The 307th Night of Memory-3

Our Mission in 1983

Maryam Rajabi
Translated by Ruhollah Golmoradi


According to Iranian Oral History Website, the 307th session of Sacred Defense’s night of memory was held in Sooreh Hall of Hozeh Honari on the evening of Thursday, October 24, 2019. In the session, pilots Amir Habibi, Mohammad Gholamhosseini, and Attaullah Mohebbi spoke of their memories of the Iraq imposed war on Iran.

In the previous part of the report, you read first part of narrated memories by pilot colonel Mohammad Gholamhosseini. He continued: “our mission in 1983 was a mission that had been started with Operation Valfajr-2. Hamedan Air Base was ordered to do air coverage in the area beside supporting Ground Forces. Because the mission was on Friday we also were careful about Hamedan Friday Prayer; as Hamedan Friday Prayer had been attacked and the enemy had made many injures the city prayers. We were supposed to fly at 11 a.m. it was decided that a tanker aircraft should be also in the region to fuel aircrafts. Our friend Mr. Ansari was flying. He called and said: “the tanker plane is not in the sky. Take off and fly as soon as possible because our fuel is finishing.”

Before we prepared and did our tasks, Mahmood had landed. We went hurriedly, took off the aircraft and went up. We circulated about 20 minutes around Hamedan and covered the region toward Sanandej and Mahabad. When we returned Kermanshah, ground radar informed us that two aircrafts are coming toward Iran territory. We turned immediately and measured their altitude. We found them in radar. I saw that in a 1000 feet altitude, the same altitude we were flying, they were moving toward our territory. Our distance was relatively 75 miles. It was a high distance. We closed each other gradually; this was when Iraq’s Mirage aircrafts had also involved the conflict. Mirage aircraft carried missiles named Matra Super. These jest were very smart. They traced frequency of the radar that we sent. The missile struck mostly front of aircraft.

We approached them gradually. Ground radar gave us persistently information. There is also a system in aircrafts that shows other aircraft radars and also that whether there any other aircraft at the other side that is approaching us, but it didn’t show anything. Finally, we conflicted those two aircrafts. We fired the first aircraft by a M7 missile. The ground radar informed us that one of them has been hit, turn to right quickly to the second conflict. The ground radar continued giving information about the second aircraft that suddenly said: turn fast and lower your latitude! The aircrafts are approaching you from underneath.

The enemy after bringing the Mirage aircrafts and given that American AWACS aircrafts were also in the region, targeted two aircrafts and sent two to three aircrafts, while their radars were off, under control of AWACS aircraft. When they were in attack state they turned on their radar, as much time had missed and it was very late. I told Saeed Hadi-Moghadam: turn to left and go down.

Before we could turn the aircraft and go down in a spin a missile struck at front of the aircraft. Saeed was of pilots who participated in the flight of 140 aircrafts at the early war and unfortunately he martyred in the cabin. The aircraft was fired and he started spin. The blast due to classing two missiles was as big as that I became senseless for seconds in the cabin. When I became conscious, I saw the aircraft was rapidly falling. Cabin was full of smoke and fire. I called Saeed several times but he didn’t answer. The aircraft was in a situation that caused pilot much pressure inside. The pressure was as much as that I couldn’t arranged myself. It didn’t come to my mind to jump out of the aircraft or eject or any other measure. Everything was out of control. Ejection seat system of aircraft has two handles above seat and two handles between pilot legs. When air pressure brought me up and down, I cowered in a way and came down and the handles hit my eye. I scratched and took them. When air pressure brought me up, the handles had separated spontaneously. G force (ejection seat) to seat is much and it caused me senseless again. Because the aircraft had been struck by missile, it had been thrown away a few thousands foot. Relatively in a twenty thousand feet altitude, I was thrown away in a very high speed. When chair is opened and took off from cabin, there is a smart system on the chair in order to prevent open parachute immediately; as at high altitude there are no oxygen and weather is very cold. Some sensors are set in terms of altitude; for example, if the highest altitude of the area is twelve thousand feet, they are set for fourteen to fifteen thousand feet. The chair started falling. I also scratched whether the parachute had any problem that it wasn’t opened? I scratched to open the parachute by hand. I scratched everywhere and I also had taken off my shirt. The main chair was opened at the fifteen thousand feet altitude. Assume that such heavy chair with pilot is coming down rapidly and suddenly its speed becomes zero. When the parachute was opened, my collarbone was broken and taken out. When I hanged parachute, I found I didn’t have my left hand and there was sever bleeding. I told myself that it might had been amputated!

