SAAF: January 1920 to Present

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Re: SAAF: January 1920 to Present

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The e-mail version (pdf) has been mailled to the mailing list today.

The higher-resolution version will be available in the 'Dropbox' folder till 14 March 2013 as well.
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Re: SAAF: January 1920 to Present

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MARCH

Events: Date Unknown

1923

Records indicate that the planned force structure for the South African Air Force would be two operational squadrons by the end of 1923. The South African Air Force since its inception would be plagued with resource restrictions and ‘problematic’ defence budget allocations. Due to these restrictions since inception in 1920, the Air Force only had one squadron (1 Squadron), which too did not have three ‘flights’ as planned, but only one!

The unit (1 Squadron) would only achieve the force level of three flights somewhere in mid-1924. Each of these flights had a Flight Commander and five officers – pilots. Partially to ‘blame’ were the losses of aircraft and aircrew following the Air Force’s operations (internally in the Union of South Africa), during the ‘Rand Revolt – March 1922. The air force had flown 127 hours during the Rand Revolt (10-15 March 1922), and had lost two aircraft, two crews injured and two crews sustained fatal injuries.

1937

An announcement was made by the Minister of Defence (Union of South Africa) that the South African Air Force had placed an initial order for three Hawker Hurricane Mk-1 aircraft, from the United Kingdom.

1941

24 Squadron was re-equipped with Martin Maryland II aircraft, and deployed to Shandur from Nakuru.

1942

The following deployments and re-deployments took place:
• 5 Squadron officially commenced operations in the designated Western Desert Theatre of Operations; received North American Mustang Mk IVs and deployed to Hazbub from Nefatai.
• 1 Squadron ceased operating from Sidi Haneish and re-deployed to Landing Ground 13.
• 2 Squadron deployed from Landing Ground 115 to Gasr el Arid (Libya). 2 Squadron was part of No 233 Wing; 211 Group; Western Desert (forces).
• 12 Squadron ceased operating Martin Maryland Mk II aircraft, after receiving Douglas Boston Mk IIIs. The squadron also deployed from Landing Ground 99 to Landing Ground 121.
• 15 Squadron deployed from Amriya to Landing Ground 98.

1943

The following deployments and re-deployments took place:
• 1 Squadron deployed to Ben Gardane (Tunisia) from Hazbub and on to Bu Grara.
• 2 Squadron remained deployed at Nefatai Main.
• 12 and 21 Squadron deployed from Sertain (Main) to El Assa (Libya) to Zuara.
• 24 Squadron deployed to Zuara (possibly from Sertain).
• 60 Squadron deployed to Senem from Castle Benito.

1944

The following deployments and re-deployments took place:
• 1 Squadron deployed from Forli (Italy) to Ravenna (Italy).
• 17 Squadron deployed from St Jean to Ramat David.
• 44 Squadron was deployed at Cairo (West).

2 Squadron ceased operations utilizing the Supermarine Spitfire Mk VC.

1945

2 Squadron deployed from Forli (Italy) to Ravenna (Italy).

27 Squadron flew their last operational missions using the Vickers Wellington XIV aircraft, the unit subsequently received Vickers Warwick V aircraft.

44 Squadron was re-equipped with Avro Anson XII aircraft.

1946

17 Squadron’s ceased operating the Vickers Warwick V aircraft.

1965

Information Note. ‘SAFARI-1’ Commissioned (SA Nuclear Program).

1973

The South African Air Force took delivery of its first Aermacchi AM.3C Bosbok light tactical reconnaissance aircraft.
A total of 40 aircraft were delivered to the South African Air Force. 12 aircraft were lost during the subsequent in service period.

1975

6 Squadron, based in Port Elizabeth was re-equipped with the Atlas Impala Mk 1 jet trainer aircraft.

1976

The last aircraft of a batch of five Swearingen Merlin IVAs was delivered to 21 Squadron, South African Air Force. Two South African Police Merlins brought the order up to a total of seven aircraft, i.e. including ZS-JLZ and ZS-JMA. Globally 1,053 aircraft of various models have been delivered.

