Amir Nachumi flew over 300 combat missions and is an ace in two different fighters. Born in 1945, Nachumi attended high school and college in Jerusalem and at age 17 joined the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). He rose to staff sergeant in an armored brigade, and in 1964 concluded national service. After graduation from Hebrew University in 1967, he was called to active duty and fought in the Six-Day War. Soon after, he joined the Israeli Air Force (IAF) and earned wings and a commission in 1968. During the War of Attrition, Nachumi flew the Dassault MD 450 Ouragan on 50 combat missions and then transitioned to the McDonnell F-4 Phantom II.
On 6 October 1973, sitting cockpit alert at an airfield on the tip of the Sinai Peninsula, Nachumi took off moments before Egyptian aircraft bombed his parking spot. He and a wingman engaged a mixed force of 28 Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 and MiG-17 fighters. In this first battle of the Yom Kipper War, Nachumi downed four adversaries and earned the E-tour Hamofet. He flew another 50 combat missions and added three more victories before war's end. After "Wild Weasel" training in the United States, in 1975 Nachumi went to IAF Headquarters as an air operations staff officer. Next, for 2½ years he commanded his former Phantom squadron and then transitioned to the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon.
As one of the first F-16 squadron commanders, he completed an instructor course at Hill AFB, Utah. Returning to Israel in 1980, he led the world's first F-16 combat mission and scored the first aerial victory in that aircraft. During Operation BABYLON, he led a four-ship in a force of F-16s that destroyed the Osirak nuclear reactor near Baghdad, Iraq. The Iraqis did not know who had attacked until Israel made it public. During the Peace for Galilee War, Nachumi downed six more aircraft, MiG-21s and a MiG-23. In the winter of 1983, he returned to IAF Headquarters as an ace with 14 victories.
After four years working in intelligence, he became an F-16 wing commander and in 1989 was promoted to brigadier general. Nachumi then became IAF Chief for Operations and Training. In 1992, after the Gulf War, he headed special technology programs and served as chairman of a steering committee for a multi-million dollar research and development program. He later became Israel's senior delegate during negotiations for an international arms control treaty.
Retired from the IAF in 1996, he now owns a consulting company specializing in military and civil aviation and works other business interests. He continues to fly as a reserve flight instructor for the IAF flying school. Nachumi and his wife, Neomi, live near Tel Aviv with their daughter who will soon become a cadet in flight school.