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Capt. Tzvi Tohar, El Al Pilot Famed for Many ‘firsts,’ Dies at 55

October 12, 1970
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Capt. Tzvi Tohar the Israeli pilot who collapsed and died of a heart attack last night in London while on his way to pilot an El Al Boeing here from Heathrow Airport, had achieved several “firsts.” Born 55 years ago in Berlin, he came to Palestine in 1935 to join a kibbutz as a graduate of machinery engineering school. Later, when war broke out, he joined Britain’s Royal Air Force and was among the first Israelis to get RAF wings and fly British planes, mainly in the South African area. In Israel, Capt. Tohar was the commander of the first Israeli flight when the Israeli Air Force was established. Later, he was the first commander of the first Israeli flying school. In 1950, he joined El Al and became the first Israeli to become a captain, in 1957. Since then Mr. Tohar had been the pilot of El Al planes taking Israeli leaders abroad and back. He was at the cockpit when David Ben-Gurion, Levi Eshkol and Golda Meir flew overseas, and was the pilot who brought Adolf Eichmann from Argentina to Israel.

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