1979

During Operation REKSTOK I, conducted during August 1979, 12 Squadron flew 25 operational missions; totalling 75 hours and dropping in excess of 7,300 ‘Alpha Bombs’ on selected enemy targets.

Information Note. The South African Defence Force’s Chief Special Operations attended a Jericho missile test over the Mediterranean Sea.

1982

The acquisition phase (delivery) commenced for the first three Boeing B-707, Electronic Warfare and Air Refuelling aircraft destined for 60 Squadron, Air Force Base Waterkloof.

1992

No 11 Air Depot, amalgamated with 2 Air Depot at Air Force Base Ysterplaat.
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Re: SAAF: January 1920 to Present

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01 March

1943


5 Squadron reported the loss of four Curtiss Kittyhawk aircraft, the aircraft were written-off during the following accidents:
• AK622 and EK-(?) were involved in a ground related accident during taxi. (A)
• AL154 crashed during landing at home base after a mission. (C/L possible damage).
• ET955 crashed following damage caused by enemy anti-aircraft artillery fire. (C/L)

1944

A de Havilland Mosquito Mk-IX (LR466) was involved in a fatal accident during an operational mission, after the pilot reported having been lost. The aircraft was most likely allocated to 60 Squadron. (C/L)

1945

The following aircraft accidents/losses were reported:
• A 34 Squadron, Liberator (KG993) was involved in a fatal accident, caused during training sortie, where ‘feathering’ and ‘power-loss’ was being demonstrated and taught to the on-board crew. Two crew members sustained fatal injuries, in this accident, approximately 10 nm from Fogia (Italy). (A)
• A Hawker Hurricane (5238) crashed while conducting a training mission in South Africa, during an attempted forced landing, caused by engine failure. (A)

1978

A Buccaneer (425), belonging to 24 Squadron, Air Force Base Waterkloof crashed approximately 15nm North West of Lydenburg (Eastern Transvaal/Mpumalanga). The crew ejected to safety. (A)

1992

The Silver Falcon Aerobatic Team flew show number 221 at Kyalami Race Track, equipped with Impala Mk 1 aircraft.
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Re: SAAF: January 1920 to Present

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02 March

1920

The Silver Queen 2 arrived in Livingstone; the onward flight was reportedly delayed for a couple of days due to heavy rains in the area.

1925

A de Havilland DH-9 of the South African Air Force commenced an inaugural flight (mail delivery) between Durban and Cape Town.

1942

The following aircraft accidents/losses were reported:
• A Miles Master (2851) was involved in a fatal accident on the farm ‘Vlakfontein’ in the Standerton area. (A)
• 5 Squadron Tomahawk (AN260), was written-off, when it apparently hit a truck, during an attempted forced landing after suffering engine failure. (A)
• A Douglas Boston (AL805) crashed during a low-level training sortie. The aircraft belonged to 12 Squadron.

1943

The following aircraft accidents/losses were reported:
• Two Curtiss Kittyhawks allocated to 5 Squadron were involved in two separate take-off related accidents. The serial numbers were: ET953 and AK618. (A)
• An Airspeed Oxford (3743) was written-off during take-off from Papkuil, when it collided with Oxford 3581 (latter not written-off). (A)
• Whilst conducting a night flying sortie, a Miles Master (2650) encountered bad weather , and crashed in the Verkeerdevllei area, both crew sustained fatal injuries. (A)

1944

A Martin Baltimore (FA645), was reported missing during an operational mission, it is presumed that the three crew did not survive any related incident, related to this mission. It was an Mk-III allocated to 21 Squadron. (C/L)

1945

No 11 Squadron, operating Curtiss Kittyhawk aircraft reported the loss of the following two aircraft:
• FT872 crashed approximately 12nm South West of Perna, due to engine failure. (A)
• FX585 is believed to have been shot down by hostile ground fire, approximately 24nm North West of Pistoia . (Possible C/L)

1951

The following aircraft accidents/losses were reported:

