World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article
 

Giora Epstein

Giora Epstein / Giora Even
Giora Even, sketch by Jay Ashurst
Nickname(s) Hawkeye
Born 1938 (age 77–78)
Allegiance  Israel
Service/branch  Israeli Air Force
Years of service 1956–98
Rank Aluf Mishne
Other work Airline pilot

Colonel Giora "Hawkeye" Epstein (Hebrew: גיורא אפשטיין‎, born 1938), today Giora Even (Hebrew: גיורא אבן‎), is a retired colonel in the Israeli Air Force (IAF) and a fighter ace credited with 17 victories, 16 against Egyptian jets, making Epstein the ace of aces of supersonic fighter jets and of the Israeli Air Force.[1][2] Epstein was an active IAF pilot from 1963 until 1997, when he retired at age 59. He, like many retired IAF flyers, later worked as captain for El-Al Airlines.

Contents

  • Early career 1
  • Victories: 1967–1973 2
  • Later career and retirement 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Early career

Epstein joined the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) in 1956 during the Suez War. He was initially rejected from flight school because of a heart condition and began his military career as a paratrooper. While traveling with the IDF's parachute demonstration team, Epstein changed his last name to Even ("stone" in Hebrew). He left the IDF in 1959 before returning two years later to again apply for flight school.

After gaining medical clearance (mostly through his own stubbornness), Epstein began fighter training. He soon gained the nickname "Hawkeye" due to his extraordinary eyesight. Epstein was allegedly able to spot aircraft at a distance of 24 miles (44 km) — nearly three times further than a normal pilot.

Victories: 1967–1973

Israeli Air Force Mirage IIICJ

Epstein's first kill came on June 6, 1967 during the Six Day War, when he downed an Egyptian Sukhoi-7 at El Arish. During the War of Attrition in 1969–70, Epstein downed a MiG-17, another Sukhoi-7 and two MiG 21s. The rest of his kills came during 1973's Yom Kippur War. Between October 18 and 20, 1973, he downed an Mi-8 helicopter and eight jets: two Sukhoi-7s, two Sukhoi-20s and four MiG 21s. Then, on October 24, 1973, Epstein downed three more MiG-21s west of the Great Bitter Lake. Eight of these victories were with the French-built Mirage III, a delta wing fighter designed primarily as a high altitude interceptor. His other nine victories came in an IAI Nesher, an Israeli-built version of the Mirage 5. Five of his claims were downed using air-to-air missiles, the rest with cannon.[3]

Later career and retirement

After the Yom Kippur War, Epstein received the Medal of Distinguished Service, one of Israel's highest military honors. He went on to command Mirage and Kfir squadrons and was flying "ready" missions in the F-16 up until his 60th birthday. After retiring from the IAF, Epstein became a captain for El-Al Airlines.

Epstein was the primary subject of the "Desert Aces" episode of The History Channel series Dogfights. The episode first aired on August 10, 2007.

See also

References

  1. ^
  2. ^ Israeli aces
  3. ^ http://www.amazing-airplanes.com/amazing_acheivements/best_pilot.php

External links

  • Official Israeli Air Force site listing Epstein's victory details
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.