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Shimshon Rozen
Shimshon Rozen, 2005
Born 12 September 1952(1952-09-12) (age 69)
Died December 16, 2011(2011-12-16) (aged 59)
Place of birth Jerusalem, Israel
Place of death Modiin, Israel
Allegiance  Israel
Service/branch  Israeli Air Force
Years of service 1968–2005
Rank IAF aluf mishne.svg colonel
Commands held 151 Squadron "YANAT" (1991-1993), IAF base commander (1993-1995)
Battles/wars Yom Kippur War Yomkippurribon.svg
1982 Lebanon War Lebanon war ribbon.svg
South Lebanon conflict

Shimshon Rozen (Hebrew: שמשון רוזן‎;‎ 12 September 1952 – 16 December 2011) was an Israeli Air Force weapon systems officer and a colonel in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). Rozen participated in the Yom Kippur War and 1982 Lebanon War, accumulating hundreds of operational flying hours. Rozen also participated in the IAF's historic flight over the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Early life[edit | edit source]

Rozen, a resident of Timorim, was born and lived in the Arnona neighborhood of Jerusalem. He attended Rehavia high school. During the Six-Day War the family home was shelled by the Jordanian army, though the house was empty at the time.

Military career[edit | edit source]

Rozen with IDF Chief of Staff David Elazar during pilot course graduation

119 squadron plaque commemorating Koren's and Rozen's downing of a Syrian MiG-21

Rozen joined the IDF on 6 October 1970. He attended the Israeli Air Force flight academy, graduating as the outstanding cadet of the fighter-navigation track. After graduation Rozen was assigned to 119 "Bat" Squadron which at that time flew the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II from Tel Nof Airbase.[1] On his very first operational flight, Rozen and pilot Rafi Koren shot down a Syrian Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21.[2]

Yom Kippur War[edit | edit source]

During the 1973 Yom Kippur War Rozen participated in the 1973 Syrian General Staff Headquarters Raid.[3] Rozen flew hundreds of operational missions throughout the war, including attacks on Syrian surface to air missiles (SAM) sites, protection of IDF convoys, and deep penetration strikes against enemy strategic infrastructure.

Rozen with former Israeli presidents Chaim Herzog and Ezer Weizman

Key Positions[edit | edit source]

Rozen's positions in the Israeli Air Force include:

  • 1973 – Navigator at 119 Squadron (Israel), Leading R&D projects and the unit's navigation division.
  • 1982 – Navigator at 601 Squadron (Israel), the IAF's flight test center.
  • 1983 – Leading the unit reconnaissance department at 133 Squadron (Israel).
  • 1985 – IAF R&D division officer in charge of head-mounted systems for the IAI Lavi.
  • 1987 – IAF liaison officer for development of Helmet-mounted displays in California.
  • 1991 – 151 "Yanat" Squadron commander.
  • 1993 – Israel Air force base commander.

Flight Over Auschwitz[edit | edit source]

Colonel Rozen also participated in the historic 4 September 2003 IAF flight over Auschwitz-Birkenau. He would later go on to share his experience with students, holocaust survivors and the general public.

Rozen with Major-General Amir Eshel, Commander of the Israeli Air Force

Civilian life[edit | edit source]

Education[edit | edit source]

In 22 June 1982 Rozen received his Bachelor of Engineering B.Sc. in Electrical engineering from Ben-Gurion University. After retiring from regular service, Rozen received an MBA.

Civilian career and environmental activism[edit | edit source]

After leaving the military, Rozen focused his attention on defense and environmental activism. Rozen held key positions in Israel’s leading defense industries including BVR and Elbit Systems' El-Op division. He lead and consulted to several startup companies, establishing his own company, SARI.[4]

Rozen leading the struggle against the establishment of a power station next to residential areas in Kiryat Malakhi

Shimshon Rozen lead the "Don't kill us"[5] protest activities against the plan to build a power station[6] fueled by natural gas close to residential areas of Kiryat Malakhi. The protest managed to delay the decision to place a power plant in close range to residential areas and shopping malls.[7]

Death[edit | edit source]

On December 16, 2011, Shimshon Rozen died in the crash of a light civilian aircraft in Modi'in-Maccabim-Re'ut. The fatal accident occurred as the plane in which Rozen was flying went into a stall caused by pilot error. Rozen died at the age of 60.[8][9][10]