• A North American F-51 Mustang (317), allocated to 2 Squadron, based in Korea crashed during an operational sortie in the area of Sinanju, which fatally wounded the pilot. (Possible C/L)

• A North American F-51 Mustang (301), allocated to 2 Squadron, based in Korea crashed (ditched into ocean) during an operational sortie. The pilot did not survive the crash. (Possible A)

1983

Two Puma helicopters, supported by Alouette III Gunships, participated in Operation SNOEK, by inserting a team of Special Force operators into an area close to Mulemba (Angola). The objective of the ‘reconnaissance’ mission was to locate the South West African People’s Organization, Eastern Headquarters.
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Re: SAAF: January 1920 to Present

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03 March

1942


A Curtiss Tomahawk (AN412), allocated to 4 Squadron was involved in a fatal training related accident, whilst deployed in a theatre of combat operations. It was reported that the pilot was conducting air-to-ground training. (A)

1943

A pilot belonging to 4 Squadron was captured and taken as a Prisoner of War, when the Curtiss Kittyhawk (AK976) crashed during an operational mission. (C/L)

1944

The following aircraft accidents/losses were reported:
• A Lockheed Ventura (FP685) allocated to 17 Squadron was reportedly abandoned (in-flight) when it ran-out of fuel off the coast of Turkey, during a night-time maritime patrol mission. (A)
• A Supermarine Spitfire (MJ290) belonging to 1 Squadron, hit high-tension cables during an air-to-ground mission over hostile territory, the pilot did not survive the accident. (A)

1945

The following aircraft accidents/losses were reported:
• 34 Squadron reported the loss of a Consolidated B-24 Liberator (EW207 “K”). The aircraft was reported ‘missing’ after an interdiction mission to rail yards on enemy territory. It is assumed that the crew of eight did not survive the accident. (Possible C/L)
• A 15 Squadron Martin Baltimore Mk-V (FW824), allocated to 15 Squadron ditched, one fatality reported.
• A Supermarine Spitfire (unidentified serial number) allocated to 4 Squadron was involved in a fatal accident.

1949

A Supermarine Spitfire (5509) crashed in South Africa during a training mission, the report indicates ‘under carriage collapse’ during landing. (A)

The last De Havilland Devon (109) was delivered to the South African Air Force.

1980

The first new ‘Maanskyn’ (i.e. Moonshine) mission was flown by Impalas from Air Force Base Ondangwa. The call sign ‘Skunk’ became familiar for these types of missions, during the subsequent years whilst conducting such Border War operations

1998

The sole South African Air Force’s BN-2A-26 Islander (16) was sold to Rossair (Pty) Ltd.
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Re: SAAF: January 1920 to Present

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04 March

1942


An Avro Anson (3129) suffered engine failure after take-off from Port Elizabeth. (A)

1943

5 Squadron reported the loss of a Curtiss Kittyhawk (AK896) during combat operations. (Possible C/L)

1944

The following aircraft accidents/losses were reported:
• A 26 Squadron, Wellington (HZ525), encountered engine problems whilst on a maritime patrol mission; it crashed at sea, fatally wounding all on-board. (A)
• A de Havilland Mosquito Mk IX (LR471) allocated to 60 Squadron, was reported missing (pilot presumed to have suffered fatal injuries) during a photo reconnaissance mission over enemy territory. (C/L)
• A B-26 Marauder (FB480) allocated to 24 Squadron reportedly ditched after being hit by enemy ground fire in the area of Suda, tragically none of the six crew members survived. (C/L)

1945

The following aircraft accidents/losses were reported:
• 24 Squadron, reported the loss of a B-26 Marauder (HD663), both engines failed, it is assumed the crew survived as no fatalities were reported. (A)
• An Avro Anson (4441) crashed during landing – landing gear collapsed after the engine failed. (A)

1951

A North American F-51 Mustang (350), allocated to 2 Squadron, based in Korea crashed during take-off. (A)

1972

The Silver Falcon Aerobatic Team flew show number 19 at Durban, equipped with Impala Mk 1 aircraft.

