The El Alamein “Stuka Party”, the SAAF’s finest hour in the desert war during WW2

The El Alamein “Stuka Party”, the SAAF’s finest hour in the desert war during WW2

Category : Articles


World War 2 – The "1 Squadron Stuka Party' – a very successful day out for South African pilots, and the finest hour for SAAF pilots in the North African theatre of operations.


Here is Major G J "Lemmie" le Mesurier, Officer Commanding No. 1 Squadron South African Air Force (SAAF), standing by his Hawker Hurricane Mark IIB, BG971 'AX-V', at LG 92, Egypt. 

On 3 July 1942 Maj. le Mesurier, flying BG971, led eleven SAAF Hurricanes to intercept a dive-bombing raid in the El Alamein area. While the aircraft of No. 274 Squadron RAF provided top cover the South African Hurricanes attacked a large formation of German Junkers Ju 87Bs (commonly knows as a "Stuka") and succeeded in destroying fourteen Ju 87B's, damaged two more and shot down one of the Bf109's for no loss of SAAF aircraft in a forty five minute engagement.  

It was a very one sided arial victory considering the calibre of pilots on both side of the conflict and will forever go down as the SAAF 1 Squadron "Stuka Party".
The following day, le Mesurier was himself shot down and wounded. He did not return to the Squadron until the following September.  


Photo copyright – Imperial War Museum, caption and reference – Imperial War Museum and Wikipedia.