South Africans in the RAF

South Africans in the RAF

Category : Newsletter , WW2

(Imperial War Museum)

Adolph ‘Sailor’ Malan, born in Wellington, Cape Province. (Imperial War Museum)

One of the RAF’s leading aces, and one of the highest scoring pilots during the Battle of Britain was Adolph “Sailor” Malan DFC, an RAF pilot since 1936, who led No. 74 Squadron RAF at the height of the Battle of Britain. Under his leadership No. 74 became one of the RAF’s best units. Malan claimed his first two victories over Dunkirk on 21 May 1940, and had claimed five more by the time the Battle started in earnest. Between 19 July and 22 October he shot down six German aircraft. His “Ten Rules for Air Fighting” were printed and pinned up in crew rooms all over Fighter Command. He was part of a group of about 25 pilots from South Africa that took part in the Battle, eight or nine of whom (depending on sources) died during the Battle.

(SAAF Museum)

Albert Gerald Lewis, born in Kimberley, Northern Cape (SAAF Museum)

Other notable pilots included P/O Albert “Zulu” Lewis, who opened his account over France in May with No. 85 Squadron, shooting down three Messerschmitt Bf 109s in one action. With No. 85 in August, and then in September with No. 249 Squadron under Squadron Leader (later Air Chief Marshal) Sir John Grandy, at North Weald. Lewis flew three, four and five times a day and 15 September 1940 got a He 111, and shared in the probable destruction of another. On 18 September he got his 12th confirmed enemy aircraft. By 27 September, flying GN-R, Lewis had 18 victories.[31] He was shot down and badly burned on 28 September. Lewis missed the rest of the Battle and his recovery to flying fitness took over three months. 

Basil Gerald “Stapme” Stapleton, with several probables to his credit, survived a crash on 7 September, trying to stop bombers getting through to London. Both men would later command RAF squadrons.

Air Vice Marshall Sir Christopher Joseph Quintin Brand, born in Beaconsfield, Northern Cape. (SAAF Museum)

Air Vice Marshall Sir Christopher Joseph Quintin Brand, born in Beaconsfield, Northern Cape. (SAAF Museum)

The most senior officer of South African origin during the Battle was Air Vice-Marshal Sir Christopher J. Quintin-Brand KBE, DSO, MC, DFC, Air Officer Commanding No. 10 Group RAF covering the South-West; a long service RAF officer, he had joined the RFC in 1916.

 


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Feb
21
Thu
2019
09:30 SS Mendi Remembrance, Noordwijk,... @ Noordwijk Algemene Begraafplaats
SS Mendi Remembrance, Noordwijk,... @ Noordwijk Algemene Begraafplaats
Feb 21 @ 09:30 – 13:30
SS Mendi Remembrance, Noordwijk, The Netherlands @ Noordwijk Algemene Begraafplaats | Noordwijk | South Holland | Netherlands
Lest we Forget: In the annals of Southern Africa’s military history, 21 February 1917 is a dark day. It marks the sinking of the troopship SS Mendi after it was rammed off the Isle of
10:45 SS Mendi Remembrance @ Milton Cemetery, Portsmouth
SS Mendi Remembrance @ Milton Cemetery, Portsmouth
Feb 21 @ 10:45 – 11:15
SS Mendi Remembrance @ Milton Cemetery, Portsmouth
Wreath Laying Ceremony and Service At Milton Cemetery (Post code PO4 8RS) From 10:45am to approximately 11:15am
12:00 SS Mendi Plaque Unveiling @ The Point, Portsmouth
SS Mendi Plaque Unveiling @ The Point, Portsmouth
Feb 21 @ 12:00 – 12:30
SS Mendi Plaque Unveiling @ The Point, Portsmouth
Commemorative Plaque Unveiling Ceremony At The Point, Old Portsmouth – in front of the Spice Island Pub (Post code PO1 2JL) From 12:00noon to approximately 12:30pm  
Feb
23
Sat
2019
09:30 Three Ships Parade @ Richmond Cenotaph
Three Ships Parade @ Richmond Cenotaph
Feb 23 @ 09:30 – 12:00
Three Ships Parade @ Richmond Cenotaph
Purpose: We remember all this South African navy ships lost at sea through the ages, starting from chronological order: WW1: SS Mendi, which lead to 616 South Africans and 30 crew who lost their lives at sea,

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