SA Military Airpower: January (Today In History)

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Spice
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SA Military Airpower: January (Today In History)

Post by Spice » Tue Jan 01, 2019 2:02 am

01 January

1918

W.L. Jordan, a South African, serving in the RNAS/RAF during WW 1, whilst flying a Sopwith Camel, successfully shot-down a German Albatros DV (‘Kill # 09’)

1920

The Union of South Africa’s first Aircraft Depot was established at Robert’s Heights under the command of Captain Welch.

1940

40 Squadron was re-established at Air Force Base Bloemspruit as an operational unit equipped with Harvard aircraft.

The School of Photography was formed at Zwartkop Air Station [ZAS] on 1st January 1940 with two Envoy [AS Envoy] aircraft under the Officer Commanding Captain James Ireland Low, the unit consisted of a Headquarters and one flight.

1941

The 3 Squadron deployment at Garissa, sent a salvage team to search for a Caproni, that was shot-down during November 1940.

1942

Lt Fisher and A/M de Villiers were fatally injured when the Hartbees (807) they were flying crashed 15nm from Yavello.

The following sorties were flown:

1 Squadron: Three intercept missions were flown (Hurricane), in the Port Sudan area. Four Combat Air Patrol sorties were flown (Gladiator / Hurricane) in the Azaza area. Four Air to Ground training sorties were flown (Gladiator / Hurricane) to the Azaza area.

2 Squadron: A Fury (5760/’208’) ferried inbound to home base, as a ‘aircraft change-over), replacing ‘200’ which departed ‘outbound’ too. A Furry attached to ‘B-2 deployment, ferried to N’Gedes Nest.

3 Squadron: A Hurricane deployed at Garissa conducted ACM training ‘intercepts’ against a ‘Double Eagle.

11 Squadron: A flight of four Battles conducted a ferry sortie from Eastleigh to their home base at Archer’s Post.

No 1 Pupil Course commenced at No 44 Air School.

1943

The Officer Commanding, 25 Group (Air Commodore Croke) attended the Passing Out Parade of the 17th Air Gunnery Course (43 Air School).

The following aircraft losses were reported:

A Master (2645) crashed at low level during a routine mission, both crew sustained fatal injuries.

A Boston crashed during an attempted forced landing.

1945

22 Squadron remained deployed at ‘The Rock’, i.e. RAF Station – Northern Front – Gibraltar, the New Year also saw five new aircrew members join the unit from South African Air Force Base Depot Station ‘Almaza’.

The following sorties were flown:

1 Squadron: Twelve Spitfires performed Air-to-Ground sorties f against various gun emplacements. Four Spitfires conducted Armed Reconnaissance missions. Four Spitfires conducted ‘Patrol’ missions. All these sorties were flown from the Forli airfield (Italy).

1951

The following unit changes (re-numbering, re-equipping; closure and or activation) took place:

1 Squadron’s Force element, operating Harvard and Spitfire aircraft became the nucleus of the new 4 Squadron.

24 Squadron’s active Force element, operating Harvard became a new operational unit, namely 8 Squadron, following the closure of 24 Squadron.

25 Squadron was established at Air Force Base Zwartkop operating Ventura aircraft when 21 Squadron was re-numbered 25 Squadron.

27 Squadron equipped with Ventura aircraft was re-established at Air Force Base Ysterplaat.

1952

A Mustang (350), allocated to 2 Squadron, based in Korea crashed during an operational sortie.

1953

40 Squadron was re-activated as an Active Citizen Force squadron at Air Force Base Bloemspruit, the unit received Harvard aircraft.

1964

The South African Air Force’s helicopter capability was improved with the establishment of No 22 Flight (became 22 Squadron some years later), after it had received its first batch of newly acquired Wasp helicopters. The primary missions of the helicopters were to embark on the South African Navy frigates to conduct Anti-Submarine Warfare missions. The unit was only upgraded to a ‘Squadron’ once all the aircraft were on strength. The Wasp continued to serve till the late 1980’s. It took more than two decades to replace the capability in the South African Air Force with the Lynx helicopters in 2007.

1969

New Squadron Commanding Officer appointed: 12 Sqn / Cmdt Vermeulen.

1972

New Squadron Commanding Officer appointed: 12 Sqn / Cmdt Coetzee.

1973

Helicopter Conversion Unit (HCU) was re-named 87 Advanced Flying School.

1974

11 Squadron was re-established at Air Force Base Potchefstroom, the fourth time since its original inception.

1976

Aircraft Delivery to SAAF: Impala Mk II serial 1032.

1978

New Squadron Commanding Officer appointed: 12 Sqn / Cmdt Kritzinger.

1980

New Squadron Commanding Officer appointed: 12 Sqn / Cmdt Burger.

1982

It was reported that the South African Air Force had destroyed a Russian supplied helicopter (presumably a Mi8/17 Hip) during an air-strike on enemy positions in Angola.

1983

New Squadron Commanding Officer appointed: 12 Sqn / Cmdt Knoesen.

1984

12 Squadron. Canberra, attacked targets at Cuvelai and Caiundu (Angola) as part of OP ASKARI.

1986

New Squadron Commanding Officer appointed: 12 Sqn / Cmdt Meyer.

1989

New Squadron Commanding Officer appointed: 12 Sqn / Cmdt Schabort (last post-war OC).

1993

2 Squadron was re-established at Air Force Base Louis Trichardt, this time equipped with newly acquired Atlas Cheetah C multi-role fighters.

1996

The first ‘firm’ evidence that the South African Air Force (SAAF) has acquired the Israeli Rafael Python 3 short-range infra-red air-to-air missile (AAM) emerged in photographs of an air force Mirage F-1CZ, belonging to 3 Squadron.

1998

The JARIC became responsible for all Air Intelligence and Counter-Intelligence training in the Air Force.

1999

The three C-130F Hercules aircraft, received by the South African Air Force, were put up for sale.

8 Squadron, relocated to AFB Hoedspruit.

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