Instead of lower parachute, wind had caused it move mostly horizontally. I was leaving Iraq boundary and entering Iran territory. I didn’t see anywhere. My eyebrows had been fractured and my eyes were full of blood. I took off my helmet to cleared blood. As I cleared bloods I could see more. I saw an area in which I was falling was mountain and very impassable. I had taken off my helmet and I couldn’t wear it again; because I should open its mouth by my two hands and then wear it. Parachute passed mountains very slowly and it was not under my control. I passed relatively twenty to thirty meter far from shepherd’s tent, and when parachute entered valley because air stream upped and downed there, it gathered suddenly and struck me firmly to the mountain. All my ribs were broken and my right leg was crushed. My left leg had also been broken in cabin. When I fell there, I was whirling. I saw that a person in Kurdish cloth was coming but he stood far from me. Then he approached cautiously and checked me to see if I had any gun. When he became sure that I didn’t have any gun, he lifted my head within stones and put on his leg. After ten minutes a few armored people arrived. When I was falling in parachute, they followed me. They wanted separate pilot equipment but they didn’t know how. I only took their hand to press up first and second safety and release the equipment. I had entered the valley thirty to forty meters. They wanted lift me and go up. All my body members had been broken. My right thigh bone had been broken in eight parts and taken out of muscle. My collarbone had taken out. My kneecap had been taken out. My neck had been fractured. All these had happened and they wanted to take me in their arm and elevate. They shouldered me persistently, climbed me up ten to twenty steps, again they laid me down and then shouldered. Finally, they took me close to the tent and I saw one person in Kurdish dress came and said: lay him down, I want to kill him!

  Our language was relatively similar. I speak Lorish and they spoke Kurdish; they are relatively close. Two persons jumped and capture the gun from him and told: you’re not allowed to kill him, headquarter should order. When I saw the gun, I just started to talk. I asked the one who had shouldered me: who are you? Where am I? He said you are now in Kurdistan. I asked: Iran’s Kurdistan or Iraq’s Kurdistan. He said, Kurdistan! I asked so where are we close to? He said: close to Mahabad. I said: well, I’m in my country and this doesn’t need welcome! He said you came to Kurdistan and we have much to do with you pilot! They laid me down in a tent and after ten minutes some of their officials came by horse. They said: Introduce yourself. I introduced myself. Among them there was a person who was very negative. He said, "He is one of those pilots who comes and bombards the Kurdish people!" I said: I have not come for Kurdish people but I have come to bomb Iraq. He said, "Ok, now it will be clear." They began to threaten. My hand was bleeding severely. They brought of old ampoules that were used several times and injected one and said, "Go and bring a doctor." Mr. Hamzeh Aria[1], who was young at the time, went and almost two days later they said: "The doctor is coming." They were up the mountain and it took four to five hours for doctor and the rest to climb up the valley. When they arrived, I saw they had brought a traditional orthopedist with a 45 colt caliber at one side of his body and a grenade at the other. He was tired and whacked and sat in the middle of the tent. He lit up a wrapped cigarette and said: Take women and kids out of here. They sent the woman and children out. He drunk a cup of tea and came and touched my head and neck and said, "He needs a lot of work." He said, "Bring carton and stick and an empty bottle." He also had brought some matter like yolk. They emptied a bottle of oil and handed it over. He told me: Take a deep breath and puff in this bottle. My ribs had been broken and I couldn't breathe. I puffed a little. He said you have to take a deep breath so that your lungs to be full of air. I couldn't again. He targeted colt and put it on my neck and said, "I tell you to take a deep breath!" Out of fear of that colt I took a deep breath, and one of my bones that had taken out of muscle retrogressed; as when lung becomes open, the bones are stretched. He retrogressed the bone and put some local medicine on it. My left hand was in cut state and had inflated. He knew my hand had been fractured, but he could not diagnose location of the fracture. He pulled my hand and I wanted to shout, but two people had taken my jaw and two my leg and they prevented me to shake. He also made pressure as much as he could to retrogress it.

It took almost an hour that they could, in their opinion, place bones in their location, while they had not been placed in their location at all. With shawls on their waist they made fabrics like ribbons and twisted around my members. They had no hygiene equipment and they wrapped the carton around me so much that they called me "Mammad Cartooni (cardboard Mohammad)". My whole body was wrapped in cardboard except for my right hand. I was there for about twenty days. Then they took me close to Lemonj village. Of course at the time, I didn't know that this was name of the village. We recently went there and saw it. My father found out after a month and a half that I was alive. After three months, he came to Kurdistan and spoke with the Kurdistan Democratic Party. It was supposed they release me after some recovery, but I didn't become better, and Artesh (Iran Army) and IRGC had also made some attacks. It was autumn and the weather was cold and there was snowing, they had no place to hold me and had to release me. Ayatollah Mousavi Ardebili's nephew and I were released and they received four of their prisoners.”


To be continued…


The 307th Night of Memory -1: Marine Patrol

The 307th Night of Memory-2: The Pilot Became RPG Shooter and the Aircraft Became RPG


[1] I was captured by Kurdistan Democratic Party and they kept for about four to five months. After we wrote the book, it had many faults. We were almost at the end of the book. I had a friend who established a grocery store after retirement. In the shop, he had put his own photo in aircraft behind himself. Someone had gone to his shop to buy pistachio. He had saw the photo and asked whether you are pilot? He had said, "Yes, I was a pilot." He had stated: “I'm looking for a pilot named Gholamhosseini. Do you know him? He said yes, he is my friend. He said, "I'm the same Kurd who went during his captivity to bring a doctor. I would love to see him. That friend called me at night and said, "There is one who wants to see you. He asked your phone number and I didn't give it to him, but I got his number.” I called him and I found that he was the same Hamzeh Aria; the person who went to bring the doctor at the next day when they captured me (source: The 307th Night of Memory-2: The Pilot Became RPG Shooter and the Aircraft Became RPG)

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