1995

The Silver Falcon Aerobatic Team flew show numbers 313 and 314 at Langebaanweg, equipped with Impala Mk 1 aircraft.
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Re: SAAF: January 1920 to Present

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05 March

1920


The Silver Queen 2 flew from Livingstone to Bulawayo.

1936

The first of the South African Air Force’s Hawker Fury aircraft flew - these aircraft were ordered in 1934. The first batch consisted of seven aircraft (single seat).

1941

24 Squadron was formed by re-numbering of No 14 Squadron.
A Hawker Hurricane Mk-1, (273) was written-off during a crash. (Unknown)

1942

During 5 Squadron’s first Combat Air Patrol, two of the unit’s aircraft spotted a Junkers JU-88, the aircraft was shot down!

1943

The following aircraft accidents/losses were reported:
• An Avro Anson (3244) was involved in a fatal aircraft accident, involving four crew members. (A)
• An Airspeed Oxford (3427) crashed during take-off from Nigel. (A)

1944

A Bristol Beaufort Mk 1 (758), crashed in Tanganyika en-route to join the Royal Air Force stationed in India. (A)

1945

A 2 Squadron Supermarine Spitfire (EP891), was shot down by hostile anti-aircraft fire. (C/L)

1979

Twelve Impala Mk I and Mk II light attack aircraft mainly from 6 and 8 Squadron, deployed to Air Force Base M’pacha, prior to the commencement of Operation SAFRAAN.
Figure 8: Impala Mk 2

1988

The Silver Falcon Aerobatic Team flew show number 140 at Goodwood, equipped with Impala Mk 1 aircraft.

1993

Whilst en-route to Langebaanweg as Cheetah D2 (844) crewed by Capt’s Chris Pretorius and Russell diverted to Upington following a fuel emergency. According to reports the aircraft had a hard landing, and subsequently both main oleos collapsed, ruptured fuel lines ignited and major damage was reported to have taken place on the fuselage. Fortunately both crew escaped unharmed.
Contrary to some reports, claiming the crew ejected, they actually evacuated the stricken aircraft without ejecting!

2002

An Aerospatiale S-316 Alouette III (636) crashed in the Welkom area, presumably allocated to 87 Helicopter Flying School.
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Re: SAAF: January 1920 to Present

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06 March

1920


The Silver Queen 2 departed from Bulawayo en-route to Pretoria. The aircraft crashed approximately 1 mile after take-off. The crew remained in Bulawayo, pending the arrival of the replacement aircraft from the Union. A de Havilland DH.9 (H5648 ‘Voortrekker’) was flown to Bulawayo from Cape Town to enable Pierre van Ryneveld and Quintin Brand to continue their epic inaugural flight from Britain to the Union (Cape Town).

1939

The first locally ‘assembled’ Hawker Hurricane Mk 1 (271) was test-flown in Durban.

1942

During a local training mission a Curtiss P-75 Mohawk (2518) was involved in a fatal accident in the Potchefstroom area. (A)

1943

An Avro Anson (3105) was involved in a fatal aircraft accident, with two crew members onboard. (A)

1944

The following Marauders were lost due to combat operations over enemy territory (all C/L):
• FB481, 24 Squadron, six fatalities, shot down by enemy aircraft in the Milos area.
• FB496, 24 Squadron, six fatalities, shot down by enemy aircraft in the Milos area.
• FB504, 24 Squadron, six fatalities, shot down by enemy aircraft in the Milos area.
• FB507, 12 Squadron, four fatalities, shot down by enemy aircraft in the Santorini area. The two crewmembers survived, they were taken Prisoner of War.
A 40 Squadron Supermarine Spitfire (unidentified serial) was involved in a fatal accident.

