Yosef (Joe) Alon was one of the founders of the Israel Air Force, along
with Ezer Weizmann and Motty Hod, and was the commanding officer
of future IAF commanders such as David Ivri and Amos Lapidot.
Men who built a legend.
Joe was born at Ein Harod in 1929. His parents were forced to return to Czechoslovakia in 1931, and in 1939 they sent Joe to England to escape the Nazis. He came to Israel in 1948 and joined the IAF's first pilot's training course. In 1953 he became one of Israel's first jet pilots , and in 1955 was appointed squadron commander of the latest jet fighters, the Ouragan. Joe was also the first squadron commander of the famous Mirage fighters, and afterwards established the Flying Safety Branch at IAF HQ.
The peak of his career was to serve as the first commanding officer of the first airbase built from scratch by the IAF, a task in which he took great pride.
In the words of Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Hod, IAF commander at the time: "Joe knew
every corner of the base, every road, every building, every bush. He turned
the area of the base into a nature preserve". His deputy, Col. (R)Yoel: "Joe
was a warm person and an outstanding pilot, with analytical and critical
ability". "Joe was stubborn and strict in the air" said his successor, Gen (R)
Bareket "and a warm family man on the ground". He was devoted to his wife
Dvora and his three daughters. Dvora's hospitality and cooking were legend
in the IAF.
Joe love of nature and the country were well known, and he often took the family by car to see places of natural beauty he had first seen from the air.
In 1970 Joe was appointed air attach to the Israel Embassy in Washington.
Along with his formal duties, he often gave lectures to Jewish youth and
made an outstanding impression.
On July 1st 1973, a month before the end of his tour of duty, Joe was murdered in front of his home in Washington. The case has not been solved to this day.
The road from Beer Sheva to Hazerim is named : "the Alon Road" and the Study Center at Kibbutz Lahav is called "the Joe Alon Center". Uzi Halamish the founder of the center, requested this of Dvora, Mr. and Mrs. Weizmann and Mr. and Mrs. Hod, who all supported it enthusiastically. The center operates in the fields of folklore, archeology, and nature, educating towards love of man and nature - a fitting memorial to a wonderful man, who is no longer.
[Joe Alon the Pilot]
[Joe Alon Center]
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