eventually Salti and Shurdom got airborne, followed later by Zayyad and Abdeen.  All other pilots were trying to find a serviceable aircraft to strap in.  A few minutes later it heard that Red section, Salti and Shurdom, had engaged.  Blue section was almost in the area and they engaged also.  Hearing that, a third pair was scrambled Smadi and Shiyab also a fourth pair Matta and Najjar started up with short range aircraft and empty outer tanks.  But they were held at the marshalling points when all of a sudden Blue section returned followed shortly afterwards by Red 2 Shurdom alone.  Around 0930 hours everybody was back on ground except for Red leader………… So far Red leader is missing and overdue.’

Note: The RJAF pilots taking part in the battle were – Lieutenant Muwaffaq Salti (killed in action);  Captain (Lt General) Ihsan Shurdom (Commander of the RJAF, 1983-1993);  Captain Jasser Zayyad;  Lieutenant (Brigadier) Farouq Abdeen.

The author would like to express his sincere appreciation to Mrs Patricia Salti for information on her late husband and permission to include his photograph on this website