April 13, 2018 marks sixth death anniversary of Pakistan Air Force’s veteran Group Captain Cecil Chaudhary. Cecil Sohail Chaudhary a flying prodigy hailed from Pakistan’s Christian community. He was born on August 27, 1941 in Dhalwaal village situated in the Salt Range. His father F.E. Chaudhary later decided to move to Lahore. So the Chaudhary family shifted to Lahore, where Cecil acquired education before joining Pakistan Air Force.
Cecil had an ardent inclination towards flying, for this sake he joined Air Scouts during his bachelors studies.He acquired Glider Pilot Wing in 1956, later was selected for Pakistan Air Force through 23 GDP Course and joined Risalpur Academy on March 12, 1958.
On June 26, 1960, Cecil Chaudhary passed out as commissioned officer of Pakistan Air Force. Flight Lieutenant Cecil was posted in Squadron 5, and took part in the India Pakistan war in 1965. On September 6, a formation of three PAF pilots was ordered to attack Bulwara in India. Cecil Chaudhary was one of the three Pakistan Air Force pilots, and successfully accomplished the mission. During the mission he had the chance to lead the formation, and gunned down enemy’s jets.
During his service, he offered his services at vital positions including Commander of Squadron 9, Deputy Director Air Operations, Air Command CCS and Dry Cutting Staff Air War College. He served on deportation in Iraq from 1979 till 1983. His illustrious carrier ended on July 2, 1986.
After retirement from the Air Force, he served as principal of Saint Anthony’s School in Lahore. He breathed his last on April 13,2012. Group Captain Cecil Chaudhary is among 70 pilots of Pakistan Air Force who have been awarded with Sitara-e-jurat. The legendary pilot is also among 7 Pakistani Christian pilots who have received Sitara-e-jurat. Cecil Chaudhary was also a recipient of Sitara-e-Basalat.