Commemoration[edit | edit source]

Rozen 119 Squadron memorial plaque

File:Shimshon Rozen 133 poster.pdf

Rozen memorial picture at 133 Squadron, taken during his last flight in the IAF

  • Dudi Levanon, Rozen's squadron companion and neighbor was quoted as saying at Rozen's funeral: "They asked if Shimshon was my best friend, and without hesitation, I answered yes. On second thought, as I look around, I know many of you feel the same. That was Shimshon – a best friend to everyone here."[11][12]
  • On 4 May 2012, the student council of "Beer Tuvia" high school conducted an event in honor of Shimshon, held under the slogan "Green environment for the community".
  • On 12 September 2012, the Israeli Air Force produced an event to honor Rozen’s activity in the IAF and his contribution to the state of Israel. The event was hosted by the Israeli Air Force association in Herzliya.[13][14]
  • January 2012 - 119 Squadron dedicates a memorial plaque to Rozen at Ramon Airbase.
  • December 2012 - Be'er Tuvia Regional Council high school decides to hang an aerial photo of the school with accompanying text commemorating Rozen.
  • April 2013 - 133 Squadron hangs a picture taken by Rozen during his last flight with the IAF.
  • April 2013 - Timorim places a picture and description of Rozen in the village’s memorial house.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Grossman, Danny. "Shimshon Rozen: One of Israel's finest airmen". http://www.jpost.com/Features/InThespotlight/Article.aspx?id=250620. Retrieved 22 December 2011. 
  2. Lendicer, David. "Attributed Israeli Air Combat Victories". http://aces.safarikovi.org/victories/victories-israel.html. Retrieved 19 November2006. 
  3. May 2012 "Washington Jewish Week". http://connection.ebscohost.com/c/obituaries/79197710/obituaries=1 May 2012. (subscription required)
  4. "Diplomats and business people invited to the inauguration of the Israel-Latvia Chamber of Commerce". http://www.jpost.com/Features/In-Thespotlight/Initiating-the-trade-route. Retrieved 29 November 2011. 
  5. Zafrir, Rinat. "Study: Gas-powered plant in south would endanger thousands". http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/study-gas-powered-plant-in-south-would-endanger-thousands-1.294794. Retrieved 8 January 2010. 
  6. "Israel legislator("Kneset") protocols - Shimshon Rozen fighting against the power plant". http://www.knesset.gov.il/protocols/data/html/pnim/2010-10-11-01.html. Retrieved 11 October 2010. 
  7. "Power plant protest - Shimshon Rozen on the news". http://cafe.themarker.com/topic/2522502/. Retrieved 5 February 2012. 
  8. "Israel-news Colonel Shimshon Rozen, one of Israel's finest airmen died in a plane crash". http://www.mako.co.il/news-israel/local/Article-4c4527e9f574431017.htm. Retrieved 16 December 2011. 
  9. "IBA world news - Shimshon Rozen dies at the age of 60". http://www.iba.org.il/world/?lang=en&entity=807661&type=1/. Retrieved 16 December 2011. 
  10. "HAARETZ - Two die as plane crashes in Modi'in: Eyewitnesses say pilot wanted to wave to his family". http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/two-die-as-plane-crashes-in-modi-in-eyewitnesses-say-pilot-wanted-to-wave-to-his-family-1.402029/. Retrieved 18 December 2011. 
  11. "JTA - Shimshon Rozen, Former Israeli Air Force Pilot Dies at the age of 60". http://blogs.jta.org/eulogizer/article/2011/12/28/3090940/former-israeli-air-force-pilot-shimshon-rozen-dies-in-plane-crash-at-60. 
  12. "HighBeam - Shimshon Rozen dies in plane crash". http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P3-2580538121.html. Retrieved 5 January 2012. 
  13. "Shimshon Rozen, Israels notable aircrew fighter, movie 4 - By IAF's commander Aluf Amir Eshel". https://vimeo.com/62947050. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  14. "Shimshon Rozen, Israels notable aircrew fighter, movie 6 - Eran Rozen song for Shimshon "Now this is real"". https://vimeo.com/63988537. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 

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