April 23, 2024
Its quite rare to find WW2 Era warbirds in Pakistan. This T-6 Harvard T4246 is a pleasant sight at the Base Commanders office at PAF Risalpur. Photo Courtesy by Abbas Ali, HistoryOfPIA.com

For years to come, the Sabre and the Starfighter dominated the composition of the PAF for years together. The availability of Chinese F-6 fighters in bulk saw to that in the Eighties, a high number of Sabres , Starfighters and F-6s were made available for disposal and many of these warbirds found resting places in City chowks and Gate guardian duties.

Much of the Warbird scene is dominated by the F-86 Sabre and its Canadian version, the CL-13 Canadair Sabre. Half a dozen Starfighters and a number of F-6s form the bulk of Pakistan’s Gate guardians. However the promise of Indian Warbird scene is missing in Pakistan. There are very slim chances of a Spitfire or a Messerchmitt turning up. Inspite of the fact that Furies and Halifaxes served with the PAF, neither of these two types nor any remains of them have survived anywhere in Pakistan. The only WW2 era warbirds are a few Harvards, a Tigermoth and an Auster.

However we were pleasantly surprised to know that a 1944 vintage Douglas A-26 Invader has survived as a derelict in the Karachi International Airport area. This Invader is one of the On-Mark Civilian conversions and is registered as AP-AVV. Photographs of this aircraft have recently emerged on the Internet.

Click to Enlarge Essentially complete apart from Aeileron surfaces and missing rudder, B-26 Invader AP-AVV was previously 44-34568 with the USAAF. It saw service with the French Air force in Indo China from 1951-55 and ended up with USAF again. It had the civilian registration N202P. Pic courtesy: Pakistan CAA
It is not known as to how 44-34568 ended up derelict at the Karachi airport. Put up for sale in the late 90s by the Pakistani CAA, it is now believed to be a candidate for restoration. By whom is a question not answered yet. Pic courtesy: Pakistan CAA Click to Enlarge

The Invader at Karachi appears to have been not flown or a number of years. But apart from missing aeilorons and Rudder, it is essentially complete with undercarriage and Engines. The paint scheme seems to have been faded through years of exposure.

There are other aircraft on display in and around bases in Pakistan. The more notable WW2 Era warbirds include the following

S No Type Location
W4108 Auster PAF Museum Karachi
??21 DH82a Tigermoth PAF Museum Karachi
T4200 T-6 Harvard PAF Museum Karachi
T4246 T-6 Harvard Base Commanders Office, PAF Academy, Risalpur
AP-A?? A-26 Invader Derelict at Karachi International Airport

In addition to the above, atleast seven Cessna O-1 Birddogs, Six Lockheed T-33 trainers and two MiG-15UTI trainers have been noted as preserved.

There are also atleast two Indian Air Force aircraft in Pakistan, One a Gnat which forcelanded during the 1965 War and another an Ouragan that strayed across during a training exercise. Both are preserved in different locations in Pakistan. A look at the PAF Museum in Karachi is recommended for warbird enthusiasts.

Recommended Links:
* PAF Museum Official Website: http://www.pafmuseum.com.pk
* Usman Shabbir’s Warbirds http://www.pakdef.info/pakmilitary/airforce/warbirds/
* MA Baig’s PAF Museum http://www.mabaig.co.uk/paf/museum.html
* Pakistan CAA’s Aircraft for sale page http://www.geocities.com/caa_pakistan

Photo Acknowledgements
* Abbas Ali Aviation Collection (http://www.historyofpia.com)

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