1945

The following aircraft accidents/losses were reported:
• A 6 Squadron Supermarine Spitfire (MK447) suffered engine failure during an operational mission. The pilot abandoned the aircraft and was taken Prisoner of War. (C/L)
• A Consolidated B-24 Liberator (KH150 ‘R’) belonging to 34 Squadron was shot down in the area of Graz. The crew of eight was fatally wounded due to hostile ground to air fire. (C/L)
• A Curtiss Kittyhawk (FX584) allocated to 11 Squadron, was abandoned due to enemy damage during an air-to-ground mission. (C/L)

1951

Whilst conducting a ‘Tsetse Fly Spray’ mission in the Mathubatuba region, an Avro Anson suffered structural failure, both crew sustained fatal injuries. (A)

1952

A North American F-51 Mustang (373), allocated to 2 Squadron, based in Korea crashed during an operational sortie. (Unknown)

1979

The following interdiction missions by 12 Squadron took place (Operation REKSTOK 1):
- One Canberra ‘Alpha Bomb’ attack on Mongua (Angola).
- Two Canberra later attacked a target referred to as ‘Franca’.
- Last mission of the day, two Canberra flew a mission against targets in the Capindi area (Angola).

Operation SAFRAAN commenced with Impala Mk 1 and Mk 2 attacks on ‘Base 52 and Base 55’. These targets were in Zambia.

1982

No 8 Squadron received the ‘Freedom of Bloemfontein’.
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Re: SAAF: January 1920 to Present

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07 March

1927


The Westland Wapiti aircraft flew for the first time.

1932

The first flight of the Junkers Ju-52/3M three-engine prototype, powered by three 410 kW (550 hp) Pratt & Whitney Hornet engines took place in Germany.

1939

Major Peller had the privilege of flying the first South African Air Force Hurricane (271) on its delivery flight from Durban to Pretoria, completing the mission in 1 hour 13 minutes.

1943

25 Squadron reported the loss of a Lockheed Ventura (6040) when it crashed during landing in bad weather. (A)

1945

A Martin Baltimore Mk V (FW768), allocated to 15 Squadron crashed into the sea shortly after take-off. The crew of four; sustained fatal injuries. (A)

1953

Two North American Harvard aircraft were involved in a mid-air collision over Bloubergstrand. The aircraft were an AT6A serial 7669 and a SNJ3 serial 7671, the crew of the latter aircraft did not survive the accident. (A)

1970

The Silver Falcon Aerobatic Team flew show number 15 at Durban, equipped with Impala Mk 1 aircraft.

1979

The following activities were conducted as part of Operation REKSTOK 1:
- A single 12 Squadron Canberra interdiction mission took place – the target was Henhombe (Angola).
- A number of Dassault Mirage IIID2Z fighters, deployed on the type’s first operational deployment. The aircraft belonged to 85 Advanced Flying School.
Figure 10: Mirage IIID2Z1987

The Silver Falcon Aerobatic Team flew show number 110 at Kroonstad, equipped with Impala Mk 1 aircraft.

1991

The Silver Falcon Aerobatic Team flew show number 187 at Saldanha, equipped with Impala Mk 1 aircraft.

1992

The Silver Falcon Aerobatic Team flew show number 222 at Mykonos, equipped with Impala Mk 1 aircraft.
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Re: SAAF: January 1920 to Present

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08 March

1943

The following aircraft accidents/losses were reported:
• An Airspeed Oxford (3412), whilst conducting a night training mission (navigation exercise), apparently got lost, the crew then abandoned the aircraft (bailed-out) over the area of Palmietfontein. (A)
• A Curtiss Kittyhawk (AK650), belonging to 5 Squadron, was damaged by hostile ground fire. The aircraft returned to base, but crashed during landing. (C/L)

1944

A 22 Squadron Lockheed Ventura (6415), crashed after take-off from St Albans, no injuries or fatalities were reported. (A)

1945

The following aircraft accidents/losses were reported:
• A Marauder (HD477), belonging to 21 Squadron was shot down over Asra. (C/L)
• A Consolidated B-24 Liberator belonging to 31 Squadron (EV958 ‘R’) was shot down and crashed into the Adriatic Sea. None of the eight crew members were able to survive. (C/L)

1957

17 Squadron reported the loss of a Lockheed Ventura (6491) when it crashed into the mountains at Miller’s Point. All five crew sustained fatal injuries. (A)

1978

The first Mirage III (CZ) landed at Air Force Base Hoedspruit. The ‘Flying Cheetahs’, i.e. 2 Squadron operated various versions of this ‘delta’ from Hoedspruit till its disbandment, prior to receiving the Cheetah C’s in the 1990’s.

