Colonel Shittu A Alao was born in Dorowa Babuje in Plateau State. He was among the 4 Nigerian Army Officers that were first seconded to the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) with a view to taking over command from the Germans.
He took over the leadership of the NAF from Brigadier Kurubo on 5 August 1967. Following his secondment to the NAF, Colonel Alao was sent to Germany in 1963 for a one-year indoctrination course on all aspects of air force training. On return from Germany, Colonel Alao was appointed Senior Air Operations officer at Headquarters NAF (HQ NAF).
Colonel Shittu A Alao headed the NAF in its most trying period, that is, the thick of the civil war. Though unprepared for the war, Colonel Alao infused a sense of patriotism and confidence in his officers.
He led by example and personally carried out bombing raids during the war. A very brave officer and pilot, he died on active duty while on a solo flight in an L-29 aircraft in Southern-western part of the country when he ran into bad weather and subsequently ran out of fuel. He tried to make an emergency landing, but instead, ran into a tree and died in the process.