The first confirmed hit by Iranian F-14s was done by pilots Ataayee and Pashapoor in September 1980 during these offensives. Ataayee:
"One of the sorties was on September 9th when the Phantoms did their mission and returned. My rear cockpit was Lt. Pashapoor. I was a major then, there was Maj Rostami, too. He became the chief of staff after he was promoted to general. I don’t remember who his rear cockpit was. When the radar announced, an Iraqi aircraft was approaching the border, and if we’d engage it.
"We’d been strictly ordered not to engage any plane in Iraq because it’d give Saddam an excuse. We could shoot it if it crossed the border. "
The Iraqi’s aircraft had started a dangers game. It flew near the border for hours to draw the attention of F-14s. However, it will turn inland as soon as it was intercepted by F-14s. Flying towards Isfahan Air Base, Ataayee decides to land in Dezful Air Base to refuel. Ataayee:
"I told the radar, I’d go to Dezful and land there.
"Then it said a plane was behind me, at about 50 miles away. I don’t remember the distance exactly. I noticed it was coming form Hamadan from north to south. I asked ‘Are you sure it’s the enemy?’ They said, ‘No, Stand by.’ Then they said it was definitely the enemy.
"We were surprised because Iraq hadn't dared to enter our soil. I told Pashapoor to shoot it. He told me to do it, I told him to do it. He pushed the button. In the F-5, the missile left the wing tip when you pushed the button. I heard a sound and something detached.
"I told Pashpoor, 'I think the missile fell down.' We hadn't launched Phoenix until then, not in Iran or anywhere else. We yawed the aircraft to see where it fell when we saw the smoke. Then I remembered there was a eject time. The missile detaches and then it's launched. I look at the radar. It read it'd hit the target in 5 seconds. It went down to zero and the plane disappeared from the screen. Someone congratulated me down there on the radar. He was so happy he'd fainted."
The pilots in Dezful Air Base carry Ataayee on their shown verse. He returned to his base in the afternoon. A few days later, the pilots in Shiraz Air Base have their first hit.
Col Fereydoun Alimazandarani (F-14 pilot):
"After numerous invasions of Iraqi aircraft and its army in September 1980, I was on a mission with Mr Qasem Soltani in the north of Hamadan. The Iraqi planes approached our border, but left when they spotted us. Then Abdanan radar said two aircraft were bombing Mehran.
"It told us to go to Mehran fast. When I reached Mehran, I was right behind one of the planes which was going to drop its next bomb. We were about 11 miles away. My speed was about 220 konts more and I'd overtaken it. So everything was ready for me to shoot it before it dropped its bomb. I launched the missile."