Dennis F. Stevens with Lou Lenart in Jerusalem on the Temple Mount in front of the Al Aqsa Mosque. Lenart, co-founder of the Israeli Air Force and El Al Airlines, was a US Marine Corp. major who on 29 May, 1948, led the first IAF mission; which was against the Egyptian army advancing against Tel Aviv.
As the tanks were advancing, Lenart did not waste any time. He gathered the small group of three other pilots – Ezer Weizman, Eddie Cohen and Modi Alon – and explained they would be heading out for their first mission to stop the Egyptians.
As the leader, Lenart flew in first, diving down over a group of vehicles, dropping his bombs and luckily hitting a fuel truck, setting off a number of secondary explosions. The other pilots followed suit and then began strafing the ground troops withmachine gun fire. The Egyptians turned back. The bridge where the Egyptians were stopped would later becalled “Ad Halom,” Hebrew for “Until Here.”