1979

A pair of Canberra aircraft, allocated to 12 Squadron flew two interdiction/strike missions, on targets at Huambango and then later during the day to Henhombe; as part of continued missions in support of Operation REKSTOK.
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Re: SAAF: January 1920 to Present

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09 March

1942

1 Squadron re-commenced flight operations at Sidi Haneish, after a period of ‘R&R’ following combat operations.

1943

1 Squadron deployed to Hazbub.

1949

The first test flight of the prototype Avro Shackleton GR.1, serial VW135, took place at the hands of Avro's Chief Test Pilot J.H. "Jimmy" Orrell. The GR.1 was later re-designated "Maritime Reconnaissance Mark I" - MR.1. The aircraft was designed by Roy Chadwick as the Avro Type 696. It was based on the Lincoln bomber and Tudor airliner, both derivatives of the successful wartime Lancaster heavy bomber, one of Chadwick's earlier designs which was the then current Anti-Submarine Warfare aircraft. The design took the Lincoln's centre wing and tail, Tudor outer wings and landing gear and a new wider and deeper fuselage, powered by four Rolls Royce Merlin engines. The aircraft was initially referred to during development as the Lincoln ASR.3.

1979

A single pair of Canberra aircraft flew a strike mission to Oshono (Angola) as part of continued missions in support of Operation REKSTOK 1.

1992

The Silver Falcon Aerobatic Team flew show number 223 at Langebaanweg, equipped with Impala Mk 1 aircraft.
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Re: SAAF: January 1920 to Present

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10 March

1918


Information Note. W.L. Jordan, a South African citizen, serving in the Royal Naval Air Service and Royal Flying Corps during World War 1 was awarded a Distinguished Service Cross.

Information Note. Samuel M. Kinkhead, a South African citizen, serving in the Royal Naval Air Service and Royal Air Force, flying a Sopwith Camel during World War 1 shot-down a German Albatros DV (Kill Claim #15).


1922

Martial Law was declared and the South African Air Force was called out to do reconnaissance missions over the towns of Benoni and Brakpan (Rand Revolt).

A De Havilland DH.9 was involved in a fatal accident, it is presumed to have been attributed to an operational mission loss – Rand Revolt. (Possible ‘first SAAF’ C/L)

1936

The first Fairy Battle aircraft made its maiden flight, representing a significant step-up in performance over the Hawker Hart, which it was designed to replace. However, when World War II began only three years later the type was already obsolete and the RAF was to learn, like the Luftwaffe with the Junkers Ju 87 Stuka, that it could only operate safely where air supremacy had been achieved. Designed by Marcel Lobelle, the prototype Fairey Day Bomber, as it was then known, originated as the company's submission to Specification P.27/32 for a two-seat single-engine monoplane bomber capable of carrying 1,000 lbs (454 kg) of bombs for 1,000 miles (1609 km) at 200 mph (322 km/h) which was ordered as a prototype on June 11, 1934. Provision for a radio operator/air gunner was made later, to man a Lewis or Vickers 'K' dorsal machine-gun. This performance was to be bettered by Fairey's aircraft, which was competing against design proposals from Armstrong Whitworth, Bristol and Hawker, but only the Armstrong Whitworth's A.W.29 joined Fairey's prototype in receiving orders. Fairey's contender won the competition, but a first production contract for 155 aircraft, to the revised Specification P.23/35, had been placed in 1935 even before the prototype had flown. The Battle had accommodation for a crew of three comprising pilot, bomb-aimer/observer, and radio operator/gunner.

