Shimshon Rozen, a longtime Israeli Air Force pilot who was one of the flyers in a historic 2003 flight over Auschwitz, died Dec. 16 in a light aircraft accident in the city of Modi’in. He was 60.
"Nothing could prepare us for the loss of one of the finest airmen and greatest friends that we had ever known,” Danny Grossman wrote.
A companion in Rozen’s squadron and neighbor from nearby Nir Banim 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.”
Rozen was born and raised in Jerusalem. He joined the Air Force in 1970 and became one of the first pilots to fly an F-4 Phantom, the top plane in Israel’s force at the time. He flew for Israel in several wars as a fighter and reconnaissance pilot. In the 1973 Yom Kippur War he was part of a squadron that bombed Damascus.
In recent years, Rozen was a high-tech entrepreneur. He also was a prominent opponent of plans to build a power plant near his home.
The fatal accident occurred as the plane in which Rozen was flying was attempting an emergency landing on a street in Modi’in, apparently after a mechanical failure. The plane struck a parked car.
The Eulogizer highlights the life accomplishments of famous and not-so-famous Jews who have passed away recently. Write to the Eulogizer at firstname.lastname@example.org.