The 344th Night of Memoir-3

Compiled by: Leila Rostami
Translated by: Fazel Shirzad

2023-10-5


Note: The 344th night of memoir was held on Thursday, the 23 February of 2023, with the presence of the brave men of the Air Force in the Soura Hall of Arts Center. In this program, General Alireza Rudbari, Second Brigadier General Fereydoun Samadi, General Mohammad Hasan Luqmanejad and captive pilot Brigadier General Mohammad Sediq Qaderi shared their memories. Also, the book "Honest Pilot" was unveiled in the presence of Mohammad Hasan Abu Tarabifard. Davood Salehi was in charge of this night of memoir.

The third narrator of the 344 Nights of Memoir was captive and veteran General Mohammad Hasan Loqmaninejad, born in the holy city of Mashhad. After getting his diploma, he went to America to get a pilotage rank. With the beginning of the revolution, he became a trainer for an F4 fighter-bomber as well as a passenger plane. He is one of the first people who was captured in the imposed war in 1980 and was released from captivity in the last days of 1990.

At first, the narrator expressed his acquaintance with Mohammad Sediq Qaderi and said: My acquaintance with Mohammad Sediq Qaderi dates back to before the revolution. Before the revolution and the war, we made many flights together and were in the 31st fighter battalion under the responsibility and command of Amir Samadi. We were undisciplined in flight and Amir Samadi had ordered us that no one should go below five hundred feet. When the war started we were happy to be able to do as much indiscipline as we wanted and do low-level[1] flying. With the beginning of the Islamic revolution, some jealousies caused some of our pilots to be removed and purged. Mr. Sediq Qaderi was one of the purged pilots from this category. He may not like to mention their names, but when he saw the Iraqi forces in the sky of Iran, he said: "I crashed my car on the side of the highway and started crying." Then he called Martyr Javad Fakuri, who was the commander of the Air Force at that time and they were almost the same age, and said: "Javad! I think Iraqi forces have attacked, we were in prison and came out and settled, but if you really don't trust me, take my wife and child hostage, I'll come and fight for you; It means to fight for my country."

The narrator continued: I tell others that I have nothing to do with myself, if I have any dignity; it is because of my flight and captivity. Believe me, the Iraqis themselves spoke up and told us - I'm sorry, I'm saying the same thing as the Iraqis - "Khomeini has abandoned us, you should abandon us too." That is, we made the field so narrow for them in captivity, not because of harassment, but because we did not violate the slightest of what a soldier should perform there and be a soldier of his homeland.

I remember that before the revolution, we used to watch movies about how a person is captured, how a person becomes a spy and may be exploited. When I was captured, my leg was broken and I was held for fifteen days. I felt like there was a microphone in the pocket or sleeve of the officer who came to interrogate me. Therefore, the conversations we had and the answers we gave were only at the level of a soldier. Because my leg was broken, it was very difficult for me to go to the bathroom. I once said amputate my leg so I can at least pull myself easily with a cane. "It depends on how you answer," he told me. During these fifteen days, they did not give me any medicine and I was thrown in the room on a mattress full of blood.

The officer said that you must answer us correctly. Well, I was also a soldier. I grew up under teachers like General Samadi, Izdstad, Bratpour, etc. I mean, where in the world can you find such good men and commanders? They had given us good lessons such as masculinity, humanity, courage, flight, forgiveness and patriotism. I could not go under the burden of what the Iraqis wanted.

In the continuation of his memoirs, the narrator pointed to the scene of Mr. Mohammad Sediq Qaderi's plane being set on fire and said: "We were four planes that hit al-Dura base in Baghdad." I was talking to my rear cabin when I saw one of our planes standing there with a bit of fire on its tail. I said to my rear cabin that they hit this plane. Then he said, "No, It's not. It is the sunlight falls on his tail, which is seen as a fire." Now Mr. Sediq Qaderi and Houshang Asari were together. After some time, I saw two black people get out of the plane and I passed by them with a short distance. A few days later, I told Mr. Sediq Qaderi's brother who had come to the Hamadan base: I saw that the two of them rejected; God willing, they were healthy and would come back one day.

Continuing his words, the narrator said about his captivity: I had flown a lot and had an accident in Hamadan runway. In that accident, my friend and my rear cabin were burned in front of everyone and only I was able to get out of the plane. For this reason, Mr. Bratpour said to me out of love and compassion or something else:  Dear Loqmani! You flew a lot, my dear. Go on vacation for two or three days, your wife is also in Mashhad, come back later and fly again." I said, "No, give me a flight, I must fly." Khorramshahr was under siege. In the afternoon, I went to the command post and said: "Let me fly too." They said: "You were on the floor last night, you jumped, and you flew in the morning." "No, I want to fly," I said.

In short, Martyr Mahdiyar and I, who were on another plane, flew. Martyr Mehdiyar was one of those who were settled and came with his own desire to fight again and be by our side, and later he was martyred. When my plane was hit, I jumped out with a parachute. I fell in front of an Iraqi embankment. There was a tank in the embankment and a person's head could be seen from it. My leg was broken and hanging. Iraqi soldiers took off my jacket, tore off my ranks and kicked me. These embankments were inside Iranian soil and they captured me in our own soil.

After a short time, an Iraqi with the rank of first lieutenant, who was very well-dressed and handsome, came and stopped me. He shook my hand and asked, "What is your name and rank?" I said: "I am the captain." He said: "You are young! How are you captain?! You killed all my soldiers!" I yelled at him and said: "Do you know why?" He said: "No." I said: "This is my country, what are you doing here?" You are holding me captive in my own country." Believe me, it was not my hand. It was the spirit of patriotism and military duty that we had learned from our teacher.

He said to me: "Ok...Ok...Ok, it is war; I don't know what will happen to me later!" Then he respected me a lot. He tied my leg with a stick. They took me over the embankments and put me in a jeep. That Iraqi had put his hand on my hand and when I moaned a little, he squeezed my hand and told his driver, Hamzeh Hamzeh, which means slow down. I have not seen this man who became an Iraqi general after ten years. I was in Abu Ghraib when he went to my friends Reza Ahmadi and General Mahmoudi and told them: "There was a pilot whom I captured, where is he?! Now that the ceasefire is over and you are going back to Iran." Between the pilots, only my leg was broken. Most of the comrades had broken arms. The comrades said you are saying Hasan Luqman?! He was with us a year ago and then went to the camp. Later, he told Reza Ahmadi to tell me: I liked it very much; I still remember what he said to me! And he was a very good pilot and soldier.

At the end of his speech, the narrator thanked the wives of captives and the martyrs and said: I have to thank their wives more than I want to thank Mr. Sediq Qaderi. Ms. Qaderi is sick as well, but even so, they talked to my wife, who was sick and died, every night for about an hour and consoled her.

 


[1] Low altitude flight



 
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