1941

Two Avro Tutor aircraft (709 and 723) were involved in a fatal mid-air collision. (A)

1942

Two Airspeed Oxfords (1981 and 3546) were involved in a fatal mid-air collision. There were four crew members on-board the aircraft. (A)

1943

An Avro Anson (1168) ditched in the ocean in the area of Mossel Bay, after a propeller detached whilst flying. (A)

1944

The following aircraft accidents/losses were reported:
• An Avro Anson (1131), crashed at Youngsfield during landing. (A)
• A Martin Baltimore (unknown registration) crashed – four fatalities. (Unknown)

1945

The following aircraft accidents/losses were reported:
• 26 Squadron’s operations in West Africa continued with ‘U-Boat’ sweeps, during one such mission, a Wellington Mk XI (MP681) was lost, presumably all crew sustained fatal injuries. (C/L)
• An Avro Anson (4373) crashed during landing at night (strong winds), at Younsfield – it is reported that the undercarriage collapsed. (A)
• A Supermarine Spitfire (PT897), allocated to 7 Squadron crashed during a strafe run on a target, 5nm East of Adria. The pilot – Prisoner of War. (C/L)

1951

A North American F-51 Mustang (321), allocated to 2 Squadron, based in Korea crashed during an operational sortie in the area of Yandonwon-Ni, fatally wounding Capt Davis. (C/L)

1984

The Silver Falcon Aerobatic Team flew show number 85 at the Military Academy, equipped with Impala Mk 1 aircraft.

1995

The Silver Falcon Aerobatic Team flew show number 315 at Pretoria, equipped with Impala Mk 1 aircraft.
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Re: SAAF: January 1920 to Present

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11 March

1918

Information Note. Douglas J. Bell, a South African citizen, serving in the and Royal Flying Corps, flying a Sopwith Camel during World War 1 shot-down a German Albatros DV (Kill Claim #04).

1922

During the Rand Revolt; permission was granted to arm Air Force aircraft in anticipation of operations against the revolting miners, Pierre van Ryneveld was also authorized to use the aircraft in operations to suppress the revolting miners in the area of operation. This heralded the first operational employment of South African Air Force in ‘offensive’ missions, albeit against South Africans on home territory

1927

A de Havilland DH-9 (139) was written-off during an accident. (A)

1939

The first South African Air Force ‘evaluation’ Bristol Blenheim Mk1 was test-flown in Cape Town. The likely crew: Colonel Sir Pierre van Ryneveld and Lt Col HC Daniel

1941

1 Squadron, attacked ground targets in the Keren Airfield (Kenya) area, three Hurricanes were used to strafe an Italian S-79 and one unidentified bi-plane aircraft that were on the ground. The S-79 is presumed to have been destroyed.

1942

Combat Air Patrols were flown by Tomahawk IIB formations from 5 Squadron which engaged enemy aircraft. One of the Tomahawks (AN448/GL-H) successfully engaged a Luftwaffe Junkers Ju-88, 75nm North of Gambut, the aircraft was destroyed.

1943

The following aircraft accidents/losses were reported:
• A de Havilland Tiger Moth (2414) crashed in the Randfontein area, this aircraft was later exported to India. One fatal injury was reported. (A)
• The crew of an Avro Anson (3237), reported suffering fuel starvation, cut the engine and executed a forced landing, collapsing the undercarriage at Butterworth. (A)
• 5 Squadron reported the loss of a Curtiss Kittyhawk (ET865) due to an engine failure after take-off. (A)

1944

44 Squadron formed when 43 Squadron was renumbered at Cairo West, Egypt.

The following aircraft accidents/losses were reported:
• A 17 Squadron, Lockheed Ventura (FN971) ditched in the Mediterranean Sea. (A)
• A 4 Squadron Supermarine Spitfire Mk VC (JK456) was shot down fatally wounding the pilot. (C/L)

1988

The Silver Falcon Aerobatic Team flew show number 141 at Langebaanweg, equipped with Impala Mk 1 aircraft.
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Re: SAAF: January 1920 to Present

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12 March

1922

Two de Havilland DH-9s were involved in separate accidents, namely aircraft number H-5685 and 121. The one aircraft reportedly crashed when it flew at low-level and hit a tree. (A)

1928

Information Note. Samuel M Kinkhead, a South African pilot, whom became an Ace during WW 1 whilst flying in the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service was fatally injured when his Supermarine Spitfire S-5 crashed during an attempt at the World Airspeed Record.

