In memory of a pilot who used to tell his memories

Mansour Ghorbani
Translated by: Fazel Shirzad


When I heard news, I became worried a lot as if a bullet was shot to my chest and come out easily of my body from another side. Short and painful: "Brigadier general pilot Akbar Tavangarian also flies into the sky". The fear of encountering the last farewell at the funeral unconsciously reminded me of our first visit. The visit that doesn't go far enough. That was the spring of 2018. We contacted him repeatedly until he finally arrived at our office one day. At the time, our office was in the middle of a large park with a good weather. But the face that come in my mind at the time of the first visit is "a man with the mask on face," and a body that was obviously destroyed inwardly, but he had a strong and lively spirit into his body. A spirit that wanted to stand up, not bent. The disease was developed in his lungs and liver and a few other organs, but this man, with all his pains, tried to hold himself steady. That day the brigadier came to respond his curiosities about our office. He wanted ask where Isfahan's sustainability office was and what we were doing there. We also rejoiced that we were with in the presence of a great man; therefore, we revealed whatever we had in mind. He enjoyed of our words; he commuted to our office more and more. He listened to our talks. We talked about everything such as ancient Isfahan and its zourkhaneh[1] to Sistan and Baluchistan and its villages, and flights took off from Isfahan and Hamedan and shot heavy bombs on enemies. I remember that a meeting was going to be held for the officials of the offices of culture and sustainability studies in Anzali[2]; we was going to take a trip to attend in there. A few days before the trip, we received a letter, along with the text of the book "An Inscriptions in the Sky" (Memoirs of the late Akbar Sayyad Borani), asking us to comment on the book. We gave the text of book to brigadier general Akbar Tavangarian. He was a friend of Akbar Sayyad Borani and he told memoirs about his friend and gave us clues to correct the book. Finally, as his throat became full of grief, he wore his mask and left the office. When I arrived in Anzali, I asked Mr. Mohammad Prohalm, head of Gilan’s the Offices of Culture and Sustainability Studies, to send an invitation card to Brigadier General when the book is going to be revealed.

Since I returned to Anzali, I began to look for a skilled and experienced interviewer who was familiar with Air Force terms; I discussed it with Hojjat Shahmohammadi, who is both a writer and a retired pilot in Air Force. He was eagerly ready to conduct an interview and edit the memories of brigadier general. We made a date for an interview, but brigadier general was not good. He was coughing more than before and her voice was changed, and he became bald because of the effects of chemotherapy. But at that physical situation, he began to narrate the memoirs and took us to the end of June 1982, and the operation was to take place with three F4 phantom fighters in the sky of Baghdad, but his plane was unable to fly due to technical problems.

Time is running out and the budget is not enough to record memories. I wish we could have budget as much as collecting all memories of all warriors in details and not let one moment of those memories to be wasted. I wish we were able to record everywhere, and not to let our war history stay in the breasts and be buried beneath a pile of dust one day. I wish we could not simply ignore such a pure memory. Not all warriors and commanders are alive forever. I wish we wouldn't neglect the memoirs.

This year (2019) is not only the year that brigadier general pilot Akbar Tavangarian[3] is passed away, but also We lost many others in Isfahan such as pilot Hassan Najafi, genral Hajj Ahmad Fazaeli former commander of Imam Hussein University (AS), Rahim Ansari, commander of the 25th Marine Corp who was waiting for his memoir book named "Arvand’s Dolphins" and perhaps dozens of warriors that each ones were like a window in the hearts of memories and history of war. God rest his soul and bless them.



[1] Pahlevani and zourkhaneh rituals is the name inscribed by UNESCO for varzesh-e pahlavāni or varzesh-e bāstāni, a traditional system of athletics originally used to train warriors in Iran and adjacent lands.

[2] It is a city of Gilan Province, Iran. At the 2011 census. Anzali is one of the most important cities in Iran in terms of tourism, economics, and athletics. The city was home to the first and biggest port on the southern shores of the Caspian Sea. 

[3] Akbar Tavangarian, born on 20th Sep 1950 from Isfahan, Phantom fighter pilot, commander of 61st and 31st battalions, Chabahar’s Air Base command substitute, tenth base commander, pilot collage commander, the base command substitute of Isfahan's martyr Babaei Air area, Test Operations Chief in Aviation industry, getting pledge of honor in victory and etc.

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