42 years ago, Colonel Joe Alon, one of IAF’ first pilots, was murdered. The assassin has never been found. Now, Alon’s three daughters speak of their father and their persistent struggle for justice
There are two types of pilots: those who learn to fly after learning process and many practice hours and a rare group of “natural” pilots who do not need to study hard to become a part of the plane and know how to use it optimally. Joe Alon belonged to the second group, says his childhood friend, Major (Res.) Hugo Marom.
Colonel Joe Alon served as Israel’s Air Attaché in Washington in 1973. The murder that shocked many Israelis took place 42 years ago today – a month after Alon finished his term as attaché in the USA. The mysterious case was not solved to this day. Many people have tried to find Alon’s murderer over the years, but failed to find substantial proofs.
“People loved being under his command”
From the moment he graduated IAF’s Pilot Course number one, to its final position as Israel’s Air Attaché in Washington, Alon was involved in many of IAF’s core events. Joe played a key role in the establishment of the Southern Hatzerim Airbase, which until today is a center of operational activity in routine and during emergency. “People loved being under his command”, continues Major (Res.) Marom. “He had a special character and was highly appreciated in the force. He was a very honest man and everything he did was in favor of the country”.
The Tragedy is Still Present
the mystery surrounding Joe Alon’s murder continues to disturb his daughters, who even today continue their struggle to find those responsible for their father’s death. Numerous law enforcement and intelligence agencies were involved in the attempts to solve the mystery. None of the involved has come to a clear conclusion regarding the murder and its motives, but the common theory suggests that the Palestinian terrorist organization “Black September”, which claimed responsibility for the murder, is behind it.
“Our mother Deborah, may she rest peace, has lived with the lost for many years and persistently tried to solve the mystery”, says Joe’s oldest daughter, Dalia Rozman. “They had very strong connection and deep love between them. She wanted to reopen the investigation that started in the US and turned to all high-ranking officers in the IAF”.
The daughters follow their mother’s unwritten will and keep trying to reveal the truth. Currently they are in contact with an American investigator in charge of the investigation. “We have not given up yet”, says Joe’s younger daughter, Rachel Alon Rozman. “The private investigator continues its efforts. This is not an easy struggle”.
42 years have passed, but the tragedy that struck his three daughters Dalia, Yael and Rachel lives on. “A week ago I returned from ‘Witnesses in uniform’ program (IDF delegations to the Nazi extermination camps). I have wanted to be a part of it for years”, shares his middle daughter, Yael Alum Rozenstein. “I wore his pilot hat and read out the names of his deceased parents. I felt him there with me”.