1941

A de Havilland Tiger Moth (1466, ex ZS-AIN) crashed in the Randfontein area, after suffering engine failure. It was an impressed aircraft. (A)

1942

A De Havilland Tiger Moth (542), crashed (location unknown). The cause was reported to be a ‘bad weather - storm’. (A)

1943

A Hawker Hind (123) collided with a Harvard Mk IIA (7099) during landing. The Harvard reportedly belonged to 23 Air School. It is reported that the Harvard was later exported to the United Kingdom. (A)

1944

A Bristol Beaufighter Mk X, allocated to 16 Squadron suffered engine failure during an operational mission. The crew of two did not survive the ditching into the sea off Kimolos Island. Serial number reported to have been NE-248 ‘D’. (A)

1953

The first 2 Squadron jet combat missions were flown along Yalu River, ‘Mig Ally’ (Korea), with their newly delivered F-86-30F Sabres .

1955

The SE 3130 first flew on 12 March 1955 (today – 57 years ago) and within 3 months on a pre-production Alouette II flown by Jean Boulet set a new helicopter altitude record of 8,209 m (26,926 ft). On 13 June 1958 one, again flown by Boulet, re-took the record, reaching a height of 10,984 m (36,027 ft). The Alouette II gained its domestic certificate of airworthiness during 1957.
Production started initially to fulfil orders from the French armed forces and civilian customers. It made military history by being the first helicopter worldwide to be equipped with anti-tank missiles, and by the time production ended in 1975 with over 1500 Alouette IIs had been built and in use in over 80 countries including 47 armed forces. It is/was also licence built in Brazil, Sweden, India and in the United States. The South African Air Force operated only eight (8) of the helicopters.

1962

A Dornier DO-27 (5431) was involved in a fatal accident in the Belfast area. (A)

1975

An Aerospatiale S-316 Alouette III (23), whilst deployed in South West Africa, was involved in an accident, which fatally injuring two crew and two passengers. (A)

A North American Harvard IIA (7137) crashed in the Oudtshoorn area, one fatality was reported. (A)

1983

Four Puma and four Alouette (presume Gunships), deployed to Xangongo prior to commencement of support to Operation FAKKEL.
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Re: SAAF: January 1920 to Present

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13 March

1918

Information Note. Douglas J. Bell, a South African citizen, serving in the and Royal Flying Corps, flying a Sopwith Camel during World War 1 shot-down a German Albatros DV (Kill Claim #05).

1941

A Hawker Hurricane (283) was shot-down in the vicinity of Dagah Bur, fatally wounding the pilot, Lt Dudley. (C/L)

1943

A Hawker Hind (189) was involved in a crash as well as a second aircraft (Hind 3022) was lost during an accident. The pilot of 189, LAC DW McDonald (RAF) was fatally injured too.

1944

A North American Harvard Mk III (7452) was involved in a fatal accident, when the aircraft lost height during take-off and crashed in the Standerton area. (A)

1945

A Hawker Hurricane (5343) crashed during aerobatic training due to a reported engine failure. (A)

1954

A North American Harvard AT6B (7635) was involved in a fatal accident. (A)

1970

The first two Hawker Siddeley HS-125 Mercurius aircraft (01 and 02) were delivered to 21 Squadron.

1982

It was reported that Operation SUPER commenced.

1984

The following aircraft accidents/losses were reported:
• An Atlas C-4M Kudu (991) was written-off during an accident. (A)
• A Mirage F1AZ (228) – 1 Squadron, crashed in Lydenburg area, Capt Digby Holsworth ejected safely. (A)

1987

The Silver Falcon Aerobatic Team flew show number 111 at Langebaanweg, equipped with Impala Mk 1 aircraft.

1992

The Silver Falcon Aerobatic Team flew show number 224 at the Military Academy, equipped with Impala Mk 1 aircraft.
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